SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. (NEWS10) -The National Guard has seen their number of soldiers grow in 2022. In New York, it was the fourth year in a row the state has seen an increase. Military challenge coins were given out to members of the guard who have gone above and beyond to enlist new recruits into the National Guard.

New York was the only state to exceed its recruiting goals in 2022. Sgt. Taylor Ogden takes her duties as a recruiter seriously, as the people she recruits become a large part of keeping the country safe.

“I didn’t realize the big accomplishment until the end of the year. I was really able to overcome these obstacles and get these people into the military. When you’re enlisting somebody, those individuals are going to be helping out your neighbors and family members one day,” explained Sgt. Ogden.

Army four-star General Dan Hokanson gave out the medals, thanking the recruiters for bringing in the next generation. “They’re the ones out there in our communities each and every day talking to those young men and women who want to serve their country. Also have a civilian job, and live in the communities that they currently do,” stated General Hokanson.

The recruiters say they were honored to meet the general in person, hoping to one day go even farther with their career. “Being recognized by a four-star general, definitely an honor to meet him, and be able to speak with him. Find out what he’s about and what he expects from us,” described Sgt. 1st class Brandon Moseman.

General Hokanson says positive civilian interaction with the National Guard may have led to higher recruitment rates. “We had 47,000 at one time helping with covid relief around the nation. People to do the testing, to help out those long-term care facilities, to help out at food banks,” said General Hokanson.

New York currently has 10,823 recruits. Across the country, the National Guard has a strength of nearly 330,000 soldiers.