Isabel Rivera Smith, a Goshen resident, promoted to one-star general in the New York National Guard
- Brigadier General Isabel Rivera Smith, the director of joint staff for the New York National Guard, has her one-star rank pinned on by family members during promotion ceremonies at New York National Guard headquarters in Latham, New York on Thursday, Feb.
- New York Army National Guard Brigadier General Isabel Rivera Smith unfurls her one-star flag assisted by Master Sgt. Melissa Guckian during promotion ceremonies held on Thuesday, February 18, 2021 at New York National Guard Headquarters in Latham.,New Yor
LATHAM, NY (02/19/2021) Isabel Rivera Smith, a Goshen resident and Iraq War veteran became the New York National Guard's newest general officer during a ceremony at Division of Military and Naval Affairs headquarters in Latham on Thursday, February 18.
Smith was promoted to the rank of brigadier general by Major General Ray Shields, the Adjutant General of New York during the short ceremony.
Smith currently serves as the director of joint staff for the New York Army National Guard. In that role she is responsible for overseeing the National Guard's response to state emergency missions like the ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Smith, a 35-year veteran of the active Army and the Army National Guard who started as an enlisted Soldier, was selected for her job and the one-star rank which goes with it because of her experience and skill, Shields said.
Smith, Shields said, "is a wonderful officer and a wonderful leader."
The New York National Guard currently has more than 2,700 Soldiers and Airmen responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, 530 on duty in Washington D.C., and 750 Soldiers and Airmen on duty as a security force in New York City, Shields said.
Smith, he said, "has just a huge amount of responsibility."
In her remarks, Smith thanked her family for their support over the years, as well as officers and non-commissioned officers who have mentored her as both an enlisted Soldier and an officer.
"I would not be here today without your support," Smith said.
"I thank you for always challenging me to be the best, pursue my education, and to be a good Soldier," she added.
Smith first enlisted into the active Army in October of 1985 as a truck driver. Her first duty station was Fort Bragg, North Carolina, assigned to Charlie Battery, of the 368th Air Defense Artillery Battalion, a Hawk missile battalion.
In 1988, she enlisted in the North Carolina Army National Guard; and in 1989, she transferred to the New York Army National Guard.
In 1995, Smith was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Quartermaster Corps after graduating from Officer Candidate School.
Smith's command assignments and operational deployment include Commander of the Headquarters Detachment of the 53d Troop Command, Commander of the 369th Special Troops Battalion, and Deputy Team Chief-Iraq Police National Headquarters in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2021.
Smith' has served as Assistant Operations Officer at the 27th Rear Area Operations Center; personal officer for the 369th Corps Support Battalion, and the 53d Troop Command, Executive Officer of the 106th Regional Training Institute, Deputy Director of Logistics for the New York National Guard, Executive Officer for the Office of the Adjutant General, and Chief of Staff for the 53d Troop Command.
Smith's military education include the Primary Leadership Development Course; the Basic NCO Course; the Quartermaster Officer Basic Course; the Combined Logistics Captain's Career Course; the Command and General Staff Officers' Courses - Common Core Course and the Advanced Operations Course; the U.S. Army War College; the Joint Task Force Commander Training Course; and the National Security Management Course at the University of Syracuse.
Her awards include the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Army Commendation Medal, the Army Achievement Medal, the Army Good Conduct Medal, the Iraq Campaign Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, and the Humanitarian Service Medal. Smith is also the recipient of the 2017 Latina Style Military Service Award.
Smith was born and raised in Lorain, Ohio where she graduated from Admiral King High School.
She holds a bachelor's degree in Human Services from Mount St. Mary's College, a Master's degree in Education in Counseling and Development from Long Island University, and a Master's Degree in Strategic Studies from the United States Army War College.
Smith and her husband Peter have six daughters: Antoinette, Amelia, Karissa, Kassandra, Jessica, and Shannon as well as one son: Jamarr. They also have nine grandchildren.