LATHAM, NY (08/10/2017) (readMedia)-- Saratoga Springs resident Raymond Shields, a veteran of the War in Afghanistan, was promoted to two-star Major General in the New York Army National Guard on Thursday, August 10 during a ceremony at the Division of Military and Naval Affairs headquarters here.
Shields, who joined the Army Reserve in 1981, has served as the commander of the 10,300 Soldiers of the New York Army National Guard since June of 2016.
"Brig. General Ray Shields is an outstanding officer who is well deserving of this promotion," said Major General Anthony German, the Adjutant General of New York. "Ray has deployed numerous times in support of both our federal and state missions. He is a talented leader who will lead the New York Army National Guard to new, higher levels of success"
Shields is a caring, competent, committeed officer, German added.
In his remarks, Shields praised the men and women of the New York National Guard for their service.
"Any success of mine is because of the officers, the NCOs [non-commissioned officers], Soldiers, and civilian employees of the New York National Guard," Shields said.
Shields also thanked Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo for appointing him to command the New York Army National Guard.
Shields has served in the New York Army National Guard since May of 1983 when he was appointed as a second lieutenant through the Reserve Officers Training Corps program at Marion Military Institute, in Marion, Alabama in 1983 and joined the 205th Support Group in Troy, N.Y.
While in college he also served in the 75th Field Hospital of the United States Army Reserve in Tuscaloosa Alabama as an enlisted Soldier.
Shields has worked as a full-time employee of the National Guard.
His assignments have included commander of Headquarters Company of the 2nd Battalion, 105th Infantry, along with commands of infantry companies belonging to 1st Battalion, 105th Infantry in Gloversville and Morrisonville, and command of the 2nd Battalion, 108th Infantry in Utica and the 106th Regional Training Institute at Camp Smith Training Site near Peekskill.
Shields has also served as a key staff officer at the battalion and brigade level and at New York National Guard headquarters as director for training and operations, among other positions.
Shields served as the executive officer and deputy commander of the 27th Infantry Brigade Combat Team and was the brigade chief of staff during its deployment to Afghanistan in 2008-2009.
The brigade was responsible for Combined Joint Task Force Phoenix, the mission to train the Afghan Army and police headquartered in Kabul, Afghanistan.
Shields was named Chief of Staff of the New York Army National Guard in October 2011. He served as Director of Joint Staff for the New York National Guard, responsible for coordinating the National Guard response to state emergencies from 2012 to 2016.
Shields is also a graduate of the State University of New York in Albany with a Bachelor's Degree in History, and holds a Masters of Public Administration from Marist College in Poughkeepsie. Shields holds a Masters of Strategic Studies from the United States Army War College in Carlisle, Pa. and a National Security Management Certificate from Syracuse University's Maxwell School.
Shields' awards include the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star, the Meritorious Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Afghan Campaign Medal, NATO Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and the Combat Infantryman Badge.
New York Army National Guard Soldiers have served in Iraq, Kuwait, and Afghanistan and responded to snowstorms, hurricanes, and flooding here in New York.