Military & Veterans News
Lt. Gov. Simon, Illinois Chamber of Commerce present findings of state’s first military economic impact study PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by Ken Lowe   
Friday, 21 November 2014 09:48

Military bases support 150,000 jobs; pump billions into Illinois’ economy

SPRINGFIELD – Nov. 20, 2014. The military and defense industry supports 150,000 jobs and $13.3 billion in economic activity in Illinois, according to a new statewide economic impact study released today by the Lt. Governor Sheila Simon’s Office and the Illinois Chamber of Commerce Foundation.

The figures include employment and spending related to four categories: active military installations, Department of Defense contracts, National Guard facilities and payments to military-linked retirees and school districts.

The largest impact stems from the installations at Scott Air Force Base near Belleville, the Rock Island Arsenal in the Quad Cities, and the Naval Station Great Lakes. Those bases alone support 85,000 jobs, and contribute a total of $9.1 billion the state’s economy, the study shows. The study estimates the military and defense industry supports about 2 percent of the state’s gross domestic product.

Lt. Governor Sheila Simon was joined by Illinois Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Todd Maisch to announce the study’s findings. She said the new figures should help Illinois fight to retain and enhance military bases if Congress proceeds with sequestration or Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) in the next two years.

“We know that military installations are huge economic engines in their respective communities, but this study shows us exactly how crucial they are to our state’s economy as a whole,” said Simon. “I encourage all stakeholders to use this data as a foundation for efforts to preserve, promote and enhance our military assets going forward. Tens of thousands of jobs, billions in spending and our nation’s security are at stake.”

The study was commissioned by the Illinois Chamber of Commerce Foundation, in conjunction with the state’s Interagency Military Base Support and Economic Development Committee (IMBSEDC), which Simon chairs. The impact study falls under the committee’s statutory responsibilities regarding military base retention.

The analysis was conducted by the Center for Government Studies at Northern Illinois University. Researchers used a dynamic modeling tool to calculate the direct and indirect economic activity related to the military and defense industry and reported the figures by region, Congressional district and the state.

Researchers also conducted a strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats or SWOT analysis that looked at quality of life factors, including a new law initiated by Simon that will ease military students’ transitions into and out of Illinois’ schools. The law also more closely aligns Illinois with similar laws in other states.

“This study is a first step toward educating Illinoisans about the importance of our military assets,” Simon said. “We want all stakeholders to understand what we have, what we have to lose and what there is to gain.”

The report outlines several areas that need further exploration and analysis, and recommends the following steps for the IMBSEDC going forward:

  • Closely monitor military-related developments at the federal, regional, state and local levels for their potential economic impact to the state
  • Look at strategic outreach, advocacy, and communications underway by other states that are promoting, preserving and enhancing their military and defense industry assets
  • Encourage military installations and communities to identify and implement shared service partnerships with the public and private sectors
  • Stress the importance of proactively engaging well in advance of another BRAC round

As chair of the IMBSEDC, Simon helped coordinate the state’s activities and communications relating to current and former military bases in Illinois. The study is the final action taken during her service as chair.

To read the study in its entirety, please visit the Lt. Governor’s website, or click here.


Simon to release findings of statewide military economic impact study PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by Ken Lowe   
Thursday, 20 November 2014 10:34

SPRINGFIELD – Lt. Governor Sheila Simon will be joined tomorrow by Illinois Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Todd Maisch to announce findings from a comprehensive study of the economic impact military bases and the defense industry has on Illinois’ economy. The first-of-its-kind study in Illinois will be available for use by advocates at the local, state and federal levels to take full advantage of changes in Defense Department (DoD) spending.

The study was produced by the Center for Governmental Studies at Northern Illinois University for the Illinois Chamber of Commerce Foundation and the Lt. Governor’s Office. It examined economic factors tied to Illinois’ three major, active military installations -- the Scott Air Force Base, the Rock Island Arsenal and the Naval Station Great Lakes – as well as DoD contracts, National Guard facilities and payments tied to military retirees and students.


DATE: Nov. 20

TIME: 9:30 a.m.

LOCATION: Blue Room, Illinois State Capitol, Springfield


Specialized Illinois National Guard unit to mobilize for Afghanistan PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by Illinois National Guard PAO   
Wednesday, 12 November 2014 15:52

SPRINGFIELD, IL (11/12/2014)(readMedia)-- A deployment ceremony is scheduled for five Soldiers who will deploy to Afghanistan as part of an embedded staff team. The ceremony for the Bilateral Embedded Staff Team (BEST) A14 will be Nov. 14 at 2 p.m. at Camp Lincoln, 1301 N. MacArthur Blvd. in Springfield, Illinois.

The Soldiers will train for a brief time at Fort Bliss, Texas, before deploying to Afghanistan. The unique mission allows Illinois Army National Guard Soldiers to train and deploy side-by-side with their Polish counterparts. The Soldiers are from various parts of Illinois and were selected for the mission based on their training and skills.

"Our 20-year partnership with Poland is the strongest National Guard State Partnership Program in the nation," said Daniel Krumrei of Springfield, Adjutant General of the Illinois National Guard. "Illinois Soldiers and Airmen are instrumental in developing secure international relationships, while broadening their experiences and developing their military skills."

The team is expected to return to Illinois in spring 2015.

Local Businesses Offer Veterans Free Stuff PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by Kevin Behan   
Friday, 07 November 2014 09:28

When we see men and women in military uniforms, many of us want to walk up and thank them for devoting their lives to preserve our freedom. Many national chains with locations in our area are doing just that by offering veterans free stuff for Veterans Day and beyond.


  • Great Clips, the world’s largest hair salon brand, is offering veterans a free hair cut from November 11 through Dec. 31 2014. Customers come in for a service on Veterans Day (Nov. 11) and get a free haircut card to give to a veteran, redeemable through the end of 2014.   
  • Golden Corral, the nation’s #1 grill buffet franchise, is offering veterans a free buffet meal and beverage on November 17 from 5-9PM.
  • Great Clips Free Haircut For Veterans 

Great Clips, the world’s largest hair salon brand, is giving veterans a free haircut from Veteran’s Day, November 11, through Dec. 31 2014.


How It Works:

  • Customers come into any U.S. Great Clips salon on Nov. 11 and, with the purchase of a service, receive a free haircut card to give to a veteran.
  • Limit one card per customer.
  • The free haircut cards are redeemable by veterans at any U.S. Great Clips from Nov. 11–Dec. 31, 2014 with proof of service. The promotion applies to veterans only.
  • Veterans who visit Great Clips in the U.S. on Nov. 11 receive either a free haircut that day or a free haircut card to redeem by Dec. 31. AfterNov. 11, veterans must have a free haircut card to get the free haircut.


  • Golden Corral Free Meal and Beverage for Veterans

Golden Corral, the nation’s #1 grill buffet franchise, will thank thousands of active-duty and retired U.S. military personnel for their service with a free dinner buffet and beverage, while raising donations for the DAV (Disabled American Veterans).  At all of its restaurants nationwide, Golden Corral will serve free dinner buffets with beverage from  5PM to 9PM on Monday Nov. 17 to any person who is serving or has served in a United States Military branch, including the National Guard and Reserves – identification is not required.

Illinois Guardsman retires after 27 years of service PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by Sgt. Brian Vorce 139th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment   
Friday, 07 November 2014 09:10

SPRINGFIELD, IL (10/19/2014)(readMedia)-- Col. Christopher Hall of Springfield, Illinois, retired after more than 27 years of service in the Illinois Army National Guard, the last five and a half as Illinois' United States Property and Fiscal Officer (USPFO).

"What I'm going to miss about being in the National Guard is being part of a team with a common purpose," Hall said. "I will miss putting on the uniform every day."

Hall, a Mount Carmel native, enlisted in the Illinois Army National Guard in 1987 as a combat engineer. After his unit leadership selected him for Warrior Challenge, a series of boards and reviews where Soldiers can learn more about officer candidacy school, Hall entered Officer Candidate School (OCS) and commissioned as a second lieutenant in 1990.

"I felt honored they selected me," Hall said. "I felt a duty and a responsibility to enter OCS."

As an officer, Hall served in a variety of roles, from quartermaster commander to logistics officer to working for the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS). In December 2008, Hall took over as the USPFO for Illinois and served in that position until June 2014. Hall coordinated with Washington to provide funding and logistic support for the Illinois National Guard.

"Doing the USPFO job (in Illinois) was a good way to finish out my career," Hall said.

Daniel Krumrei, the Adjutant General for the Illinois National Guard, said Hall's service as USPFO was exemplary.

"Colonel Hall always has taken on tough assignments, whether here in Illinois or around the military, including nearly six years as USPFO, proceeded by battalion command and more than 60 months of joint duty service at the JCS and at United States Central Command," Krumrei said.

Hall said his philosophy is to leave any team, place or unit better than he found it. With National Guard Bureau asking Hall's office to teach, assist and develop other USPFOs around the country, Hall feels like he has done that.

"Not on my own, but as a team we've done that," Hall said.

After serving in an active duty capacity since 1995, Hall will transition into his new job with the Federal Highway Administration, continuing a career in government affairs.

"I see many challenges and opportunities to be a key contributor," Hall said. "I knew it was a perfect fit."

Hall met his wife, Kimberly, during his time traveling to Camp Lincoln in Springfield for OCS. The couple have two children, a son Alec, 17, and a daughter Kristin, 13.

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