NY Naval Militia gets new commander Friday, Oct. 18 at Division of Military and Naval Affairs Headquarters

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Rear Admiral Warren Smith

LATHAM, NY (10/17/2019) (readMedia)-- New York Naval Militia Rear Admiral Warren Smith, a Rhinebeck resident, will take command of the 2,500-member New York Naval Militia during a ceremony on Friday, October 18 at New York State Division of Military and Naval Affairs headquarters.

He relieves Rear Admiral Timothy Zakriski, a Glenville resident, who took command of the Naval Militia in June 2018 and is retiring.

Members of the press are invited to cover the naval change of command ceremony.

WHO: Naval Militia Rear Admiral Warren Smith, the incoming commander; Naval Militia Rear Admiral Timothy Zakriski, the outgoing commander; Major General Ray Shield, the Adjutant General of New York, and members of the New York Naval Militia.

WHAT: The New York Naval Militia is comprised mainly of members of the Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard Reserve who also volunteer to serve on New York state missions when called.

Smith will take over command of the Naval Militia in a traditional naval change of command which will include bosun pipe calls, the ringing of bells, the presentation of flags and remarks by the incoming and outgoing commanders.

WHEN: 1:30 p.m., Friday, Oct. 18, 2019

WHERE: Division of Military and Naval Affairs Headquarters, 330 Old Niskayuna Road, Latham.

Coverage Opportunities

The traditional Navy change of command ceremony and the opportunity to interview both the incoming and outgoing commanders.

For access to this secure military facility, members of the press must contact the Division of Military and Naval Affairs Public Affairs Office at 518-786-4581.


The New York Naval Militia

The New York Naval Militia is composed of mostly current Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard Reserve members who agree to serve on state active duty when called by the State of New York. They put the skills they've honed in federal military service to work for New York. A small number of Naval Militia members are retired from military service, veterans of military service, or have never served in the military.

The New York Naval Militia traces its history back to 1889 before there was a Navy Reserve. Naval Militia members served as a naval National Guard and saw service in the Spanish-American War, World War I, World War II and Korea.

After the Korean War state law was changed so that the bulk of Naval Militia members were also members of the Navy or Marine Corps Reserves. In 1998 members of the Coast Guard Reserve were also allowed to affiliate with the Naval Militia.

Naval Militia members responded to Superstorm Sandy in 2012, the Buffalo snowstorm in 2014, Lake Ontario flooding in 2017 & 2019 and snow storms in the Hudson Valley in 2018.

The Naval Militia also operates a fleet of ten patrol boats which respond to state emergencies, augment law enforcement agencies and support the U.S. Coast Guard.

Rear Admiral Warren Smith

Warren Smith, a Rhinebeck resident, and retired Navy Reserve officer, has been promoted to rear admiral in the New York Naval Militia on Sept. 9, 2019. A rear admiral is a one-star admiral.

Smith, an architect and a principal of his own firm, Warrant Temple Smith Architects, LLC, formerly served as the deputy commander of the Naval Militia.

Smith was commissioned in the Navy in March 1981 and served on active duty until July of 1985. He served on board the USS Towers, a destroyer, and the USS Yorktown, a guided missile cruiser.

As a Navy Reserve officer, Smith took on a variety of assignments to include joint public affairs operations officer for the United States Atlantic Command and a Joint Staff Planner for Area Air Defense Commander Atlantic.

Smith, who is a surface warfare officer, joined the New York Naval Militia in 2004 and retired from the Navy Reserve in 2007.

As a member of the New York Naval Militia he also served as commander for the Naval Militia Northern Command.

Rear Admiral Timothy Zakriski

Rear Admiral Timothy Zakriski is a native of Glenville, NY, a graduate of Niskayuna High School and Hudson Valley Community College. He holds a B.S. in Civil Engineering from Union College.

Formerly serving in the Marine Corps Reserve, Zakriski was commissioned an ensign, Civil Engineer Corps, and Navy Reserve in 1982.

Zakriski joined the New York State Naval Militia in 1980. As a member of the Navy reserve and a Navy Civil Engineer Corps officer, Zakriski first served in an advisory capacity to the Naval Militia Commander on Naval Construction Force (Navy Seabees) capabilities.

Subsequently he was appointed as commander of Naval Militia Northern Command and then in 2016, Zakriski was appointed Naval Militia deputy commander. He participated in New York Naval Militia response to Hurricanes Irene, Lee, and Tropical Storm Sandy, during which 300 Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard Reserve personnel were mobilized for service as militiamen, throughout the affected areas of the state.

He took command of the New York Naval Militia in on June 22, 2018.

Zakriski is married to the former Kathleen Russell, and they have two sons. In his civilian life, he is the owner of Aero Engineering. He began his professional civilian career performing construction management and engineering for consultants and contractors.

He entered the public sector in 1980, working at the N.Y. Department of Public Service for 30 years, retiring in 2011 as Chief, Telecommunications Programs. Subsequent to his retirement he worked with FEMA in the aftermath of Hurricane Irene as a technical specialist on infrastructure recovery. He is a registered professional engineer in New York.