NEW YORK –For the third time in his career, New York Army National Guard Sgt. 1st Class Joseph Maloney, a Rochester resident, is back in New York City responding to an emergency.
In 2001, Maloney was one of the 3,000 New York National Guard members mobilized in response to the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center by airliners hijacked by terrorists.
In 2012, Maloney was back in New York City when 4,400 National Guard Soldiers and Airmen were mobilized after Superstorm Sandy slammed into the state on October 29.
Now Maloney is back in the Big Apple again, responding to the COVID-19 pandemic at Jacob Javits Convention Center in Manhattan as one of 3,600 New York National Guard members on duty for this emergency.
“Although each experience had their differences, my experiences were all the same, no matter my rank,” Maloney said. “We’re there to help the people of New York and answer their calls.”
Maloney, normally assigned to the 642nd Support Battalion in Rochester, is deployed to the city as the Safety Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge (NCOIC) at the Javits Medical Station.
The Jacob Javits Convention Center, along the west side of Midtown Manhattan, was converted in late March by the National Guard and Army Corps of Engineers to an alternate treatment facility for the projected wave of COVID-19 patients across New York City.
He works in the Unified Command Post, the National Guard element that oversees the management and administration of the site to assist with the overall safety of the station. Maloney is part of a joint military team and expressed his appreciation for his other military counterparts.
“I worked closely with a team of five awesome, hardworking, Army and Air National Guard Soldiers, all working towards the same end goal,” he said.
In each deployment experience, Maloney made a different contribution, he said.
Following 9/11, Maloney worked at Ground Zero in one of the wash racks. He was responsible for clearing contaminants off the trucks removing the debris of the Twin Towers to prevent any contaminated dust from blowing off onto the streets of New York City.
After Super Storm Sandy struck New York City and Long Island, he was the battle staff noncommissioned officer for Joint Task Force Blackheart.
As a more experienced Soldier, he oversaw the staffing, dispatching and tracking of over 150 Soldiers that were going out on their respective missions in the community.
Now, at Javits Medical Station, he is responsible for the safety of those entering and exiting the convention center.
The common thread through all three deployments is providing service to his community, Maloney said.
“I joined the National Guard 20 years ago because I wanted to help the citizens of New York State during emergencies or natural disasters. I jump to the opportunity each time; because I haven’t lost the reason I joined,” said Maloney.
While he never expected to be back in New York City three times in his career for such large scale events, he knows that the National Guard efforts are appreciated, Maloney said.
“The citizens of New York have always been appreciative when the National Guard shows up to help,” he said.
Maloney celebrated his 20 years of military service while in New York City and even had the honor of promoting a few of his Soldiers to mark the special date.
“I was honored and humbled to have the opportunity to promote three Soldiers to specialist at the World Trade Center (Memorial), right at the same location I was promoted when I was down here during 9/11 for Operation Trade Center,” Maloney said.
“On top of that, it was also the same day as my 20th year anniversary when I raised my right hand to join the National Guard. It certainly was a day I’ll never forget,” said Maloney.