NY National Guard marks 384th National Guard Birthday this morning Monday, Dec. 14

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Major General Timothy LaBarge, Master Sgt. Roger Townsend, age 59 (left); and Air National Guard Airman 1st Class Caleb Lapinel, cutting the National Guard Birthday Cake on Dec. 13, 2019.

LATHAM, NY (12/14/2020) (readMedia)-- A young Airman who graduated from Brazil's tough jungle warfare school, and a veteran Soldier being honored for years of service will represent the New York National Guard during a ceremony marking the 384th birthday of the National Guard being held at New York National Guard headquarters on Monday, Dec. 14.

Members of the press are invited to cover the socially distant event.

WHO: Major General Ray Shields, the Adjutant General of New York; Senior Airman Caleb Lapinel; Sergeant Major Chris Glorius; and other key leaders of the New York Army and Air National Guard.

WHAT: A commemoration of the National Guard's 384th Birthday during which a birthday cake will be cut. Lapinel, who took part in the 2019 ceremony as well, will represent young Soldiers and Airmen and the future of the National Guard. Glorious, who retired after XX years of service will represent the traditions and history of the National Guard.

WHERE: New York State Division of Military and Naval Affairs Headquarters, 330 Old Niskayuna Road, Latham, N.Y. 12210.

WHEN: 10 a.m., Monday, Dec. 14, 2020.

Members of the media interested in covering this event must contact the Division of Military and Naval Affairs Public Affairs Office at 518-786-4581 for access to this secure facility.



The National Guard, today composed of the Army National Guard and the Air National Guard, traces its birthday back to December 13, 1636 when the General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony passed a law establishing formal militia companies in the colony. These companies were made up of all adult males older than 16 and were expected to meet and train in military skills regularly.

In New York, the first citizen-soldiers were members of the Burgher Guard, organized by the Dutch East Indian Company in 1640 to help protect New Amsterdam from their English neighbors in Massachusetts and Virginia or from hostile natives.

After New Amsterdam became the English colony of New York in 1665, a militia modeled on the system used in Massachusetts and other English colonies was put in place.

Citizen Soldiers of the militia and National Guard have fought in all of America's wars from King Philips War against Native Americans in the New England Colonies in 1675 to Afghanistan today.

There are 10, 000 members of the New York Army National Guard and 5,800 members of the New York Air National Guard.


Senior Airman Caleb Lapinel

Senior Airman Caleb Lapinel, age 22, is a Watervliet resident and an intelligence analyst assigned to the New York Air National Guard's 109th Airlift Wing at Stratton Air National Guard Base in Scotia, New York. He enlisted in the New York National Guard three years ago and has been serving as an Active duty Guardsmen since then.

In November he graduated from the Brazilian Jungle Warfare Training Center's International Course in Manaus, Brazil. The intensive seven week training session involved learning jungle survival and patrol tactics in a physically demanding environment.

Sgt. Major Chris Glorius

Sgt. Major Chris Glorius, age 60, a Putnam Valley resident, retired in August after 38 years of service.

He enlisted in the New York Army National Guard in 1982 while he was in between college classes. He served in the 1st Battalion, 107th Infantry in New York City and was also earned the military occupational specialty of computer analyst.

During the course of his career he has served in logistics units and signal units.

Glorius was part of the New York National Guard response to the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. In 2011 he deployed to Afghanistan with the Army's 3rd Infantry Division and helped to operate a regional communications network control center.

Along with serving in the 1st Battalion, 107th Infantry, Glorius served in the 369th Sustainment Brigade, the 42nd Infantry Division and the 107th Corps Support Group.

He has been awarded the Bronze Star, the Meritorious Serve Medal, the Afghan Campaign Ribbon, and the National Defense Service Medal.


• New York gave the country the term National Guard for its militia forces when the 2nd Battalion, 11th Regiment of the New York Militia renamed themselves the National Guard to honor the Marquis de Lafayette, a hero of the American Revolutionary War who had commanded a force called the "Guard de National" in the early days of the French Revolution.

• The 1st Battalion, 69th Infantry was portrayed in the 1940 movie "The Fighting 69th" starring Jimmy Cagney and Pat O'Brien. The movie was based on the historic unit's service in World War I.

• The New York Army National Guard's 42nd Infantry Division was given its nickname "The Rainbow Division" during World War I by General Douglas MacArthur. MacArthur, then a colonel, was charged with organizing a division of National Guard troops from across the country to deploy to France in 1917. He described the division as reaching across the country "like a rainbow."

• The band of the New York National Guard's 369th Infantry Regiment, an African American unit originally formed as the 15th New York, is credited with introducing jazz music to Europe during World War I. The 369th became known as the Harlem Hell Fighters.

• The oldest Air National Guard unit in the nation is part of the New York Air National Guard. The 102nd Rescue Squadron of the 106th Rescue Wing traces its history back to the 1st Aero Company organized in the New York National Guard in 1908 as a balloon unit.

• The Soldiers of the New York National Guard's 105th Infantry Regiment faced the largest Japanese "Banzai" attack of the Second World War on 7 July 1944 on the Island of Saipan. The 1st and 2nd Battalions of the 105th Infantry had 650 men killed and wounded but killed more than 4,300 Japanese Soldiers. Three regimental Soldiers earned the Medal of Honor posthumously in that battle that day.

• The New York Air National Guard's 138th Fighter Interceptor Squadron, based at Syracuse, was one two Air National Guard units assigned to provide aircraft for the defense of the United States on March 1, 1953. Today the unit operates the MQ-9 remotely piloted aircraft.

• The New York National Guard's 42nd Infantry Division served in Iraq in 2005 and was the first National Guard division headquarters to deploy to a combat zone since the Korean War in 1953. The division headquarters just returned from a deployment in Kuwait where it served as the headquarters for Army forces in the Middle East.