Military & Veterans News
Illinois National Guard News & Notes PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by Illinois National Guard PAO   
Monday, 25 August 2014 10:27

Illinois National Guard Adjutant General kicks off 136th National Guard Association Conference

CHICAGO (08/24/2014)(readMedia)-- The 136th National Guard Association of the United States (NGAUS) General Conference and Exhibition at the McCormick Place Convention Center in Chicago runs Aug. 22 to 25.

The annual event allows members to gather and vote on the top legislative priorities for NGAUS, share information and celebrate the camaraderie of being National Guard and NGAUS members.

Approximately 3,500 National Guard members and their guests use the gathering to plan and help shape the future of the National Guard. Delegates from 50 states, Guam, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the District of Columbia are setting the legislative agenda and electing new members to the NGAUS board of directors.

The conference also features nearly 1,100 exhibitors that market products and services to the Guard.

Illinois Air National Guard Airman of the Year recognized during National Guard Association Conference

By Master Sgt. Ken Stephens, 126th Air Refueling Wing

CHICAGO (08/24/2014)(readMedia)-- One of the top rated Airmen for the Illinois Air National Guard was recognized by the Chief of Staff of the U.S. Air Force during the 136th National Guard Association of the United States General Conference in Chicago on Aug. 23.

Tech. Sgt. Steven Greenleaf, of Glen Carbon, Illinois, received a commander's challenge coin from Gen. Mark A. Welsh III, the Air Force's highest ranking officer, in a personal, one-on-one meeting at the conference.

While commenting on Greenleaf's civilian occupation and how it compliments his National Guard duties, Welsh said, "That's one of the strengths of the Guard. They come in with other skills, see problems we don't, and then they fix them."

Greenleaf, an engineering assistant craftsman with the 183rd Civil Engineer Squadron, part of the 183rd Fighter Wing in Springfield, Illinois, was chosen as the 2014 Outstanding Noncommissioned Officer of the Year by the Illinois Air National Guard. The selection was based on job performance, personal development and community service.

"It's great for individuals to be recognized for their work," said Greenleaf, "and it's also a reflection on the excellence of their team."

Greenleaf has volunteered for five deployments since enlisting in the National Guard in 2002. His most recent tour was to Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan in 2013 where he was chosen as the Warrior of the Week for his engineering work supporting Air Force facility and maintenance programs.

He continues to be involved in the local community, volunteering his time with homeless shelters and the Humane Society. He also assists forensic and Geobase class students at Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville where he graduated in 2013.

Senator Lindsey Graham speaks to Guardsmen at Chicago conference

By Spc. Ian Withrow, 139th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

CHICAGO (08/24/2014)(readMedia)-- Senator Lindsey Graham, the senior senator from South Carolina, spoke during the first business day of the 136th annual National Guard Association of the United States (NGAUS) conference in Chicago, Aug. 23, 2014.

Graham addressed an audience of National Guard members and association members, vendors and exhibitors at the conference. Graham's speech covered a variety of topics, from national defense to the tradition and honor the National Guard represents.

"The culture of the National Guard is irreplaceable," said Graham. "The Guard is indispensable to our national defense."

Maj. Jason Zeliph of New York, with Joint Forces Headquarters of the New York National Guard, said events like the NGAUS conference give members of Congress an opportunity to show their commitment to National Guard interests.

"I think it's important for members of Congress to speak at events like these," said Zeliph.

Maj. General Don Dunbar, of New Berlin, Wisconsin, the Adjutant General of the Wisconsin National Guard said it is important for elected officials to see and understand National Guard concerns.

"Events like NGAUS, give us a voice on Capitol Hill in the right way," said Dunbar. "It's not appropriate for Soldiers and Airmen to go protest, or lobby their interests, but organizations like NGAUS can express our interests in the correct setting," said Dunbar.

Approximately 3,500 National Guard members and their guests use the annual NGAUS gathering to plan and help shape the future of the National Guard. Delegates from 50 states, Guam, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the District of Columbia are setting the legislative agenda and electing new members to the NGAUS board of directors.

The conference concludes on Aug. 25.

 
65th Troop Command Brigade Command Sergeant Major to retire PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by Sgt. Charlie Helmholt, 139th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment   
Wednesday, 20 August 2014 09:19

SPRINGFIELD, IL (08/19/2014)(readMedia)-- SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – John C. Cycotte of Trivoli, Illinois, command sergeant major of the Illinois National Guard's 65th Troop Command Brigade will retire the end of August, after more than a quarter of a century in uniformed service to our nation.

"I am very proud to have worked with the exceptional one percent of the population who stands up to defend the United States," said Cycotte.

Cycotte said the best part of working in the Guard was his time working with the Soldiers, training and developing them and seeing them step up into leadership positions and succeed.

"He is a very thorough guy," said Master Sgt. Donald Siltman of Virginia, Illinois, 65th Troop Command Brigade surface maintenance mechanic. "Everyone was ready no matter the mission. People knew what they were doing when Cycotte was in charge."

Cycotte was born at Perrin Air Force Base, Texas. He attended high school in Decatur, Illinois, and enlisted in January 1982.

Throughout his long career he held every enlisted leadership position from squad leader to command sergeant major.

"Cycotte brought a lot of experience, good common sense and mentorship to the Soldiers under him," said Sgt. Maj. Vernon Wilfinger of East Peoria, Illinois, the interim command sergeant major of the 65th Troop Command Brigade.

He completed six overseas missions during his time with the Guard, including deployments Kosovo and Iraq.

Cycotte credits his leadership style to many men and women in uniform who he served with over the years.

Cycotte said Soldiers, like his platoon sergeant, from his assignment to Company D, 293rd Engineer Battalion out of Baumholder, Germany, taught him the importance of evaluating and developing training at all levels.

"There are many noncommissioned officers and officers who I have worked with over the years that influenced me and I learned from each of them," said Cycotte.

In his spare time, Cycotte likes fishing, hunting and boating. He recently moved to Florida to pursue a new career with the Transportation Security Administration, where he expects to have a little more time for his extracurricular activities, as well as his family.

After his military service he will relocate to Port Charlotte, Florida, joining his wife Bobbi, also an Army veteran of 21 years, son Michael a Navy veteran, his daughter-in-law Lesley, and four grandchildren.

"He has been around a long time and is one of the top noncommissioned officers in the state," said Siltman. "You hate to see the good ones go."

 
Illinois Army National Guard commissions 18 new lieutenants PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by Illinois National Guard PAO   
Tuesday, 19 August 2014 15:47

SPRINGFIELD, IL (08/18/2014)(readMedia)-- The Illinois Army National Guard's 129th Regional Training Institute Officer Candidate School (OCS) at Camp Lincoln in Springfield, Illinois, commissioned 18 Soldiers as second lieutenants during the OCS graduation ceremony at Springfield High School, Aug. 17. To meet the commissioning requirements, an officer candidate must complete more than 658 hours of classroom and field instruction. Candidates are evaluated on leadership abilities along with academics. They must also complete many physical and mental tasks, such as road marches and tactical exercises. One traditional class is held one weekend a month for 16 months with two weeks of continuous annual training. The accelerated class is completed in 57 consecutive days out of state. The 129th has commissioned 2,310 officers from the program.

The five newly commissioned accelerated program officers are:

• 2nd Lt. Sonji Davis of Waukegan, Illinois, with the 1244th Transportation Company in North Riverside, Illinois

• 2nd Lt. Reasudeen Katideen of Rockford, Illinois, with Company A, 634th Brigade Support Battalion in Mattoon, Illinois

• 2nd Lt. Michael McPeek of Springfield, Illinois, with Company A, 634th Brigade Support Battalion in Mattoon, Illinois

• 2nd Lt. Matthew Mullins of Normal, Illinois, Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 33rd Military Police Battalion in Bloomington, Illinois

• 2nd Lt. Jeremy Wenthe of Carterville, Illinois, with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Battalion, 130th Infantry Regiment in Marion, Illinois

The 13 newly commissioned traditional program officers are:

• 2nd Lt. William Adkins of Nokomis, Illinois, with Detachment 1, Company A, 634th Brigade Support Battalion in Sullivan, Illinois

• 2nd Lt. Martin Anderson of East Peoria, Illinois, with the 5th Civil Support Team in Bartonville, Illinois

• 2nd Lt. Joseph Hahn of Deerfield, Illinois, with Battery A, 2nd Battalion, 123rd Field Artillery in Milan, Illinois

• 2nd Lt. Matthew Maddox of Troy, Illinois, with the 445th Chemical Company in Shiloh, Illinois

• 2nd Lt. Carlos Ortiz of Princeville, Illinois, with the 2nd Battalion, 123rd Forward Support Company in Milan, Illinois

• 2nd Lt. Brian Ramirez of Chicago, with Company B, 1st Battalion, 178th Infantry Regiment in Elgin, Illinois

• 2nd Lt. Sarah Roth of Chester, Illinois, with the 445th Chemical Company in Shiloh, Illinois

• 2nd Lt. David Smejkal of Wheaton, Illinois, with Company C, 1st Battalion, 178th Infantry Regiment in Kankakee, Illinois

• 2nd Lt. Kevin Spears of Edwards, Illinois, with Company C, 1st Battalion, 130th Infantry Regiment in Litchfield, Illinois

• 2nd Lt. Andrew Trine of Sherman, Illinois, with the 2nd Battalion, 123rd Field Support Company in Milan, Illinois

• 2nd Lt. Brandi Tyne of Urbana, Illinois, with Company A, 634th Brigade Support Battalion in Mattoon, Illinois

• 2nd Lt. Alfred Vidrio of Aurora, Illinois, with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 33rd Brigade Special Troops Battalion in Machesney Park, Illinois

• 2nd Lt. Juan Villa of Peoria, Illinois, with the 5th Civil Support Team in Bartonville, Illinois

Outstanding OCS graduates were awarded the following:

• 2nd Lt. Juan Villa received the Erickson Trophy after being named the class distinguished honor graduate for top overall cumulative performance in leadership, physical fitness and academics.

• 2nd Lt. Matthew Maddox received the Leadership Award for the highest overall leadership evaluation score over the entire OCS program.

• 2nd Lt. William Adkins received the Physical Fitness Award for the highest average score on the OCS Army Physical Fitness Test.

• 2nd Lt. Carlos Ortiz received the Academic Award for holding the highest academic average in the class.

Individual high-resolution photos of each Soldier are available, please contact the Illinois National Guard Public Affairs Office

 
Braley Delivered for Iowa Troops Who Were Denied Pay PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by Sam Lau   
Tuesday, 19 August 2014 13:44
Todd Prichard highlights Braley’s successful effort to take on Pentagon & ensure Iowa National Guard troops were given the pay they were promised

Des Moines, IA – A new 30 second television advertisement was launched by Braley for Iowa today, telling another story of Rep. Bruce Braley’s work delivering results to Iowans, in which he ensured members of the Iowa National Guard who served the longest continuous deployment in the Iraq conflict were given the pay they were promised.

The ad, titled “Receive,” features Iowa National Guard veteran and state Rep. Todd Prichard, resident of Charles City, who served in the Iowa National Guard’s 1-133rd infantry battalion. Members of the unit were deployed for 17 months in Iraq, and had their tour extended while serving abroad. According to the Quad City Times, the Department of Defense promised the soldiers up to $200 per day in additional pay because they served beyond their scheduled deployments. But years after their return home, they had not received the promised pay.

Prichard said, “Our unit was promised additional pay because our tour in Iraq was extended, but we waited and waited and the pay never came. Bruce Braley went to bat for us to make sure we got the pay we were promised. He fought for us and got results, and because of his efforts nearly 800 Iowa National Guard members got the pay we deserved.”

Waterloo resident and Iowa National Guard Sgt. Jesse McCunniff, also a member of the unit, said, “When you’re serving abroad, it’s good to know somebody has your back. Bruce Braley fought for two years to make sure every single Iowa National Guard member promised respite pay got the benefits they had earned. Bruce stood up to the Pentagon bureaucracy and delivered results for Iowa troops who had put their lives on the line.”

More than 22,000 National Guard members, including almost 800 Iowa National Guard members, ultimately didn’t receive proper compensation. Braley was “at the forefront of restoring the lost respite pay,” and worked for “two years to see that the Guard members get the respite leave benefits they earned on lengthy deployments.” Braley “has been leading efforts in the US House to fix this back pay problem,” introducing and passing legislation that enabled the Pentagon to live up to their commitments.

The ad is airing on broadcast and cable television statewide across Iowa, and can be viewed at the following link: http://youtu.be/1vFQAaRKkiY

 
After Additional Troops Sent to Iraq, Braley Voices Concerns to Defense Secretary PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by Kirsten Hartman   
Friday, 15 August 2014 09:07

Congressman: The United States should not engage in another open-ended conflict

Washington, D.C. – Rep. Bruce Braley (IA-01) is today asking Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel to answer questions about the nature of America’s recent military reengagement in Iraq after it was announced that the Pentagon was sending an additional 130 military personnel to northern Iraq.

“America has made enormous sacrifices in Iraq, and our commitment to ensuring its security has justifiably ended,” Braley said. “While it’s appropriate to take steps to address the humanitarian crisis and protect America’s national security interests, I remain firmly opposed to another long, open-ended commitment that places our troops in harm’s way and am deeply concerned by the recent decision to redeploy troops in Iraq.”

In addition to outlining his concerns about involving America in another open-ended mission in Iraq, Braley asked Hagel to provide answers to a series of questions including the timetable for bringing home all American military personnel, the estimated cost of the current mission, and the Administration’s intention to seek Congressional authorization for the mission.

“I believe the current situation in Iraq is a challenging one. However I do not believe the United States should engage in another long-term conflict in Iraq,” Braley wrote.

A copy of Braley’s letter is available online HERE.

###

 
<< Start < Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Next > End >>

Page 1 of 129