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New York State Guard

The New York Guard is the State Defense Force of New York State. As of June 2008, the New York Guard, a recognized command under the New York State's Military law, has line-item funding in the state budget.[1]

Now with a unified command structure, formerly the organization contained an Army Division and an Air Division. The missions of the New York Guard, include augmentation, assistance and support of the New York Army National Guard and New York Air National Guard respectively and aide to civil authorities in New York State. New York also has a New York Naval Militia which, with the State Guard and the Army and Air National Guards, is under the command of the Governor of New York, the Adjutant General and New York's Division of Military and Naval Affairs (DMNA). The New York State Guard is one of the largest and best organized State Guards in the United States and is historically derived from Revolutionary and Civil War era State military units that were reorganized several times in American history in response to various international and domestic crises.

Organized under the Military Law, State of New York, the New York Guard cannot be federalized and cannot be deployed outside New York State without the consent of the governor.

Members of the New York Guard are entitled to many of the benefits accorded members of other components of the 'Organized Militia of the State of New York,' the legal collective term describing the New York Army and Air National Guards, New York Naval Militia and New York Guard. These include 'military leave' for employees of state or local governments and many private employers.


Civil War Era

For more detail, see List of New York Civil War Regiments

The New York Seventh in Washington, D.C., 1861.

Many units of New York State militia saw service in the American Civil War, after being activated into Federal service by President Abraham Lincoln.


Chain of Command

The activation of state militia by President Abraham Lincoln led to some conflict with State authorities in command of the units:

With the advent of the Civil War in April, 1861, the 14th regiment saw its first war service in guarding the Brooklyn Navy Yard. By mid-April of that year, the "Brooklyn Chasseurs" were ready to leave New York for Washington D.C. Colonel Alfred Wood advised the Honorable Governor Morgan that the regiment was prepared to march and had accepted a three year federal enlistment. However, the governor would not issue orders for the regiment to leave New York. While encamped at Fort Greene Park in Brooklyn , Colonel Wood and Congressman Moses O'Dell went to see President Lincoln to secure orders for the regiment to march to Washington. President Lincoln lost no time in issuing those orders to the 14th Brooklyn. When Governor Morgan learned that the regiment was preparing to march, he telegraphed Colonel Wood and inquired "by what authority" did he move his regiment, Colonel Wood coolly replied, "By the authority of the President of the United States."[1]

New York Guard created, 1917

On 3 August 1917, the Adjutant General of New York, in order to comply with the provisions of the State Constitution requiring that troops be available to the Governor for the protection of life and property of the citizens of New York, organized a State Military Force known as the New York Guard. The new force replaced the New York National Guard, drafted in the service of the United States on 5 August 1917. The force consisted of the First and Second Provisional Regiments, guarding aqueducts and other infrastucture in the southern portion (First Provisional Regiment) and the remaining parts of the state.

On January 1, 1919, the Guard numbered 22,000 in active service. After the Armistice federalized New York National Guard Units were returned to State control.

New York Guard, 1940

With the advent of World War II, New York National Guard units were federalized and the New York Guard was created for service to the State.[2]

New York Guard, 2001 and beyond

The New York Guard experienced a resurgence after the September 11, 2001 attacks. New York Guard units were activated after the attacks, performing a variety of missions, including, logistical support to forces stationed at "Ground Zero". Medical units of the Guard worked in conjunction with other DMNA forces providing care at several location including Camp Smith, in Westchester county.

Principal occupational specialties of the New York Guard include, communications, engineering, medical and legal services, provided in support of all components of New York State military forces, i.e., the Army and Air National Guards, Naval Militia and the New York Guard, as well as to civil authorities.

Currently, trained and state certified New York Guard soldiers augment and assist National Guard units in the following missions: Weapons of Mass Destruction [WMD] Decontamination - the joint New York Army National Guard / New York Air National Guard / New York Guard decontamination - or CERF - team was activated by the governor for state duty for 11 days during the 2004 Republican National Convention in New York City, Military Emergency Radio Network - the Guard is assigned to operate the MERN at various locations to insure the free flow of information during an emergency, and Search And Rescue (SAR) - New York Guard SAR teams have been mobilized, most recently in the summer of 2006 to search for a missing camper in the Adirondack Mountains preserve.

The 244th Medical Clinic works with the NY Army National Guard Medical Command (MEDCOM), augmenting National Guard personnel for within-state MEDCOM missions. These have included screening of National Guard personnel in Soldier Readiness Programs (SRP) and 'reintegration' programs for both soldiers and their families upon troops' return from overseas deployment.

In addition to its SAR work, engineer units of the NY Guard 10th Brigade have built facilities for the National Guard.

Civil Affairs units provide legal services to about-to-deploy troops such as wills and counseling on legal protections under federal and state law.

The New York Guard augments the capabilities of the National Guard, serving only within New York State. Guard personnel are drawn from almost every profession - from plumbers to professors, clerks and CEOs, persons with long prior military service and those without, and every part of the state.

The headquarters unit of the New York Guard is located at Camp Smith, Cortlandt Manor, NY. Camp Smith is a New York State military reservation. It is adjacent to Peekskill, NY and about 35 miles north on New York City.

Information on recruitment of enlisted personnel and appointment of officers to the New York Guard is available at <> and <>.


All New York Guard enlisted recruits, unless they have prior military experience, must attend Initial Entry Training (IET). After completion of one week of IET at Camp Smith, soldiers may take any of the following courses based on their Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) and rank. Officers, unless they have have prior commissioned military experience, must complete a branch immaterial officer's basic course after appointment.

NYG Schools

The following schools are offered by the New York Guard.

  • Initial Entry Training
  • Basic and Advanced Search and Rescue
  • Basic and Advanced Communications
  • Basic Non-Commissioned Officer Course (BNCOC)
  • Advanced Non-Commissioned Officer Course (ANCOC)
  • Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) given in concert with FEMA/DHS
  • Officer Candidate School (OCS) and Basic
  • Company Grade and Field Grade Officer courses.

Additional Training

Most NYG soldiers have augmented their training by taking courses with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and various other local and state agencies.

Major Subordinate Commands

The Major Subordinate Commands of the New York Guard are:

  • 10th Brigade, covering the Capital Region and northern New York, headquartered in Troy, NY;
  • 14th Brigade, covering the Long Island Region, headquartered in Whitestone, NY;
  • 56th Brigade, covering the Lower Hudson Valley, headquartered in Peekskill, NY;
  • 65th Brigade, covering Western New York, headquartered in Buffalo, NY;
  • 88th Brigade, covering New York City, headquartered in upper Manhattan;
  • 12th Regimental Training Institute, headquartered at Camp Smith, Cortlandt Manor, NY;
  • 244th Medical Clinic, headquartered at Camp Smith, and an
  • Air Augmentation Detachment. The AAD, headquartered in Latham, a suburb of Albany, NY, was dissolved in Fall 2007 and its staff absorbed into other units of the New York Guard.

Medals Of The New York Guard

See also

Links to Unit Pages


  1. ^

External links


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