SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Army Gen. Daniel Hokanson, the top National Guard officer and a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, recognized six New York National Guard recruiters for their achievements during a conference May 10.
The presentation followed a meeting with 14 adjutants general.
Hokanson was joined by his senior enlisted advisor, Senior Enlisted Advisor Tony Whitehead, to present military challenge coins for excellence.
He praised the five Soldiers and one Airman for their accomplishments in communities across the state.
“One of the great things that is most important is that they are the future of our organization,” Hokanson said. “They’re the ones out there in our communities each and every day, talking to those young men and women who want to serve their country.”
The New York Army National Guard exceeded its recruiting goals for the 2022 federal fiscal year ended Sept. 30.
The Guard recruiters recognized were:
- Army National Guard Sgt. 1st Class Brandon Moseman, the Saratoga Springs Recruiting Station commander, who has a 100% ship rate to initial active-duty training for every new Soldier he enlisted.
- Army National Guard Staff Sgt. William Bergin, the Middletown Recruiting Station commander, with a 100% accuracy rate with his applicant packets from his recruiting team for acceptance at the Military Entrance Processing Station.
- Army National Guard Staff Sgt. Frank Ilowiecki, the Schenectady Recruiting Station commander, whose commitment to excellence helped his team raise production by 202% from 2022 to 2023.
- Army National Guard Staff Sgt. Matthew Morales, a New York City retention noncommissioned officer credited with 21 enlistments and leading the New York National Guard’s Recruiting Battalion with new Soldier accessions.
- Army National Guard Spc. Bo Wang, a New York City Recruiting and Retention NCO who enlisted 12 Soldiers within four months of his hiring.
- Air National Guard Tech. Sgt. Taylor Ogden, the Force Support Squadron production recruiter at the 105th Airlift Wing, Stewart Air National Guard Base in Newburgh. He helped the wing achieve 110% of its authorized end strength.
The recruiters said they were honored to be recognized for what they consider their everyday work, bringing in the next generation of Citizen-Soldiers and -Airmen.
“I didn’t realize the big accomplishment until the end of the year,” Ogden said. “I was really able to overcome these obstacles and get these people into the military. When you’re enlisting somebody, those individuals are going to be helping out your neighbors and family members one day.”
The New York Army National Guard achieved 103% of its 2022 recruiting goal last year. As of May 2, New York had 10,823 Soldiers, or 106% of its 2023 authorized strength of 10,202.
This was the fourth consecutive year the New York Army National Guard met or exceeded its recruiting goals, according to Lt. Col. Josh Heimroth, commander of the New York Army National Guard’s recruiting and retention battalion.
Heimroth said the National Guard chief’s recognition of the recruiting force was a tremendous morale booster.
“Being recognized by a four-star general, definitely an honor to meet him and be able to speak with him,” Moseman said. “Just to find out what he’s about and what he expects from us.”
Hokanson previously served as the director of the Army National Guard, the 11th vice chief of the National Guard Bureau and as Oregon’s adjutant general.
He told the group that bringing in the next generation of Soldiers and Airmen keeps the National Guard ready and responsive.
“The hard work that they do to really link young men and women with opportunities in the National Guard gives our nation an incredible defense capability,” Hokanson said.
“The capabilities that we bring, not only to fight all of those missions that we do overseas as a primary combat reserve of the Army and Air Force but then our ability to do all those things that we do in our communities, each and every day: wildfires, floods, hurricanes, snowstorms all those disasters,” he said.
“The great thing about the National Guard is that if anything happens in America, the National Guard is going to be there because we already live there,” the general said. “That capability we provide would not be possible without our recruiters that help encourage and help those young men and women be part of our formation.”
Whitehead said recognizing excellence for the hard work and accomplishments in the field was a great way to highlight the leadership discussions of the day.
“You have the opportunity to reach out in our communities, the way you do in your own unique way and bring in the forces that represent our community and that help us support our country,” Whitehead told the group. “Thank you for what you do, and you are doing it so well.”