LATHAM -- The commander of the New York Army National Guard will get a promotion Thursday.
Brig. Gen. Raymond Shields, a resident of West Sand Lake in Rensselaer County, will officially gain the rank of major general during an afternoon ceremony at the Latham headquarters of the New York State Division of Military & Naval Affairs.
Pictured: Raymond Shields, commander of the New York Army National Guard. (Provided)
Shields has led the 10,300-strong force since June 2016. His boost in rank was approved by both the state and U.S. Senate.
The leader of all military forces in New York state, Maj. Gen. Anthony German, said Shields is well-deserving of his second star.
“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,” German said.
Shields is an Afghan War veteran who started in the enlisted ranks of the 75th Field Hospital of the United States Army Reserve in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, while attending college. He was commissioned a second lieutenant through the Reserve Officer Training Corps at Marion Military Institute, in Marion, Alabama, and joined the New York Army National Guard in May 1983.
He has held roles of increasing responsibility through the years with units based in Troy, Utica, Peekskill, Morrisonville, Latham and Gloversville.
Shields was named chief of staff of the New York Army National Guard in October 2011. He served as director of joint staff, responsible for coordinating the Guard's response to state emergencies, from 2012 to 2016.