Military & Veterans News
Illinois National Guard recognized for property, construction management PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by Illinois National Guard   
Wednesday, 25 March 2015 09:11

SPRINGFIELD, IL (03/20/2015)(readMedia)-- The Illinois National Guard's Construction Facility Management Office (CFMO) recently received awards for two specific projects and for its overall management of construction and facility maintenance programs.

The American Council of Engineering Companies of Illinois (ACEC-IL) recognized the Normal Readiness Center in Normal, Illinois with its Merit Award.

Lt. Col. Craig Holan, of Litchfield, Illinois, and the director of CFMO, said the Normal Readiness Center is a first-of-its-kind in Illinois.

"This joint-use facility provides a permanent training center for the 404th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, while sharing classroom, administrative and vehicle parking space with Heartland Community College," said Holan.

The Camp Lincoln Adjutant General's office building geothermal system won an ACEC-IL Honor Award and will also be recognized with a National Recognition Award at the National ACEC event in April. The project replaced an aging heating, cooling and ventilation system with a hybrid geothermal variable refrigerant system. The hybrid system eased the challenge and cost of heating and cooling the 74,000-square-foot headquarters building, while allowing for future expansion of the system.

The CFMO was also recognized by the Installations Division, National Guard Bureau this year with the William G. Troumbley, Jr. Improvement Award for demonstrating marked improvement in its management and administration of construction and facilities projects.

"This award is given to only one state or territory each year," said Holan. "Competition is very tight for this award as there is typically not much of a point spread between the top candidates."

The CFMO improved significantly in several key areas including fiscal management, project management, statutory reporting, energy use reductions, and environmental compliance

 
NOMINEES FOR DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE'S TOP EMPLOYER AWARD NAMED PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by Illinois National Guard   
Monday, 23 March 2015 10:02

SPRINGFIELD, IL (03/18/2015)(readMedia)-- Illinois Employers Recognized by National Guard and Reserve Members

Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), a Department of Defense (DoD) office, announces more than 80 Illinois employers of Guard and Reserve employees have been nominated for the 2015 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award (commonly referred to as the "Freedom Award").

The Freedom Award is the highest recognition given by the DoD to employers for their support of National Guard and Reserve members. On behalf of the Secretary of Defense, ESGR runs the annual award program, which has presented the honor to 205 employers since 1996.

Almost half of the U.S. military is made up of National Guard and Reserve members, many of whom also hold jobs with civilian employers. The Freedom Award recognizes those employers that provide the most outstanding support for these Citizen Warriors. Up to 15 employers will be selected for this year's award and honored at the Pentagon in an official ceremony in August.

Nominations for the Freedom Award must come from a Guard or Reserve member who is employed by the organization they are nominating, or from a family member. This year's nominees represent large and small employers from almost every industry, including health, transportation, hospitality, entertainment, banking, service and security (just to name a few), as well as from state and local governments. ESGR received nominations for employers in all 50 states, Guam-CNMI, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and the District of Columbia.

Semifinalists and finalists will be announced in sequence throughout the coming months with the recipients being announced in late June. Updates, press releases and a complete list of the 2,960 nominees can be found at www.freedomaward.mil.

2015 Freedom Award Nominations from Illinois:

AbbVie

Advocate Christ Medical Center

AIT WorldWide Logistics

Alsip Police Department

American Agricultural Insurance Company, Inc.

AMSA 138 G, 88th RSC

Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago

ARAMARK Healthcare

Armorstone Prestige

Astellas Pharma US, Inc.

Atlas Screen Supply Company

Avaya, Inc.

B&D Independence, Inc.

Caterpillar

Chatham Community Fire Protection District

Chicago Police Department

City of Kewanee

City of Rolling Meadows Police Department

City of Wenona Police Department

Collinsville Community Unit School District 10

ComEd

Cook County Sheriff's Office

D Hangout Bar & Grill

Edward Hines, Jr. VA Hospital

Equity Residential

Exelon Corporation - Byron Generating Station

Experian

Federal Bureau of Investigation*

Federal Bureau of Prisons

Fellowes, Inc.

Fort's Toyota of Pekin

Golden Corridor Family YMCA

Goodworth Kitchie and Associates LLC

GreenPath Debt Solutions

Havana Police Department

Huntley Police Department

Icon Mechanical

Illinois Gaming Investors. LLC

Illinois State Police

Information Technology Partners, Inc.

Insight

Iron Workers Local 46

J.B. Hunt Transport Services, Inc.

JA Frate

JCPenney

Jet Support Services, Inc.

Kirby Medical Center

KPI Contracting

Kraft Foods Group, Inc.

Lake County State's Attorney's Office

Lake Zurich Police Department

Marseilles Area Ambulance Service

Max Muscle Sports Nutrition

NACCO Materials Handling Group Inc.

Nalco Company

National Railway Equipment Company

Paramedic Services of Illinois

Passavant Area Hospital

Presence St. Mary's Hospital

Proven Business Systems

Quantum Vision Centers

Republic Services

Rock Falls Township High School

Rock Island Arsenal - Joint Manufacturing & Technology Center (RIA-JMTC)

School of Nursing Saint Xavier University

Schrank's Smoke 'N Gun

Sherwin-Williams

Springfield Clinic

State Farm

SunDogIT

Superior Carriers

The Home Depot

The Plus Group, Inc.

Union Iron

United Airlines, Inc.

United States Postal Service

United States Secret Service

United States Social Security Administration

UnityPoint Health - Proctor Hospital

University of Illinois

Village of Glenview

W.W. Grainger, Inc.

Walmart Supercenter #0256

Win-Bur-Sew Fire Protection District

*Denotes employer received more than one nomination

This year's complete list of nominees (representing all 56 ESGR committees) is available at: http://www.freedomaward.mil/TemplateDetailsView.aspx?TemplateID=6406&ModuleID=7

View Online: http://readme.readmedia.com/NOMINEES-FOR-DEPARTMENT-OF-DEFENSE-S-TOP-EMPLOYER-AWARD-NAMED/10715392

 

 
Illinois National Guard Officer Becomes First Female General PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by Illinois National Guard PAO   
Tuesday, 10 March 2015 13:08

Tate-Nadeau will oversee Illinois National Guard's Domestic Operations

SPRINGFIELD, IL (03/07/2015)(readMedia)-- March 7 Col. Alicia A. Tate-Nadeau made history when she was promoted to brigadier general, the first female in the Illinois National Guard to earn the rank. However, to her it is not about gender; it is about being the best.

"Being a leader transcends gender and everything else," she said. "I never wanted to be the best female officer. I wanted to be the best officer."

Maj. Gen. Daniel Krumrei, Illinois National Guard Adjutant General, promoted Tate-Nadeau of Chicago and formerly of Delavan, Illinois. She was joined by her family, friends and approximately 200 Illinois National Guard Soldiers and Airmen during the ceremony at Camp Lincoln's Illinois Military Academy in Springfield, Illinois. Tate-Nadeau's children, Lindsey and Gavin, and retired Maj. Gen. Randal Thomas, former Illinois National Guard Adjutant General, joined Krumrei to pin on her new rank.

Her goal of being the best officer looked a little different more than 30 years ago when Tate-Nadeau was enjoying her college years at Southwestern Oklahoma State University in 1984. At the time, she was studying business and was busy with her sorority when the Dean of Women recommended she take a Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) course to improve her grade point average.

"After one course I found out I loved it and I was pretty good at it," she said. "I didn't realize she brought me on a course that was life changing for me. That one lady, caring about me, had such a dramatic impact on my life. If it hadn't been for her I never would have been introduced to the military, let alone 30 years of service."

She soon transferred to the University of Central Oklahoma, then graduated and earned her commission to second lieutenant in 1986 through its ROTC program.

Tate-Nadeau said her leadership style is rooted in the standard she learned from retired Col. Norman Aschenbrenner, her battalion commander while she was company commander for Headquarters, Headquarters Detachment, 44th Chemical Battalion in Sycamore, Illinois, from 1989 to 1991.

"He taught me there was only one standard, for the men and women who serve. Make a decision that is good for your Soldier or you're wrong and he was going to hold you, as an officer, accountable for that," she said.

A few years later, as a married mom working on her master's degree in hospital administration, she transitioned from a traditional, one-weekend a month Guardsman to a full-time Active Guard Reserve (AGR) Soldier in 1997.

Since then, Tate-Nadeau's subordinates have experienced her early-rooted leadership style first-hand.

Sgt. Maj. Mary Dixon of Chapin, Illinois, with the 108th Medical Battalion in Chicago, first worked with Tate-Nadeau at the Regional Training Institute in Springfield, Illinois, when Tate-Nadeau was the officer in charge from 2002 to 2003. Soon after, Dixon followed Tate-Nadeau to Macomb, Illinois, to help re-establish the previously deactivated 44th Chemical Battalion.

Dixon said she is still committed to Tate-Nadeau and her leadership.

"I would go anywhere she asked right now, almost without question," Dixon said. "I still feel that devotion. I would love to be on her team again."

Dixon adjusted her personal and professional schedules to attend the ceremony.

"It's not often we have the opportunity to witness an event like this and I really believe no one deserves this opportunity more than Colonel Tate-Nadeau," she said. "I was fortunate to work with her for years, and I wanted to be there to show my support."

Maj. Eric Davis of Mt. Pulaski, Illinois, with 2nd Battalion, 122nd Field Artillery Regiment in Chicago, worked with Tate-Nadeau from 2008 to 2009 when she was the Illinois Army National Guard's Director of Plans, Operations and Training.

He admitted she often pushed him to his limits, but said he never felt she set him up for failure. He also said the last thing he ever wanted to do was disappoint her.

"She's one of those people you don't want to let down because she's a good leader who will always have your back," Davis said. "You always knew where you stood...she chewed you when you needed it and gave you praise when you deserved it. I always felt she had my back."

Throughout her career, Tate-Nadeau held multiple positions, including various command and director-level positions such as Chief of the Joint Staff; Director of Plans, Operations and Training; 404th Chemical Brigade Deputy Commander; 44th Chemical Battalion Commander and 5th Civil Support Team Commander. She also deployed to Iraq with Multi-National Division (Central South) as the Chief of Operations, Plans and Public Information.

In her current assignment as the Illinois Army National Guard Assistant Adjutant General, the Adjutant General placed her in charge of domestic operations, overseeing Illinois National Guard homeland security response and programs such as the State Partnership Program with Poland. Prior to this position, she served a three-year tour as the National Guard Bureau Liaison Officer to the Israeli Home Front Command, in Ramla, Israel. In December 2014, Tate-Nadeau retired from the AGR program and transitioned back to a traditional Guardsman when she accepted a civilian position as the Region V Federal Emergency Management Agency Incident Management Assistance Team Leader in Chicago.

Out of all her positions in the Illinois National Guard, Tate-Nadeau admitted one of the hardest, yet most rewarding, positions was one she originally did not want. In September 2003, she was ready to work in operations while Thomas, then the Illinois National Guard Adjutant General, appointed her as the Illinois National Guard Public Affairs Officer (PAO).

"I literally cried in a corner when I got it," she said. "It was the hardest job I've had...in the beginning of the war when we were taking so many casualties. However, it gave me an opportunity to tell the Soldiers' story and to give honor to the men and women who have died. The people I've served have stayed with me forever."

Her dream job in operations as the Illinois Army National Guard's Director of Plans, Operations and Training came in 2007, immediately following her PAO assignment.

With more than 30 years of military service and now a new full-time career, Tate-Nadeau said her greatest accomplishment is not her career. It is her children.

"The men and women I've served have been amazing, but the two people who have taken the brunt every time duty calls are those two kids," she said. "They're my biggest supporters and I could not have done it without them."

Along with her family, Tate-Nadeau said she is blessed with a group of friends who have helped her and her family throughout her career. She said her Delavan neighbors never hesitated to pick up Lindsey, now 24, and Gavin, now 18, from school or help with significant life events while she was deployed or travelling.

"It's kind of hard to do a military career without a whole team behind you helping you," she said. "I thank all those people in my life who allowed me to have my military career."

Throughout her career, Tate-Nadeau said it was never about being the best and brightest, but rather surrounding herself with the best and brightest. She also said it was never about ultimately wearing a star on her chest. It was about being her true self for her Soldiers.

"There is no cookie cutter way to leadership," she said. "You can only be who you are in your heart, because Soldiers know that."

 
Smiddy Bill Expands Military Discount Program PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by Paul Ferrero   
Monday, 09 March 2015 15:39
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - To expand access to savings and discounts for Illinois' veterans and military members, state Rep. Mike Smiddy, D-Hillsdale, is sponsoring legislation creating the Veterans' and Military Discount Card Program in Illinois.
"Military service men and women, veterans and their families fought and defended our nation to keep us safe," Smiddy said. "This program is a way for state leaders and business owners to show their appreciation for Illinois' veterans and honor their service."
Smiddy is cosponsoring House Bill 3686 which establishes the Veterans' and Military Discount Card Program in Illinois. The measure builds on the success of a similar program in Cook Country and makes the discounts available statewide. Under the bill, the Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs will distribute Veterans' and Military Discount Cards to eligible active duty military members and veterans. Participating businesses across the state will honor the card with discounts on goods or services of the businesses' choice.
"The Veterans and Military Discount Card Program has been very successful in the Chicagoland area, and all veterans in Illinois deserve the same recognition," Smiddy said. "I'll continue to prioritize aiding veterans, military members and their families and pursue ways to honor their commitment to preserving our freedom."
House Bill 3686 was introduced on February 26, 2015 and awaits assignment to a house committee for consideration.
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Governor and Lt. Governor Designate Five Home Base Iowa Communities and Three Certified Higher Academic Military Partners PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by Office of the Governor of the State of Iowa   
Monday, 09 March 2015 14:59

(DES MOINES) – Gov. Terry E. Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds today announced Carroll, Clay, Hancock, Humboldt and Webster counties have met the criteria to become designated as Home Base Iowa Communities. They also announced today additional Home Base Iowa Certified Higher Academic Military Partners (CHAMPs) designations for Mercy College of Health Sciences, Iowa Central Community College and Eastern Iowa Community College.

Carroll, Clay, Hancock, Humboldt and Webster Counties join the eight existing communities – Greene County, Howard County, Clarke County, Floyd County, Dubuque County, Mitchell County, Union County and the City of Marion  – in becoming certified Home Base Iowa Communities. To become a Home Base Iowa Community, an area must meet the following criteria: 10% of its businesses with potential to hire sign on as Home Base Iowa Businesses; local government supports the effort; signage indicates the community is a Home Base Iowa Community and the community creates local incentives that offer additional benefits for Veterans and that complement those in the statewide Home Base Iowa Act.

“With 1,000 Veterans hired through the Home Base Iowa efforts thus far, this program is certainly successful,” said Branstad. “As these communities have demonstrated, Iowans are embracing the Home Base Iowa initiative to create communities that are welcoming and attractive to veterans and to provide transitioning military members with every opportunity for success.”

Three additional educational institutions Mercy College of Health Sciences, Iowa Central Community College and Eastern Iowa Community College—join  the existing HBI CHAMPs—Upper Iowa University, Des Moines Area Community College, Mount Mercy University, University of Iowa, Iowa State University, University of Northern Iowa, Hawkeye Community College and University of Dubuque . The Home Base Iowa CHAMP program allows Iowa colleges and universities to become certified for their ability to educate and assist Veterans on campus. The certification will help attract Veterans and transitioning Service Members to Iowa. It also helps academic  institutions market their campus as Veteran-friendly. To become a Home Base Iowa CHAMP, education institutions must meet criteria in each of the three categories: On-Campus Veteran Resources, Mindfulness of Service Member Transitions and Financial Considerations.

“I am pleased, but certainly not surprised, to see the continued support Home Base Iowa is receiving across the state,” said Reynolds. “Today’s announcement of additional Home Base Iowa Communities and Home Base Iowa Certified Higher Academic Military Partners ensures Service Members transitioning to civilian life have welcoming communities, educational resources, jobs and opportunities for continued service—all here in Iowa.”

MORE INFORMATION ON EACH OF THE HOME BASE IOWA COMMUNITIES 

In Humboldt County 34% of businesses with potential to hire signed on as Home Base Iowa employers.  Humboldt County’s incentive package for qualifying Veterans includes hotel and meal vouchers and a welcome package from the host community. The first five qualifying Veterans will also receive a cash bonus of $200. Additional, the first five veterans will also receive $200.00 in down payment assistance if they elect to use a local Realtor.  In addition to the county-wide incentives, the City of Humboldt offers rental assistance for up to $1,000, up to $3,500 down payment assistance, tax abatement for the first $75,000 is assessed value on new construction in one of four subdivisions, $60 in “Recreation Bucks” and guided community tours.  Questions on the local incentive package should be directed to the Humboldt County Development Association.

 

Hancock County Approximately 25% of employers with potential to hire in Hancock County have become Home Base Iowa Businesses. Hancock County welcomes Veterans to consider available opportunities with special incentives to qualifying military Veteran applicants: up to $1,000 for moving/relocation expenses; up to $500 travel allowance for job and house hunting  expenses, and sponsors and mentors for families and students—all in addition to the statewide incentives offered through the Home Base Iowa Act. Questions on the local package should be addressed to the Hancock County Economic Development.

Clay County’s robust Home Base Iowa effort, working with 109 employers to become Home Base Iowa Businesses and pledging their commitment to hire Veterans, is already paying off.  In just the past few weeks, several transitioning Service Members contacted Clay County about opportunities in the area. Clay County’s incentive package for qualifying Veterans includes the following: rental assistance for up to $1000, three months of free utility service, discounted closing costs for home loans, streamlined housing and job searches and discounts and gift cards for restaurants, accommodations and retailers. Questions on the local incentive package should be directed to the Iowa Lakes Corridor.

Carroll County’s Home Base Iowa effort was led by volunteer board members and staff of the Carroll Area Development Corporation (CADC).  Through the efforts, forty seven businesses have committed to hiring Veterans through 2018. Carroll County considers the program a win-win for area employers and those seeking employment and offers the following incentives including a streamlined application process to Carroll County employers; complimentary one-year membership to either Carroll Recreation Center, Carroll Aquatic Center or Carroll Municipal Golf Course; complimentary one-year membership to Carroll Young Professionals and Hy-Vee gift card. In addition, those moving to the City of Manning would also receive income-qualified down payment assistance, tax abatement for new construction housing or rental assistance, complimentary family membership to Recreation Center and indoor pool and much more. Contact the Carroll Area Development Corporation for questions on local incentives.

Webster County incentives include assistance with lodging and meals, veteran-guided tours  and a welcome basket.  Iowa Central Community College and Buena Vista University also offer considerable additional incentives for students attending those institutions. In addition, the City of Fort Dodge is adding a 5-year, 100% tax abatement on the first $75,000 on a new home or improvements and “recreation bucks” at City of Fort Dodge Parks and Recreation facilities (golf course/water park).

Greater Fort Dodge Growth Alliance should be contacted for additional information on local incentives.

BACKGROUND ON THE HOME BASE IOWA ACT 

Gov. Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds launched the Home Base Iowa initiative in November of 2013 at the Iowa Gold Star Military Museum at Camp Dodge. Branstad and Reynolds named Congressman Leonard Boswell and Casey’s CEO Bob Myers the co-chairs of the initiative.

The Home Base Iowa Act was signed into law on May 26, 2014. It passed the Iowa Senate 46-0 and the Iowa House 94-2. The Home Base Iowa initiative does the following:

  • Fully exempts military pensions from state income tax.
  • Gives veterans, their spouses and dependents in-state tuition at Iowa’s colleges and universities.
  • Allows Iowa’s licensing boards to adopt rules allowing credit for military training and experience in the licensing process.
  • Allows private-sector companies to follow the public sector’s lead by allowing a preference in hiring and promoting veterans.
  • Eliminates the special plate issuance fees charged for plates associated with military service.
  • Expands eligibility for the Military Homeownership Assistance Program, which provides $5,000 in down payment and closing cost assistance.  Additional funding for the 
program is provided in a separate appropriations bill.

In addition to the Home Base Iowa Act, Branstad also signed Senate File 2352 in 2014.

Senate File 2352 an Act relating to the additional homestead credit for certain disabled veterans and including effective date and applicability provisions.

For more information on Home Base Iowa, please visit www.HomeBaseIowa.org. Those interested in becoming Home Base Iowa Communities or Home Base Iowa CHAMPS should contact Kathy Anderson, Home Base Iowa Program Manager at 515.725.3149 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

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