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New York Guard volunteers recognized for service to state

STAFF REPORTS


LATHAM -- Major General Raymond F. Shields, the Adjutant General for the State of New York, announces 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.
  • 1st Lt. John Schmidt from Tonawanda, serving with the 10th Area Command, received the 5-year Long and Faithful Service Award during a unit ceremony at the Camp Smith Training Site near Peekskill, N.Y., Nov. 17.
  • Spc. Angelica Mihalitsas from Fairport, serving with the NY Guard Headquarters, received the New York Guard Commander's Citation during a unit ceremony at the Camp Smith Training Site near Peekskill, N.Y., Nov. 17.
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 600 New Nork 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.