• Welcome to the New York State Military Museum

    Welcome to the New York State Military Museum

    The mission of the museum and research center is to preserve, interpret and disseminate the story, history and records of New York State’s military forces and veterans.

    View Details...

  • Sherman Tank Returns!

    Sherman Tank Returns!

    Our Sherman Tank returns to the NYS Military Museum from Fort Drum after a year long restoration, to it's permanent exhibit spot.

    View Details...



    The exhibit features a dazzling array of militia and National Guard distinctive unit dress uniforms, ballot boxes and decorative bronze trophies that interpret the social organization of the National Guard, original artifacts from the USS Maine, and a carronade captured during the 1857 Dead Rabbits Riot in New York City.

    View Details...

  • Battleground for Freedom

    Battleground for Freedom

    No less than 120 military engagements occurred on New York soil, more than in any other state, ranging in scale and significance from the decisive Battle of Saratoga to numerous bitter skirmishes and ruthless raids that raged throughout the frontier settlements...

    View Details...

  • Some Great Past Exhibits

    Some Great Past Exhibits

Welcome to the New York State Military Museum

The mission of Friends is to be a support to the museum, to aid in fund raising for exhibits and displays, as well as assisting in drawing attention to the museum through programs, lectures and events. As the board of trustees, we are the elected board which helps direct the membership to facilitate the support mission of the non profit group.


  • John Kelly, docent


    The staff and volunteers at the Military Museum were sad to hear that one of our long serving docents, John Kelly had recently passed away.
    In his honor, we are posting an article we published in our newsletter in 2014 about John Kelly, Vietnam veteran and citizen of New York State for many years.
    John Kelly was born in Brooklyn, New York, and attended High School at Bayside Queens, graduating in 1962. He comes from a family of three younger sisters and an older brother.
    After High School, John entered St. John’s University and graduated in 1966 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in History. Later on, he studied for his Masters Degree in Management, and was awarded a Masters Degree in 1983 from the College of St. Rose.
    After graduating from College in 1966, and a few short jobs, John turned his attention to the military and enlisted in the U.S. Army and underwent Army Infantry training at Fort Dix, New Jersey. Next, John was selected for OCS training and in 1967 was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Army. He was then stationed at Fort Hood, Texas in 1967 and 1968 with the 1st Armored Division, and then attended Jungle School in Panama.
    John eventually saw service in Vietnam from 1968 to 1969 with the 1st Battalion of the 35th Infantry, 4th Infantry Division as a platoon leader, in the vicinity of Pleiku, Vietnam.
    For his service in Vietnam, John was awarded the Combat Infantryman Badge and two Bronze Stars, one with a “V” for valor. The Bronze Star is the fourth-highest individual military award in the U.S. Military.
    Lieutenant Kelly’s Award of the Bronze Star for Heroism citation reads as follow: “For heroism in connection with military operations against an armed hostile force in the Republic of Vietnam. First Lieutenant Kelly distinguished himself while serving as a Platoon Leader with Company B, 1st Battalion, 35th Infantry, 4th Infantry Division. On 18 February 1969, Lieutenant Kelly's unit was set up in a night ambush position when an eighty man North Vietnamese force moved into the unit's kill zone. Under his direction, Lieutenant Kelly had his men engage the enemy with M-79 and fragmentation grenades, thereby minimizing the possibility of revealing the friendly positions. The effective use of his personnel resulted in confusing and ultimately routing the enemy, and the capture of enemy weapons and equipment. First Lieutenant Kelly's superb, outstanding leadership, outstanding performance and exemplary devotion to duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit and the United States Army."
    John was released from active duty in 1969, and was transferred to the Army Reserve, in the Intel field. Later on, in 1984, as a Captain he transferred to the New York National Guard, and completed his thirty-nine years of service in the military in 2005, and retired as a Major. For his service in the U.S. Army, for different periods of service, he was also awarded four Army Commendation Medals.
    In 1973, John began a career with the State of New York as a public servant, beginning with the Parks and Recreation Department till 1981, and then transferred to the Office of General Services, and eventually retired from the State in March of 2003. He and his wife have raised four daughters, two of which are now married, and have been blessed with four grandchildren, two boys and two girls.
    Image may contain: 1 person, standing and indoor
  • Military Museum Acquires Collection of Rare Civil War Photographs



    The Friends of the New York State Military Museum have donated nearly 70 rare photos of Civil War soldiers to the New York State Military Museum and Veterans Research Center at 61 Lake Avenue in Saratoga Springs.
    The Friends purchased the photo collection from the estate of the late Michael McAfee, a former curator of history at the West Point Military Academy Museum and senior advisory editor of Military Images magazine. McAfee had a personal collection of more than one thousand photos of soldiers from the New York State militia and volunteer units from the Civil War era.
    Courtney Burns, Director of the Military Museum, said that each of the photos is individually identified with the soldier's name and unit. "The photos will add to (the military museum's) large collection of over 3,000 Civil War soldier photos," Burns said. Burns said the photos are mostly inexpensive, card-sized portraits that Civil War soldiers had taken at photo studios so they could send them home to family and friends. The name given to such photos is "carte-de-visites," (visiting cards), or CDVs, according to Burns.
    Some of the more interesting images feature a colorized photo of a soldier from the Albany Zouave Cadets, a color guard from the 12th New York State Militia, and an 1861 group photo of Col. Michael Corcoran and staff officers of the "Fighting 69th" Regiment. Burns said in the coming months all the donated photos will be cataloged, digitized, and placed on the military museum's web site (dmna.ny.gov/historic).
    The Friends purchased the selection of photos through a private dealer in the fall of 2020 with additional support from the 69th Regiment Historic Trust and the 71st Regiment Veterans Association.
    The Friends of the New York State Military Museum is a private, non-profit organization that helps support programs, collections, and exhibitions of the New York State Military Museum.
    For more information about the Friends see the website: friendsofthemilitarymuseum.com.
    The New York State Military Museum is currently closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Museum officials hope to re-open the museum to the public in spring or summer 2021.

    Image may contain: 1 person, text that says 'The New York State Military Museum Acquires Collection of Rare Civil War Photographs Albany Zounve- Cales. Louis. (CDV) of Louis Graveline ofthe Albany Zouave Cadets, militia unit organized 860 which became Company ofthe York State Militiaa Volunteer Infantry Daniel Butterfield, from Utica, New York, as colonel fthe York State Militia. Butterfield was later promotedto Brigadier General henMajor General commander VCorps. He awarded theMedai ofHonor actions Gaines Mills. VA June andi credited withcomposing tune "Taps.'

Museum Hours

Tuesday - Saturday | 10:00 am - 4:00 pm (Closed Sunday & Monday)

Research Center Hours

Appointments are required.
Tuesday – Friday | 11:00 am to 4:00 pm

The museum is closed on
all New York State & Federal Holidays.

61 Lake Avenue
Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
(518) 581-5100

Museum Store
(518) 226-0490

Due to staffing concerns the museum
can no longer accept telephone inquiries.


LIKE the Military Museum Facebook Page.

The museum floor is completely accessible for people using wheelchairs.

There is no admission charge to visit the museum or any of the exhibits.

Newsletter Signup

Receive our monthly "Friends" Newsletter and keep in touch with all the events and announcements from the NYS Military Museum.
Please wait