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    NY Naval Militia gets new commander

    New commander for New York Naval Militia

    Photo By William Albrecht | New York Rear Admiral Lawrence Weill, speaks after taking command of the 2,700-member...... read more read more



    Story by Eric Durr 

    New York National Guard

    LATHAM, New York Lawrence Weill,a retired Xerox executive and retired U.S. Navy Reserve officer, took command of the 2,700-member New York Naval Militia on Friday, April 29, during a ceremony at New York National Guard headquarters in Latham.

    Weill, who has served in the Naval Militia since 1986, also received a promotion to New York State rear admiral.

    He replaces Rear Admiral Warren Smith, a Rhinebeck resident, who commanded the Naval Militia since 2019.

    During the traditional naval ceremony, Smith read orders giving up his command, while Weill read the orders putting him in command of the state's naval force.

    The official party -Weill, Smith, and Army Major General Ray Shields, the Adjutant General of New York- were welcomed to the ceremony with the traditional naval bells and bosun's whistle calls.

    The New York Naval Militia is the largest of the six state naval forces and was created in 1891 as the seagoing equivalent of the New York National Guard in the days before the creation of the Navy Reserve.

    Today the force is composed mostly of members of the Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard Reserve who agree to serve in the state force while simultaneously serving in their federal reserve capacity.

    Naval Militia members go on state active duty to put their military skills to work for the people of New York. They have responded to snowstorms, hurricanes and most recently the COVID-19 pandemic where they assisted at vaccination sites and logistics hubs.

    The New York Naval Militia also mans a fleet of 11 watercraft which can be used to security patrols or disaster response.

    In his remarks, Shields, who oversees the New York Army and Air National Guard as well as the Naval Militia, praised the members of the Naval Militia for their service.

    Members of the Naval Militia have worked side-by-side with Army and Air Guard members at vaccinations sites, field hospitals, and logistics facilities since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, Shields said.

    More than 60 New York Naval Militia members are playing a key role in helping to reconcile $250 million spent on the pandemic response so that New York can be reimbursed be the federal government, Shields said.

    He thanked Smith for his service and praised Weill in his remarks.

    "You are assuming Command of a vibrant and healthy organization," Shields said. "We all know you are the right person to lead this organization into the future."

    In his remarks, Weill praised the men and the women of the Naval Militia for their service.

    "We have the very best Sailors, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen who are always ready to drop everything and report for duty on a moment's notice, "Weill said.

    "These past two years, in which we have contributed so much to the effort to combat the lethal COVID-19 disease are further proof of our ability," Weill said.

    Smith also praised the members of the Naval Militia for their service in his remarks.

    Along with being ceremonially retired during the ceremony, Smith was awarded the New York State Conspicuous Service Medal for this service.

    Weill, who has been serving as the chief of staff of the Naval Militia, was commissioned as an ensign in the Navy in 1982 through the Office Candidate School at Newport Rhode Island.

    He served in the active Navy from 1982 to 1986 where he qualified as a Surface Warfare Office in 1985.

    He left active duty in 1986 and joined the Navy Reserve and the New York Naval Militia.

    His Navy Reserve assignments included serving as the gaining command liaison office- the Navy Reserve officer in charge-for four ships and as the head of the Navy Reserve detachment in Horseheads, New York.

    Weill served as the commanding officer of Assault Craft Unit two, commanding officer of Naval Surface Group Mediterranean 105, and as the deputy commander of Task Group 63 in Naples, Italy.

    He also served as Navy Reserve training officer and chief of staff at Joint Forces Command in Norfolk, Virginia.

    Weill's last assignment before retiring in 2008 was at the Navy Historical Center in Washington D.C.

    His awards include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, and the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal.

    Weill holds a bachelor's degree from Hartwick College and a master's degree from Rochester Institute of Technology. He retired from Xerox Corporation as a senior logistics analyst.

    He is marred to Patricia Weill, who is a senior quality engineer specializing in software systems. They have two daughters, Kelly and Erin, and one grandson, Callum. They live in Walworth, New York near Rochester.

    On Saturday, April 30, Patricia Weill will christen the New York Naval Militia's newest watercraft, a 35-foot-long landing craft during a ceremony at Historic Catskill Point on the Hudson River.

    The New York Naval Militia is recognized as a military component by the Navy. Five percent of the Naval Militia members can be members of the organization without serving as a federal reservist.

    As of Dec. 1, 2021, there were 2,762 members of the New York Naval Militia. Of those members, 1,348 hold membership in the Navy Reserve, 1,194 drill with the Marine Corps Reserve, and 97 drill with Coast Guard Reserve units. Another 85 members are non-drilling federal reserve members and 38 are non-reservists.

    The New York Naval Militia operates the Military Emergency Boat service which consists of 11 watercraft that operate as required to provide security or emergency relief. A New York Naval Militia patrol boat regularly patrols New York Harbor.



    Date Taken: 04.29.2022
    Date Posted: 04.29.2022 14:13
    Story ID: 419640
    Location: LATHAM, NY, US
    Hometown: LATHAM, NY, US
    Hometown: WALWORTH, NY, US

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