New York Guard, state's volunteer defense force, conducts annual training at Camp Smith August 12-18
The New York Guard, the state's volunteer defense force, anticipates training 150 volunteers during the organization's week-long annual training at the New York National Guard's Camp Smith Training Site from August 12 to 18.
CAMP SMITH, NEW YORK (08/10/2023) (readMedia)-- The New York Guard, the state's volunteer defense force, anticipates training 150 volunteers during the organization's week-long annual training at the New York National Guard's Camp Smith Training Site from August 12 to 18.
The New York Guard is a uniformed volunteer force whose members train to assist the state during emergencies and disasters. It is one of 19 State Defense Forces which are authorized under federal law.
The New York Guard falls under the purview of Major General Ray Shields, the Adjutant General of New York, as part of the New York Military Forces.
New York Guard volunteers augment the New York National Guard by filling logistics and administrative jobs when they volunteer to serve on state active duty.
The 300 members wear military uniforms and have a military chain of command but are not armed and do not deploy outside of the state.
A total of 182 New York Guard members assisted in the state's COVID-19 pandemic response, while more than 100 have assisted in dealing with the migrant influx into New York City.
During this year's annual training period, fifty new volunteers will complete their mandatory training requirements, according to New York Guard Brig. Gen. Peter Riley, the commander of the New York Guard.
Completing this training will allow them to serve on state missions and emergencies, Riley explained.
The New York Guard will also conduct an officer candidate school to help volunteers prepare to lead at a higher level.
There will also be classes conducted in logistical support, command post operations, decision making processes and communications, according to Riley.
The New York Guard was created during World War 1 when the New York National Guard was mobilized and sent to fight in France. Congress authorized the states to create state militia forces to replace their National Guards at home.
Members of the New York Guard served on duty protecting the Erie Canal, key bridges, and the New York City water works against sabotage. German agents had blown up ammunition plants, so there was a real threat.
In World War II, the New York Guard was created again. During a blizzard in 1944, New York Guard members added stranded farmers by providing hay for cattle.
The New York Guard was created permanently during the Cold War era of the 1950s and has served since then.
Many New York Guard members are former National Guard or active military members who want to continue to serve.
Page Last Modified: Sep 05, 2023