NY Army National Guard Capt. Elsa Canales recognized by Latina Style Magazine

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LATHAM, NY (10/02/2018) New York Army National Guard Capt. Elsa Canales, an Albany resident who went to high school on Long Island in Selden, N.Y., has been recognized by Latina Style Magazine, for her military accomplishments.

Canales was one of 12 female military members and Department of Defense employees who were recognized by the magazine during a Sept. 6 event in Arlington, Virginia.

Canales, who immigrated to the United States at age 15 from El Salvador, was selected as an outstanding Hispanic woman in the National Guard.

She's the second New York Army National Guard officer to be honored by the magazine. In 2017, Col. Isabel Smith, chief of staff of the 53rd Troop, command, received the award.

Canales, who was commissioned as a logistics officer in the New York Army National Guard in 2009 through the Reserve Officers Training Corps, currently serves as the commander of Company A of the 427th Brigade Support Battalion.

She decided to join the Army National Guard as a way to show her appreciation for her adopted country, Canales said.

Canales works full-time as a Department of Defense civilian in the New York Army National Guard's Operations and Training Directorate.

Since joining the Army National Guard, Canales as deployed to Kuwait twice.

In 2012 she deployed to Kuwait as part of the 427th Brigade Support Battalion's Company D. Once in Kuwait she was assigned as the executive officer to the forward support company working for the South Carolina National Guard's 4th Battalion, 118th Infantry.She got back from that Kuwait deployment and then went back overseas in 2013 with the 642nd Aviation Support Battalion.

She had transferred into the unit for a captain's position and when she learned they were deploying she figured it was her duty to go with them. Canales said.

On that deployment she was an assistant operations officer working in the battalion headquarters.

Canales has also worked as the logistics planner in the New York National Guard's Joint Operations Directorate.

The best thing about winning the award, Canales said, was being able to be part of an event with so many women with the shared background of being from a Hispanic background and being in the military.

She's very used to being only one of two or three female officers in a meeting, Canales said. And the fact that she has an accent makes her stand out even more.

"You have to make sure that you make a good first impression," she said.