Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced that Garden City resident Stephen A. Bucaria has been named commander of the New York Guard, the state’s volunteer defense force. Bucaria is a sitting New York State Supreme Court Judge and is also a brigadier general in the New York Guard. He has served in the state force since 1996.
Bucaria replaces New York Guard Major General Fergal Foley as commander of the state-service’s only uniformed force.
“Stephen Bucaria has served the people of New York selflessly both as a Supreme Court Judge and a member of the New York Guard,” Governor Cuomo said. “I am confident that he will continue this great work as commander of this group of dedicated volunteers.”
Bucaria has served as the commander of the New York Guard’s 13th Regiment, where he helped in the National Guard deployment of more than 2,500 Soldiers and airmen following the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. His team assisted guard soldiers at armories across New York City as they worked with police, firefighters and other emergency responders.
As commander of the 13th Regiment, Bucaria and other New York Guard lawyers assisted in the mobilization of New York Army National Guard soldiers who were deployed around the United States on security missions and overseas to Afghanistan and then Iraq. New York Guard personnel helped draft soldiers’ wills and assisted in administering operations.
In 2002 Bucaria was named New York Guard deputy commander for Army operations and played a key role in restructuring the New York Guard’s training program and promotion policies. In 2005 he was named commander of the New York Guard’s Army Division and in 2006, when the New York Guard became one service without separate air and army components, he was named deputy commander.