LATHAM – Luis Garcia, of Glenmont, was promoted to the rank of lieutenant colonel in the New York Army National Guard during ceremony at the guard’s headquarters on Friday, Feb. 3.
Garcia, a full-time, National Guard officer, enlisted in 1987 and was trained as a medic. He received his commission through the Reserve Officer Training Corps program in 1995 as a Medical Service Corps Officer.
After becoming qualified as a physician’s assistant he joined the New Jersey National Guard’s 250th Forward Support Battalion.
In 2009 Garcia joined the New York Army National Guard’s 1st Battalion 69th Infantry as the battalion physician’s assistant. He accepted a full-time position as the physician’s assistant for the 24th Civil Support Team – a unit trained to assist civilian first responders by identifying the presence of chemical, biological, or radiological materials—at Fort Hamilton, Brooklyn in 2011.
Since 2015 he has served as deputy state surgeon for the New York Army National Guard, working from an office at the Watervliet Arsenal.
He is currently enrolled in the Army’s flight surgeon school program.
Garcia holds a bachelor’s degree in nutrition from Hunter College of the City University of New York. He also holds a bachelor’s degree in Physician Assistant Studies from Long Island University and a master’s degree in Physician Assistant Studies from the University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Medicine.
As a civilian, Garcia worked as a clinical registered dietitian for over four years. He also held numerous positions as a physician’s assistant for more than 13 years. Those positions include emergency medicine physician assistant at Queens General Hospital and surgical physician assistant at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center.
Prior to becoming a full-time Army National Guard officer, he worked as clinical coordinator for the Weill Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences at Cornell University. While at Cornell, his duties included teaching various areas of medicine to include emergency medicine, fundamentals of primary care, principles of physical examination and clinical medicine.
Garcia’s awards and decorations include: the National Defense Medal, Army Reserve Components Overseas Training Ribbon, and Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal with three oak leaf clusters, Armed Forces Reserve Medal, Army Commendation Medal and the Meritorious Service Medal.
He and his wife Nelly live in Glenmont with three daughters, Julia and twins Sophia and Vienna.
Garcia is an avid runner and successfully completed two New York City Marathons.