Photo Information

An Officer, Chief Petty Officer, and Seamen of Coastal Defense Monitor USS Nahant drill on a one-pounder gun at the New York Harbor in 1898.

Photo by NYNM

Historic naval militia honored during street renaming ceremony

10 Apr 2005 | Cpl. Lameen Witter

Marines, Sailors, and other service members gathered to honor the New York Naval Militia (NYNM) at a street renaming ceremony held at the intersection of Fulton and Water Street recently.

“There was no better place to honor the men and women of the New York Naval Militia than the renaming of the intersection of Fulton and Water Street to the New York Naval Militia Place.  Every day it will be a reminder to the people of New York City of the sacrifice and service of the men and women of this very unique militia organization,” said retired Lt. Gen. Jack Klimp, Senior Vice President of Phoenix House and member of the Governor’s Flag Office Advisory Committee to the New York Naval Militia.

The ceremony was held in honor of the militia’s committed service to the city for over two centuries. District One Councilman Alan Gerson presented the militia, whose heritage dates back to battles in the American Revolution in 1776, with the renamed street sign during the ceremony.  The militia is the only federally recognized naval militia and is comprised of veterans and volunteers, whom are mostly associated with the Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard.  According to Cmdr. Chuck Haunss, Public Affairs Officer of NYNM, the militia’s volume of missions has gone up since the attack of September 11, 2001, but their main mission has been one known as the Military Emergency Boating Service (MEBS).

“We are an all volunteer force and naval guard of the state. Since 9/11 we’ve got a lot of new missions. One of our main missions has been the New York State MEBS.
Our function is to work extremely close to the Navy and the Coast Guard in patrolling sensitive areas, which include New York Harbor, part of the Long Island sound, and the Hudson River,” said Haunss. 

“Coast Guard Capt. Glenn Wiltshire (Captain of the Port for the Port of New York and New Jersey) made a special point to thank us by letting us know that the Coast Guard can’t possibly do all this by themselves and how vital the New York Naval Militia has been in assisting the Coast Guard’s anti-terrorism mission of protecting New York City.
We’ve always been a part of the defense of New York State and it’s just in recent years that there has been recognition of the revitalized militia.”

Today, amongst the pungent smell of fish and the sound of water breaking against the nearby pier, New Yorkers and tourists alike walk safely down the cobbled path of New York Naval Militia Place as the new sign hangs as a warning to terrorists near and far.
Headquarters Marine Corps