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    N.Y. Naval Militia changes command during October 18 ceremony

    New York Naval Militia gets new commander

    Photo By Maj. Jean Kratzer | Rear Admiral Warren Smith, the commander of the New York Naval Militia salutes as he...... read more read more



    Story by Eric Durr 

    New York National Guard

    LATHAM, N.Y. -- New York Naval Militia Rear Admiral Warren Smith, a Rhinebeck, N.Y. resident, relieved Rear Admiral Timothy Zakriski as commander of the 2,700-member force during a change of command ceremony on Friday, October, 18, at the New York State Division of Military and Naval Affairs headquarters in Latham, N.Y.

    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.

    The Naval Militia also operates a fleet of patrol boats on New York’s waterways that can respond to civil authorities when necessary.

    Smith took over the command in a traditional naval ceremony that included bosun pipe calls, the ringing of bells, and remarks by the incoming and outgoing commanders as well as Major General Ray Shields, the Adjutant General of New York.

    In his remarks, Smith thanked New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the National Guard Adjutant General, Maj. Gen. Shields, for having the faith in his abilities to entrust him with command of the Naval Militia.

    “It would be hard to overstate the honor and sense of responsibility that come with appointment as commander of the New York Naval Militia,” Smith said.
    The Naval Militia has become an integral part of the New York Military Forces response to emergencies, working side-by-side with members of the New York Army and Air National Guard, Smith said.

    With over 7,000 miles of waterfront and coastline, New York is a maritime state and it makes sense to have a force like the Naval Militia, Smith emphasized.

    In his remarks, Shields noted that members of the Naval Militia have “become an indispensable force for our nation and the citizens of our state in times of crisis.”

    Smith has “had a long and tremendously successful career serving our state and nation and I look forward to working with him,” Shields said.
    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, augmenting law enforcement agencies and supporting the U.S. Coast Guard.

    Zakriski, who is retiring after 39 years of serving in the Marine Corps and Navy Reserve and the Naval Militia, was awarded the New York State Conspicuous Service Medal in recognition of his service.

    He’s been pleased to see the New York Naval Militia serve as an equal partner in responding on behalf of the people of New York, Zakriski said.
    Smith, a retired Navy Reserve officer, was promoted to rear admiral, a one-star rank, in the New York Naval Militia on Sept. 9, 2019.

    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 1985. He served on board the USS Towers, a destroyer, and the USS Yorktown, a guided missile cruiser.

    As a Naval 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.

    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.



    Date Taken: 10.18.2019
    Date Posted: 10.18.2019 16:03
    Story ID: 348281
    Location: LATHAM, NY, US 

    Web Views: 450
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