Guard Spotlight: New York

Guard Trains Civilian Emergency Response Teams on How to Identify and Avoid IEDs

CAIRO, N.Y. – Four police officers dressed in green jumpsuits and body armor moved deftly among scattered debris and burned-out cars.

Keeping an eye out for tripwires and other signs of an improvised explosive device (IED), the officers finally stood motionless against a steel wall, waiting for explosive ordnance disposal experts from the New York Army National Guard to tell them if they had been “killed” by an “IED” the military experts had placed on the course.

This exercise on Feb. 2 was the culminating event of two days of training in which Soldiers from the 1108th Ordnance Company (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) taught 20 members of the Columbia-Greene County Shared Services Response Team how to spot and avoid IEDs.

New York Army National Guard SSG Evan Putman, from the 1108th Ordnance Company (Explosive Ordnance Disposal), places a bomb disposal tool in position while wearing a protective bomb suit during a training tactical operation with the Columbia-Greene County Shared Services Response Team at the 911 Call Center in Cairo, N.Y., on Feb. 2, 2016. (Photo by SGT Michael Davis)

The training, a combination of classroom instruction and field scenarios, involved IED identification and disarming, tactical movements, room and building clearing, as well as familiarization with military and civilian equipment.

This was the first time the Shared Services Response Team conducted explosives training with the New York Guard’s 1108th, which is based in Glenville, N.Y., near Schenectady.

“Learning how each organization operates and how to work together during training is a huge benefit when we’re called to respond during live situations,” said SFC John Gallo III, a recruiting and retention noncommissioned officer who helped to coordinate the training.

“There is no way to duplicate what the Army National Guard can do for and with us,” said Sean McCulloch, a Greenville, N.Y., resident and Marine veteran. McCulloch is one of three leaders of the Shared Services Response Team, a specialized force that responds to high-profile crimes and emergencies such as drug raids, hostage situations, and manhunts.

Formed just six years ago, highly skilled police officers from Columbia and Greene counties and the city of Hudson compete in physical fitness tests, weapons qualifications, and close-quarters combat scenarios in order to be selected for the team.

McCulloch, who has 13 years of law enforcement experience, said he valued the joint training opportunities and deployment experiences the Army National Guard brings to domestic operations.

“We know the terror that is overseas could happen here at any time. We need to be able to learn before loss of life; to keep us and the community safe,” McCulloch said.

Michael Madison, a Hudson, N.Y., resident who has served as the medic for the response team for the past year, is no stranger to the benefit of civilian and military cross-training.

A full-time civilian paramedic, Madison is also an Army National Guard Sergeant with 18 years of service, an Afghanistan veteran, and a medic in the 42nd Infantry Division’s Headquarters Battalion.

“My deployment experience allows me to bring real-world experience to our training here at home. We get to share and learn different techniques that can save lives,” Madison said.

So, if you’re interested in saving lives and protecting your community during a crisis, the National Guard offers career training for Soldiers who would assist emergency response teams like 89D Explosive Ordnance Disposal Specialist, 68W Health Care Specialist (medic), and 31B Military Police. Explore these careers and others on our job board, and contact a recruiter today.

Original article by SGT Mike Davis, 138th Public Affairs Detachment, appeared earlier this month in the news section of


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February’s Hot Job is … 92Y Unit Supply Specialist

Each month throughout 2016, On Your Guard is spotlighting a “hot job.” What defines these featured jobs as “hot”? One all-important benchmark: the number of times people searched for it on the National Guard jobs board. Here’s what’s hot for February.

If you’re good at keeping track of things, organizing items and handling paperwork, a career as a 92Y Unit Supply Specialist in the Army National Guard might be a perfect fit.

This military occupational specialty (MOS) stores supplies of all kinds, including food, medicine, weapons and ammunition, and gets these items where they need to go. A 92Y receives, inspects, invoices, ships, stores, and delivers goods – anything you can think of that the Guard might need, from paper clips to pillows to fresh produce. These logistics support professionals maintain inventory using automated systems, secure weapons and ammunition, and provide maintenance for weapons.

Attention to detail and accuracy are important in this job because documentation has to be properly prepared and organized. Unit Supply Specialists also must demonstrate a high degree of accountability and responsibility because they are entrusted with millions of dollars in government property.

Please see this video for an overview of how this job in logistics contributes to the Guard’s mission, and then read on for more information about training and benefits.

All new Guard recruits attend basic training for 10 weeks. That’s where you’ll learn the skills you need to be a Soldier. After that, it’s off to Advanced Individual Training for eight weeks in Fort Lee, Va., where you’ll spend time in the classroom and in the field learning all about the procedures you’ll need to know, and how to operate warehouse machinery, like a forklift, for your MOS. 

One of the best things about the training you get from the Guard is that the skills you master in your military job translate to civilian careers. Logistics professionals are needed to work in warehouses run by the government and companies of all kinds, or in any kind of position that requires keeping track of inventory and fulfilling orders.

This is also a growing and financially lucrative field for logisticians who have a bachelor’s degree. The Bureau of Labor Statistics is forecasting that logistics jobs will experience “much faster than average growth,” increasing by 22 percent over a 10-year period by 2022. The median annual pay for logisticians in 2012 was $72,740, according to the Bureau.

Another great benefit of Guard service is that it’s a part-time commitment. That gives Soldiers the time, and, thanks to our great education benefits, the money they need to pursue a college degree or vocational training.

If you think you have what it takes to supply everything the Guard needs to accomplish its missions, visit our job board and contact a recruiter today.

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Always Ready, Always There: More than Just a Motto

The Army National Guard’s response to last month’s ferocious Winter Storm Jonas proved that “Always Ready, Always There” is more than just a motto for this branch of the military that’s dedicated to serving both community and country.

As much of the Mid-Atlantic, East Coast, and parts of the South hunkered down for January’s historic storm, the National Guard was poised to assist local and State emergency agencies, mainly because Soldiers were pre-positioned in strategic areas in advance of the blizzard.

According to National Guard Bureau, more than 2,200 Guard personnel from across 12 States supported State and local authorities affected by Jonas, as the storm dumped as much as 2 to 3-plus feet of snow in both major metropolitan and rural areas.

Governors in at least 11 States declared states of emergency, which enabled resources to be positioned to assist when the snow and high winds struck. Those States were Delaware, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia.

The Guard response in Virginia typified the Guard’s mission: Soldiers across the State assisted State Police troopers and local emergency organizations in saving at least two lives, getting through heavy snow to respond to vehicle crashes, evacuating residents in need of medical assistance, and getting equipment to a house fire.

Two Soldiers from the Virginia National Guard's Fredericksburg-based Company F, 429th Brigade Support Battalion, 116th Infantry Brigade Combat Team use their medium tactical truck to assist an Arlington County Fire Department ambulance stuck in heavy snow Jan. 23, 2016, in Rosslyn, Va. (Photo by Virginia National Guard).

“After we received the authorization from Gov. (Terry) McAuliffe, we aggressively moved our forces into place so they would be ready to go when needed,” said MG Timothy P. Williams, adjutant general of Virginia. “It is great to see how the skills, experience, and resources of our Soldiers, Airmen and members of the Virginia Defense Force are able to assist the statewide effort to protect the citizens of the commonwealth.”

COL W. Steven Flaherty, Virginia State Police superintendent, agreed that the State Police were fortunate to have this additional support from the Guard.

“When every second counts in an emergency situation, having the ability to respond as swiftly and safely as possible is essential for our troopers,” he said.

In Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser was emphatic to residents about how serious the storm was: “It has life and death implications, and (people) should treat it that way,” she said.

The National Guard deployed 100 personnel in 30 Humvees to transport essential employees throughout the Nation’s capital.

Farther north, the Delaware National Guard had approximately 200 Soldiers and Airmen positioned around the State to support citizens throughout the storm. In coordination with the Delaware Emergency Management Agency, Soldiers and Airmen conducted support missions, ensuring that Delaware residents were transported to safety and first responders and medical workers arrived to work safely.

MG Frank Vavala, adjutant general, Delaware National Guard, said, “Pre-positioning our Soldiers, Airmen and vehicles allowed us to be the ready and reliable force we are.”

If you’re interested in being ready and available to help when a crisis affects your community, contact a recruiter today and visit our job board to explore the more than 150 career fields you can train for in your military occupational specialty.

Original article by Steve Marshall, National Guard Bureau, appeared last month in the news section of

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