Galesburg Chemical Battalion Receives New Commander PDF Print E-mail
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Thursday, 16 June 2011 13:04

MARSEILLES, IL (06/15/2011)(readMedia)-- Lt. Col. Jodi Padavana of Monroe Center, took command of the 44th Chemical Battalion in Galesburg June 14 at Marseilles Training Center.

Padavana served as the operations officer for the battalion in 2005 during the early stages of the 44th's mission as part of the Illinois National Guard's Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Enhanced Response Force Package (CERFP).

She later served as the unit's executive officer and interim battalion commander taking the unit to Mascatauck, Ind., for a full-scale exercise.

Brig. Gen. Robert Pratt of Hopedale, commander of the 404th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade in Chicago, spoke following the ceremony.

"Of the one percent of Americans who serve the military, fewer serve as officers and company commanders and even fewer as battalion commanders," said Pratt.

Padavana said she plans to continue the development of unit's mission and the Soldiers of the CERFP.

"I welcome the challenge and opportunity to serve as ... battalion commander," said Padavana. "My goal is to transform every Soldier into a valuable productive member of my team."

Padavana takes over for outgoing commander Lt. Col. Marc Schwarzkope of York, Penn., who will be the force management branch chief with Joint Force Headquarters with the Illinois National Guard.

photo 1,2) U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Michael Camacho, Illinois National Guard Public Affairs/ Brig. Gen. Robert Pratt, of Hopedale and the commander of the 404th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, passes the battalion colors to Lt. Col. Jodi Padavana of Monroe Center, who took command of the 44th Chemical Battalion in a ceremony June 14 at Marseilles Training Center.

Story by Sgt. Michael Camacho, Illinois National Guard Public Affairs

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