Charles Guess, Class of 1979
Charles “Chuck” Guess, a member of the Rush-Henrietta Class of 1979, is a major in the New York State Police Aviation Unit. As commander, Chuck is responsible for 60 personnel and 20 aircraft as well as a broad spectrum of statewide assignments, including law enforcement, executive transport, search and rescue, medevac, disaster relief and aerial support of Department of Conservation field missions. His 23 years with the New York State Police and a distinguished military career are evidence of his strong dedication to national defense and public safety.
Chuck attended SUNY Brockport and graduated with a bachelor’s in History and a minor in Military Science. A member of the Army ROTC, he was a Distinguished Military Graduate and received a regular Army commission upon graduation. He attended Ranger, Airborne, Air Assault, and Northern Warfare schools and U.S. Army Flight School, where he learned to fly helicopters. He left the Army in 1990, having achieved the rank of captain.
After joining the New York State Police, Chuck worked as a trooper on patrol and as an active member of the Mobile Response Team (SWAT) and SCUBA Unit, training other troopers as a firearms instructor and defensive tactics instructor.
Chuck’s considerable training and skills made him uniquely qualified to assist at the sites of some of our nation’s most devastating events. Following the 1996 crash of TWA Flight 800, he spent four weeks SCUBA diving as part of the state police recovery operations. In 2001, as an officer in both the SCUBA and Mobile Response Team units, he and his team worked tirelessly at Ground Zero, conducting tactical team victim recovery operations for seven months. In addition, due to the loss of many New York Fire Department divers on 9-11, he planned and conducted training for new members of the FDNY SCUBA team, essentially rebuilding the unit.
After graduating from the FBI National Academy training program in Quantico, Va., in 2005, Chuck rose through the ranks, continuing his work in Emergency Management as head of SWAT, SCUBA, K-9, Bomb Disposal and HAZMAT.
Chuck has been married 29 years, has two daughters, and lives in Ballston Spa, N.Y.