New York State Guard

Cause Area

  • Crisis Support
  • Disaster Relief
  • Emergency & Safety
  • Employment
  • Veterans & Military Families


42 Patriot WayRochester, NY 14624 United States

Organization Information

Mission Statement

Through selfless-service we support the New York State Division of Military and Naval Affairs. We are volunteers until called for duty in the state of New York. When duty calls within New York State, we respond alongside the New York National Guard.


Since 1917 the New York Guard (NYG) has been the State Defense Force branch of the New York Military Forces. This federally recognized role allows NYG Soldiers to volunteer during normal monthly drill but be available for paid service during emergencies and times of need. Paid state active duty allows NYG soldiers to work in the same exact roles as the National Guard to help and serve our citizens.

New York Guard soldiers do not have a federal role like the National Guard does. Where as the National Guard can be called to support the Active Duty Federal military by the President, the New York Guard cannot. Only the Governor of New York can give orders to the New York State Guard.

Our lack of a federal combat role gives the New York Guard more flexibility with medical standards. While we still require soldiers to be in very good health, we’re not as restrictive as the federal services. Also for the same reason, we have a larger enlistment age range.

State defense forces (SDF) are military units which fall under the command of the governor of a state government in the United States. They may also be known as State Militias, State Military Reserves or State Guards They mirror the National Guard, but only serve under the orders of the governor of the state.


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