NY National Guard marks Army's 249th birthday with cake-cutting ceremony on Friday, June 14

Media Advisory

Related Media

Pvt. Anthony Ardizzone,age 17,New York Army Guard Command Sgt. Major David Piwowarski, the master of ceremonies, and Col. Dennis Martinez, age 60, cut the Army birthday cake on June 14, 2023.

LATHAM, NEW YORK (06/13/2024) (readMedia)-- The New York Army National Guard will celebrate the 249th birthday of the United States Army with a cake-cutting ceremony on Friday, June 14 at New York National Guard headquarters in Latham.

One of the oldest serving Soldiers in the New York Army National Guard will join with one of the newest Soldiers, to cut an Army Birthday cake.

Members of the press are invited to cover the ceremony.

WHO: Col. Richard Goldenberg, a 59-year-old Schyulerville resident who has served in the Army and Army National Guard for 36 years; Private Charles Adams, an 18-year old Rochester resident who just enlisted in the Army National Guard and will report for basic training in August; and Major General Ray Shields, the adjutant general of New York, who will preside over the ceremony.

WHAT: A traditional cake-cutting ceremony commemorating June 14, 1775, which the United States Army considers its birthday. Traditionally the oldest Soldier present joins the youngest Soldier in cutting the Army Birthday cake. The older Soldier represents the history and traditions of the Army while the young Soldier represents its future. The Capital Region Chapter of the Association of the United States Army is providing the cake. The two will cut the cake with a ceremonial saber.

Division of Military and Naval Affairs employee Ray Manley, a retired New York Army National Guard Soldier, and Vietnam War Veteran, will also receive one the first New York State Vietnam War Commemorative Medals to be issued.

The ceremony will be followed by Goldenberg's formal retirement from the Army.

WHERE: New York State Division of Military and Naval Affairs Headquarters, 330 Old Niskayuna Road, Latham N.Y., 12110

WHEN: 2 p.m., Friday, June 14, 2024

Coverage opportunities:

Reporters can interview New York Army National Guard Officers and Soldiers and obtain imagery of the cake cutting ceremony.

For access to this secure military facility, please contact the Division of Military and Naval Affairs public affairs office at 786-4581.



Col. Richard Goldenberg was commissioned in 1988 as an aviation officer through the Reserve Officer Training Corps Program at Northeastern University in Boston.

His initial assignment was to the 7th Light Infantry Division at Fort Ord, California, where he served as an aeroscout platoon leader, aviation brigade liaison officer, and flight operations officer in the 2nd Squadron, 9th Cavalry Regiment.

In 1993, he was assigned to the 10th Mountain Division at Fort Drum, where he served as assistant operations officer, squadron personnel officer, and Bravo Air Reconnaissance Troop Commander for the 3rd Squadron, 17th Cavalry Regiment.

He also served as aviation brigade rear detachment commander when the 10th Mountain Division deployed troops to Haiti and as force modernization officer for the fielding of the OH-58D Kiowa Warrior.

In January 1998, Goldenberg joined the New York National Guard, became the 42nd Infantry Division's public affairs officer, and immediately deployed as part of the New York National Guard's response to a massive ice storm that hit the north country.

As the division public affairs officer, he dealt with tornados, snowstorms, plans to deal with a potential computer meltdown known as Y2K, and the attacks on the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001.

In 2004, he mobilized and deployed to Iraq with the 42nd Infantry Division and served as the public affairs officer for Task Force Liberty. Following his Iraq rotation, he deployed to Japan, Egypt and Israel for bilateral training exercises.

Since 2012, he has served as the New York National Guard Public Affairs Officer. In that role, he has handled regular media inquiries as well as dealing with the Guard state response efforts to Superstorm Sandy in 2012, Hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017, and the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020-22. During that response, he served as the public affairs officer for the Dual Status Commander in New York City.

Goldenberg holds a BA in business administration from Northeastern University, and a master's degree in business administration from Colorado State University. He is an honor graduate of the Defense Information School Public Affairs Qualification Course and the Joint Senior Public Affairs Officer Course.

His awards include the Bronze Star, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Army Commendation Medal, the Army Achievement Medal, the Iraq Campaign Medal, the Armed Forces Service Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal, the Reserve Component Overseas Training Ribbon, the New York State Defense of Liberty Medal with World Trade Center Device, New York State Conspicuous Service Cross, New York State Aid to Civil Authority medal, New York State Humane Service Award, Pandemic Response Ribbon, the New York State Physical Fitness Excellence Ribbon, the Army Aviator Badge, Parachutist Badge, and the Air Assault Badge.

He and his wife Kelly live in Schuylerville, New York. They have three adult children: son Samuel, a 1st lieutenant in the New York Army National Guard, and daughters Alexa and Delaney.


Private Charles Adams is assigned to Echo Company of the 427th Support Battalion as a wheeled vehicle mechanic. Adams is a Rochester resident. He will graduate from Spencerport High School later this month and will report for Basic Combat Training on August 21.


When the American Revolution broke out in 1775, the American colonies did not have a single Army. Each colony had its own militia but there was no overall commander.

By June of 1775 an "army" composed of New England militia troops had a British force trapped inside Boston. But the force was poorly organized.

Recognizing the need to enlist the support of all the American colonies, the Massachusetts Provincial Congress asked the Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia to assume authority for the New England army. Reportedly, at John Adams' request, Congress voted to "adopt" the Boston troops on June 14, although there is no written record of this decision.

On the same day, Congress resolved to form a committee "to bring in a draft of rules and regulations for the government of the Army," and voted $2,000,000 to support the forces around Boston, and those at New York City.

Moreover, Congress authorized the formation of ten companies of expert riflemen from Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia, which were directed to march to Boston to support the New England militia.

George Washington received his appointment as commander-in-chief of the Continental Army the next day, and formally took command at Boston on July 3, 1775.