LATHAM - Major General Raymond F. Shields, the Adjutant General for the State of New York, announced recent awards and individual recognitions for members of the New York Guard state defense force for their continuing commitment to serve community, state and nation as part of New York State’s Military Forces.
Staff Sergeant Kris Bateman from Fulton, serving with the 10th Area Command, received the New York Guard State Defense Force Recruiter of the Year during recent unit training events.
The New York Guard is a force of 500 uniformed volunteers, organized as a military unit, who augment the New York National Guard during state emergencies. They provide administrative and logistics support to the National Guard. Members of the New York Guard have been involved in flood control efforts along the Lake Ontario shoreline this summer.
Unlike members of the New York National Guard, New York Guard members do not have a federal military role and do not deploy outside the state. New York Guard members usually train in a volunteer status and are only paid when they are placed on state duty during emergencies.
The New York Guard, which is one of 23 state defense forces around the country, is authorized to recruit just over 1,000 volunteers organized into units located across New York. Currently there are 500 New York Guard members.
About half of the New York Guard volunteers are former members of the active duty military or National Guard who bring a wealth of experience to the force while the other half have never served in the military. Previous military membership is not a requirement for New York Guard service.
People who have served in the military can serve in the New York Guard up until age 68. Those who have never served in the military must be between age 18 and age 55 to join.
The New York National Guard (New York State Division of Military and Naval Affairs) is the state’s executive agency responsible to the Governor for managing New York’s Military Forces, which consists of nearly 20,000 members of the New York Army National Guard, the New York Air National Guard, the New York Naval Militia and the New York Guard.