New York Guard


WWI uniformOn 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.

Ashokan Reservoir

Additionally, in accordance with Special Orders No. 311, Adjutant General’s Office dated 11 December 1917 a Provisional Brigade of the New York Guard was created from existing units, to include a Brigade Headquarters and the 1st and 2nd Provisional Regiments which were ordered to active duty guarding public property. The Headquarters of the Brigade was located at Albany, New York. The 1st Provisional Regiment Headquarters first located at Croton Lake and later at Ossining, New York, had the mission of guarding the water supply of the City of New York, Ashokan OP4 with its territory extending from the northern boundary of the city to include the entire Croton Aqueduct system. The territory assigned to the 2nd Provisional Regiment extended from Troy and Albany across the State to the International Border at Niagara Falls. The Headquarters of the 2nd Provisional Regiment was located in the State Armory, Troy, New York.

Posting the Relief During the existence of the Provisional Brigade, a total of 9,960 men were ordered on active duty. Discipline was maintained by enforcement of Articles of War, State Military Law & Regulations. On 1 January 1919, the strength of the NYG was approximately 22,000 officers and men.

After the Armistice was signed and the Federalized New York National Guard units were returned to State status, New York Guard units were deactivated.




1942 Grand CentralOn 25 October 1940, the New York Guard was formally organized to replace Federalized New York National Guard units. The 76th Congress provided the authority for State Guards to be organized as a replacement force for the National Guard in October 1940.

The approved organization established a Headquarters, New York Guard, five (5) Brigade Headquarters and twenty (20) Regiments. New York Guard units were distributed so that at least one (1) unit was located in every one of the seventy-four (74) armories in the State.

As New York National Guard units departed for Federal service, New York Guard units were organized and mustered into State service. In 1941, the units were organized and after the first year of existence unit reports indicated the average attendance at armory drills was 83%.

During the period from 1941 to early 1944, the New York Guard was issued individual uniforms and organizational type ordinance and equipment,1942 Bridge Guard providing the New York Guard with sufficient support to conduct both weekly home station training and annual training for periods of 10 to 12 days duration. By 22 February 1944, the New York Guard attained an aggregate strength of 24,722 officers and enlisted men. On 15 June 1944, the New York State Emergency Plan Field Order No. 1 was completed and issued.

On 30 January 1945, the Governor declared a State Emergency caused by extraordinary heavy snow storms and freezing weather, jeopardizing the transportation of fuel and food. The New York Guard was alerted for mobilization under the provisions of Field Order No. 1. The area involved was central and western New York State. The Governor directed the Commanding General New York Guard to order into active service such parts of the New York Guard as necessary to facilitate movement of transportation and supplies. Assigned troops were relieved from active duty on 10-11 February 1945, & 19 February 1945. The Governor, by a Statewide radio broadcast, commended and congratulated the personnel of the New York Guard for their service.

1942 LaGuardia

Also during 1945, the State Headquarters initiated plans to reorganize the New York National Guard, effective 1 January 1946. New York Guard units would be used as the basis for this reorganization when directed to do so by the Federal Government, as the New York National Guard was not to return to State status as organized units. During 1945, twelve (12) days of field training was completed.

In 1946, a United States property and fiscal office was established within New York State, which subsequently determined that federal property assigned to the New York Guard would be utilized to equip newly organized National Guard units. During the transition from New York Guard to National Guard, an organization known as the State War Disaster Military Corp (SWDMC) was established to be available to the State, to supplement the National Guard in case of domestic disaster or disturbances. WWII Chinese Visit The SWDMC comprised of personnel from New York Guard units, lasted but a short time & was then deactivated.

On 7 October 1946, an official National Guard troop allotment was accepted, and the New York Guard of World War II was phased out of existence by the reorganization of the National Guard.



WWII NYG PosterIn 1950, Federal legislation was again enacted authorizing States to establish State Guard units as replacement forces for the National Guard.

In 1951, after several New York National Guard units had been ordered into Federal service, the Chief of Staff to the Governor directed planning for the reorganization of a New York Guard. New Tables of Organization were approved and published authorizing 2 Area Commands, 5 Zone Commands, 6 to 8 Group Headquarters & 35 Battalions of 4 Companies each. However, only Area and Zone Command Headquarters were organized, with a mission of preparing plans for the organization and recruitment of subordinate units, if and when a New York National Guard Division was ordered into Federal service.

By the conclusion of the Korean Emergency, the New York Guard organization was limited to a cadre staff of Headquarters, New York Guard. The mission of this cadre was to prepare plans in coordination with Civil Defense to furnish logistical support to State Military Forces in the event of a National Emergency.

Pursuant to federal legislation for the creation of State Defense Forces, enacted by the 84th Congress (1955 – Public Law 364), and State Legislation enacted in 1958, the New York Guard was reorganized as a reserve land force of the organized Militia of New York. In accordance with the Division of Military & Naval Affairs, General Orders Number 25, dated 1 September 1958, the New York Guard was authorized the following units, with limited cadre manning strengths:

  • HHC New York Guard
  • 6 Regional Command HQ’s
  • 6 Medical Companies
  • 6 Transportation Truck Companies
  • 20 Internal Security Battalion HQ’s
  • 58 Internal Security Companies

Through the ensuing years to 1977, the New York Guard cadre force continued to function, with its primary objective being to establish and maintain necessary plans and programs in coordination with the Division of Military and Naval Affairs to insure of a rapid and smooth mobilization to full strength if ordered to replace the New York Army National Guard.

Under provision of Division of Military & Naval Affairs, Permanent Orders Number 23-1, dated 28 February 1977 the New York Guard was reorganized effective 1 March 1977 establishing its 1990 three phase organizational structure as listed:


  • I CMD HQs New York Guard Cadre
  • 3 Brigade HQs Cadre
  • 8 Regimental HQs Cadre
  • 17 Internal Security Battalions Cadre
  • 3 Internal Security Companies Cadre
  • II 5 Internal Security Battalions Cadre
  • 30 Internal Security Companies Cadre
  • III 57 Internal Security Companies M-Day

With the authorized 1 March 1977 reorganization, the New York Guard Cadre was also assigned the mission of being prepared to support as ordered the York Army National Guard in State emergencies.

To insure Cadre personnel at each level of Command were prepared to properly respond to tasks assigned, administrative & training directives were developed and issued requiring all cadre members to attend weekly home station training drills, and to participate in scheduled annual training programs designed to test the effectiveness of training conducted at home station.

As a result of New York Guard training, over one hundred & thirty-five (135) members were placed on State Active Duty in support of the New York Army National Guard during the State Correctional Officers Strike, from 19 April to 6 May 1979.

Further, a New York Guard study conducted in mid 1979 concluded that for the New York Guard Cadre to maintain its readiness to respond to State emergencies as ordered, its’ Tables of Organization should be expanded to allow for the recruitment & assignment of personnel having professional & technical skills compatible with advancing technologies. Approval for such expansion was extended by issuance of Division of Military & Naval Affairs, Permanent Orders 66-1 dated 25 September 1979, which authorized a Command Headquarters Professional and Technical Detachment. This Detachment was subsequently reorganized as a Command Support Brigade effective 7 July 1989.

Like its forefathers, members of the New York Guard have and continue to serve in a voluntary capacity; support & participate in local & State community projects and give willingly of their time & talents to insure that the New York Guard is prepared to fulfill its designated missions providing protection to the citizens of the State of New York.

In 1995 the NYG was organized as follows:

  • HHC New York Guard
  • 5 Brigade HQ’s
  • 22 Battalion HQ’s
  • 1 Clinic
  • 1 Training Command
  • 1 Civil Military Affairs Unit

The most recent reorganization also created an Air Division with “wings” at each NYANG Base throughout the state.

On 20 August 2005, the NYG reorganized, eliminating the Civil Affairs Brigade Headquarters and reassigning the CA Regiments to the Brigades in each area of operation. This allows better coordination of mission support to the National Guard.

On 17 June 2006, the NYG reorganized into one unified Headquarters by deactivating the Air Division Headquarters, and reassigning all units to the new Headquarters and Headquarters Company, NYG.

Source: New York Guard