Military & Veterans News
News Release from the Illinois Korean Memorial Association PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by Karen Le Seure   
Saturday, 06 September 2014 07:55

The Illinois Korean  Memorial Association has published a booklet, “ A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE KOREAN WAR”. It has a tear proof cover, actual headlines, photos from Department of Defense, peace talks, maps, American Commanders & more, all from 1950-53 era. 

A must for any teacher who wants to hold a class, or a student who wants to write  a paper on the Korean War. To receive a copy, send $10 check or money order to Illinois Korean Memorial Association, P.O. Box 8554, Springfield, Illinois 62791.  100% of all funds go to the book project to send this booklet to Illinois schools & libraries at no charge.

 
National Guard examines its past, future PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by Illinois National Guard PAO   
Thursday, 28 August 2014 14:05

National Guard Association of the United States meets in Chicago

SPRINGFIELD, IL (08/27/2014)(readMedia)-- Story by Sgt. 1st Class Rob Fafoglia, 139th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

CHICAGO – More than 3,500 people attended this year's National Guard Association of the United States (NGAUS) conference in Chicago, Aug. 22 through 25. The conference is a yearly event aimed at focusing the nation's attention on the needs and accomplishments of the Army and Air National Guard.

"(NGAUS) mission is to tell the story of the Guardsmen and to represent us around the nation, to let folks understand how important the Guard is to their communities, to our nation and to our respective states," said Daniel Krumrei, the Illinois National Guard Adjutant General.

The association was created in 1878, making it the oldest military organization of its type. Its primary purpose is to educate Congress about the training and funding requirements of the National Guard.

"Militia officers from the North and South came together . . . in order to create a unified voice before Congress," said John Goheen, the director of communications for NGAUS and retired National Guardsman. "They decided going alone as individual states, requesting money for better equipment and training, wasn't working, that they needed to unite and work together. That's why they created NGAUS and our mission remains unchanged to this day."

Goheen acknowledged some may look at NGAUS and other associations like it in a negative light, because they deal so heavily with politics.

"We are absolutely a lobbying organization," said Goheen. "What people need to understand is that we give the Guard a voice in Washington. Most military organizations (such as the Veterans of Foreign Wars and Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans Association) are about taking care of veterans. We are about readiness. We're working to get Soldiers and their commanders the equipment they need, the training they need, to be ready to go and support a mission, whether it's for their governor or an overseas combat deployment."

Goheen said NGAUS is responsible for many of the structures and services some guard members may take for granted.

"It was this association that worked with Congress to create drill pay," said Goheen. "It was this association that worked with Congress to create the retirement program. It was this association that worked with Congress to provide the states with military construction dollars and equipment. Just about anything that is in an armory or a base, it's not a stretch to say NGAUS has its fingerprints on it."

The annual conference serves as a business meeting for members from every state. It includes guest speakers, award presentations, social events and mixers for participants, events for spouses and other family members and a tradeshow for sponsors and vendors.

Every year, the conference rotates among the states. This year belonged to Illinois, and Krumrei said the state has been planning and working on this event for years. He said one of the benefits of attending the conference, besides the wealth of information, is a chance to experience what each state has to offer.

"This is a great opportunity for Illinois," said Krumrei. "The governor had the opportunity to address the convention. For the city of Chicago, besides the convention business it brings, this really is the diamond of the heartland. Every response I have received is that people are grateful for the opportunity to be in Chicago. The architectural tours, the food, the sights, the experiences; everybody I have talked to has had a wonderful time here."

In addition to reviewing numbers, talking about unit issues and sightseeing, the conference offers participants a chance for professional development, something Krumrei said is invaluable. Some of the topics discussed include: fiscal responsibility and the upcoming challenges the military faces, sexual assault and harassment prevention and training, suicide awareness and prevention, and the changing military environment, as it shifts from warfighting to issues on the home front.

"We have the opportunity to meet with the other states and to share best practices," said Krumrei. "We get together on a variety of levels, company grade officers, warrant officers, general officers and adjutants general, for professional training to develop those relationships. It also gives us an opportunity to spend time with many of the vendors that help provide for the safety and the security of our Soldiers and our Airmen."

Krumrei said it is important for servicemembers to take advantage of the opportunities and services provided by organizations such as NGAUS, even if they are unable to attend a conference or event. He focused specifically on education.

"It is important to take every opportunity to engage in every educational aspect of their professional development as Soldiers or Airmen," said Krumrei. "Those opportunities will continue to exist. It will be a difficult fiscal time and situation to do that in, but for those who choose to continue their education, they need to take advantage of every opportunity that's available to them."

Krumrei also emphasized the importance of Soldiers and Airmen getting involved and making their voice heard.

"This is one of the largest NGAUS conventions in several years," he said. "It's my hope that every Air Guardsman and Army Guardsman will reach out and be a part of their professional association, because that's what professionals do; they associate with one another, they learn from one another, and they share best practices. I encourage all of our servicemembers to be a part of their state associations, the national association for the enlisted, for professionals and for officers."

 
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

 
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