August 5th 2022 marks the 105th birthday of the New York Guard (State Defense Force). Formed at the outset of the US entry into World War I, the New York Guard was formed after the National Guard was federalized and sent to Europe. The mission of this new State Defense Force was to assume the duties and missions of the New York National Guard. During their activation they secured key railroad bridges, canals, water aqueducts as well as critical industries from enemy sabotage.
Enemy agents repeated tried to sabotage these critical infrastructures to the State. They repeated fired upon and engaged New York Guard troops protecting these areas. Thankfully the New York Guard ensured the protection of these vital assets to the State and in the process arrested numerous enemy agents.
Once the war in Europe ended, the NY National Guard returned home to resume their Stateside duties and the New York Guard was deactivated from service. By wars end over 22,000 Troops were serving in the New York Guard.
For more information on the New York Guard’s mission during World War I have a look at the following publications:
In August of 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.