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Illinois National Guard

 

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Approximately 135 Illinois Army National Guard Soldiers who served in Kuwait and other parts of the Middle East returned home July 18.
The unit mobilized in September. While in the Middle East, the 3637th Support Maintenance Company was responsible for maintenance and support to nearly 90 units deployed to the region in support of Operations Spartan Shield and Inherent Resolve.
The main body was stationed at Camp Buehring, Kuwait. Meanwhile, Maintenance Support Teams conducted sustainment operations in six locations in Jordan, Syria, and Egypt as well as multiple locations in Kuwait.
Overall, more than 60,000 man-hours were performed on more than 7,200 work orders to sustain thousands of pieces of equipment. The unit conducted more than 300 maintenance support missions, along with more than 100 vehicle recovery missions. Additionally, the unit logged more than 165,000 miles transporting cargo on more than 90 missions.
Five Soldiers earned the German Armed Forces Proficiency Badge. The unit was also recognized for its outstanding achievements, receiving more than 250 awards and decorations for their service.
This was the largest single unit deployment of Illinois Army National Guard Soldiers in three years.
(U.S. Army Photos by Sgt. Stephen Gifford, Illinois National Guard Public Affairs)

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Nicole Becker of Springfield, Illinois, was promoted to staff sergeant during a ceremony at Camp Lincoln, in Springfield, Illinois, July 15.
Becker, a human resources noncommissioned officer with Joint Force Headquarters based in Springfield, Illinois, was pinned by her father, Brian Bridenthal, a Vietnam veteran and her brother, Bennie Bridenthal.

Bekcer works full time as an Active Guard Reserve (AGR) Soldier with the Enlisted Actions Branch in Springfield, Illinois. (U/S. Army photos by Sgt. 1st Class Bryan Spreitzer)

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50 Civil Air Patrol Cadets learn to glide at Marseilles Training Center

Illinois Army National Guard Lt. Col. Gerald Newman of Oregon, Illinois, was promoted to colonel during a ceremony at the Illinois Military Academy in Springfield, Illinois, July 14.

Newman, with more than 30 years of service, has held numerous positions in the Illinois Army National Guard and deployed in support of both Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom. In 1993, Newman supported operations during the Great Flood.

Newman’s sons, Garrett, Nick, and Andrew, helped make the promotion ceremony memorable by “pinning” their dad with his new rank. Following the pinning, Maj. Gen. Michael Zerbonia of Chatham, Illinois, Assistant Adjutant General, Army, Illinois National Guard, administered the oath of office. (U.S. Army photos by Sgt. 1st Class Bryan Spreitzer, Illinois National Guard Public Affairs)

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"In between high-level policy briefings and demonstrations of the latest warfighting hardware, we had the rare and eye-opening opportunity to interact with people from across our armed services. All of our group came away with even deeper respect and appreciation for that passionate one percent of the American population who serve and sacrifice so that the rest of us can remain safe and free."

http://www.dodlive.mil/2018/07/18/a-civilians-introduction-to-our-armed-services/

Binge drinking rates have dropped in both the Army and Air Force, but the services are continuing to address alcohol and drug abuse through programs designed to help the Soldier or Airman. Illinois Army National Guard Soldiers who need help with addiction can call the Alcohol and Drug Control office at 217-761-3628. The Illinois Air National Guard have programs based at the Wing level. The substance abuse contact numbers for each Wing are:
126th Air Refueling Wing: 618-256-7585
182nd Airlift Wing: 309-633-5774
183rd Wing - 217-757-1279
https://www.militarytimes.com/news/your-military/2018/07/16/survey-military-binge-drinking-drops-but-this-service-stood-out-in-a-bad-way/?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=ebb%207/17/18&utm_term=Editorial%20-%20Military%20-%20Early%20Bird%20Brief

https://www.airforcetimes.com/news/your-air-force/2018/07/16/loc-hairstyles-off-duty-earrings-for-men-okd-in-new-dress-regs/

U of I facilities director leading major military training exercise #knowyourmil

URBANA, Illinois – U of I facilities director on the weekdays, battalion commander for the Illinois Army National Guard on the weekends. And now Lt. Col. Tim Newman of Fisher, Illinois, is trading students for hundreds of Soldiers, as he helps lead a massive month-long military training exercise.

Newman and approximately 4,500 fellow Illinois Army National Guard (ILARNG) Soldiers are headed for a month of combat training exercises at the Joint Readiness Training Center (JRTC) at Fort Polk, Louisiana. The exercise includes the 33rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team (IBCT), with units across Illinois, plus more than two dozen enabler units from around the United States.

Like most National Guardsmen, Newman is a civilian-soldier. In his full-time career, he’s the Electrical and Computer Engineering Facilities Director at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He’s also Commander of the ILARNG’s 766th Brigade Engineer Battalion, based out of the Decatur, Illinois, armory. Newman says, while he manages very different teams on the civilian and military sides, the skills he’s picked up in each career assist in the other.

“The leadership skills translate on both sides, using operational and strategic planning, plus forecasting for both positions. Whether it’s planning for the lifecycle of a building or repairing a runway on deployment, it’s all about thinking two, three, four steps ahead to ensure every circumstance is covered.”

ILARNG leaders say they realize this month-long training is a big commitment for many Guardsmen. But for Newman, ensuring everything in his civilian career and family life is covered for the month he’s gone all comes back to planning.

“It’s a struggle at times, but success has to do with having a supportive employer at the U of I, especially the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, plus a strong family support system with a wife and son who’ve handled long deployments before. Making it work is a constant balance between family, civilian, and military duties. It’s important to keep open lines of communication with everyone involved.”

The Soldiers of the 33rd IBCT will train in realistic combat exercises throughout their rotation into August at JRTC.

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“We crossed the island fast, it was a cakewalk; when we turned south then all hell broke loose.”

Read more as Illinois Army National Guard Reservist Michael Hart recounts the memories of his late grandfathers who served during the Battle of Okinawa:

https://okinawa.stripes.com/news/remnants-okinawa-help-connect-service-member-late-grandfathers

Our condolences to the family and friends of Patrick Hillyer of Hillcrest, who served in the Illinois National Guard.
http://www.mywebtimes.com/2018/07/15/patrick-r-hillyer-1969-2018/ab49vne/

Our condolences to the family and friends of Robert Warren Jones, who served 21 years in the Army National Guard, including some service in Illinois.

Illinois National Guard Family Programs making a difference for hundreds of military families across Illinois!

https://www.ourquadcities.com/news/military-families-get-help-with-school-supplies/1303108084

Former Tolono teacher leading major military training exercise #knowyourmil

SPRINGFIELD, Illinois – He traded teaching middle school students for leading National Guard Soldiers. Now Col. Mark Alessia of Sherman, Illinois, is leading a massive month-long military training exercise.

Alessia and approximately 4,500 Illinois Army National Guard (ILARNG) Soldiers under him are headed for a month of combat training exercises at the Joint Readiness Training Center (JRTC) at Fort Polk, Louisiana. Alessia is Commander of the 33rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team (IBCT), which is headed for JRTC training along with more than two dozen enabler units from around the United States. The 33rd IBCT is based in Urbana and has subordinate units throughout Illinois.

Alessia joined the ILARNG in 1992 as an enlisted Infantry Soldier and served while earning his Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He then taught middle school math and history at Tolono CUSD #7, while serving as a traditional civilian-soldier until 2003 when he began working for the Guard full-time. Alessia says making the transition to full-time military duty was all about spending more time with his family.

“I’d been mobilized for active duty two times in two years. So while I loved both the military and teaching, when the opportunity came up to be active duty and stay local, and concentrate on one profession, it was an easy decision to make the switch to full-time military service.”

Alessia says many of the skills he used in the middle school classroom still translate well to his command of the 33rd IBCT.

“As a teacher, you have to work with people – teachers, administrators, parents, students. The inter-personal skills to be a successful teacher are the same skills to be a successful leader.”

The Soldiers of the 33rd IBCT will train in realistic combat exercises throughout their rotation into August at JRTC.

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The World War I Battle of Hamel marked the first time the Australian Army and U.S. Forces (two battalions of the Illinois National Guard's 33rd Infantry Brigade) would fight side-by-side. This video shows why the Illinois National Guard is so proud of that piece of history and how we've been "mates" with the Australians ever since.
https://youtu.be/8ZHlO0Sj3lA

The Illinois National Guard was represented at the American Legion's 100th annual convention in Illinois. The Illinois Army National Guard's Military Funeral and Honors Program had a booth, the Illinois National Guard's Adjutant General, Maj. Gen. Richard J. Hayes, offered remarks, and the Gold Star 500, a group of active and retired Illinois National Guard service members who raise scholarship money in honor of ILNG fallen heroes also had a booth at this landmark convention.

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A small group of Soldiers from the Illinois National Guard were invited by the Australian Embassy in France to participate in the Commemoration of the World War I Battle of Hamel on the 100th anniversary of that key victory. The Battle of Hamel marked the first time the Australian Army and U.S. Forces (two battalions of the Illinois National Guard's 33rd Infantry Brigade) would fight side-by--side. The ILNG Soldiers studied the history of the battle before the trip. They also had the opportunity to travel to Normandy, France, where they learned about World War II landings on the beaches of Normandy and visited the National Guard monument there, learning of the dedication and sacrifices of their predecessors in both epic conflicts.

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Our Airmen and Soldiers train throughout the United States and many other places during their annual training. This year Security Forces from the Illinois Air National Guard's 182nd Airlift Wing trained in Alaska with their counterparts from Wisconsin.
https://www.dvidshub.net/image/4554662/128-arw-security-forces-airmen-train-alaska

The Illinois National Guard sent a small contingent of Soldiers to Hamel, France to take part in the Centenary of the Battle of Hamel commemorative service, July 4, on the invitation from the Australian Government. The World War I Battle of Hamel, commenced on July 4, 1918, marks the first time U.S. forces (two battalions from the 33rd Infantry Brigade, Illinois National Guard) fought side-by-side with Australian forces. We have now been allies with the Australians for more than 100 years. This is the commemorative service in its entirety.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1A-9prDmNi4

A fitting tribute to Col. James Moy, an excellent Illinois Air National Guard officer, father and man who fought a courageous battle against cancer while showing incredible dedication to both his country and family. You are missed, colonel!
http://www.mcchord.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/1574467/a2-community-honors-former-ais-commander/

Congratulations Col. Reichen.

Colonel Daniel A. Reichen was promoted during a ceremony on July 13, at Camp Lincoln, Springfield, Illinois. Reichen enlisted in the Illinois Army National Guard in 1988, he commissioned as an officer in 1994. In 2005 Reichen deployed to Iraq with the Multi-national Division-Central South Team.

Reichen serves as the Illinois Army National Guard G-1, responsible for personnel readiness.

(U.S. Army Photos by Sgt. Stephen Gifford, Illinois National Guard Public Affairs)

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The Illinois National Guard would like to welcome the Polish Honor Ride as they bicycle through Illinois today and through this weekend. These Polish Soldiers are riding across the United States in honor of the 44 Polish Heroes who have given their lives in Afghanistan. The Illinois National Guard has Soldiers co-deployed with Polish Soldiers in Afghanistan and has co-deployed with the Polish since operations there began. The Illinois National Guard has shared a State Partnership Program with the Polish military since 1993 and we are now celebrating our 25th year of partnership with our friends, colleagues and allies in Poland.

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https://www.defense.gov/News/Article/Article/1573240/dod-announces-policy-change-on-transfer-of-post-911-gi-bill-benefits/

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