Military & Veterans News
Illinois and Wisconsin National Guard Soldiers sweep the MAC IV Regionals PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by Illinois National Guard PAO   
Thursday, 03 July 2014 08:06

Regional Soldiers share camaraderie during competition

SPRINGFIELD, IL (07/02/2014)(readMedia)-- Illinois and Wisconsin National Guard Soldiers sweep the MAC IV RegionalsCAMP PERRY, Ohio. – National Guard soldiers from five states gathered at Camp Perry, Ohio this weekend to compete in the Marksmanship Advisory Council Region Four-Small Arms Championship.

Illinois teams took first and second place overall, while the Wisconsin team placed in third. Both states also claim an individual champion. The individual pistol champion hails from Illinois and the individual rifle champion calls Wisconsin home.

The first place team consists of Sgt. 1st Class Tracy Mix, Headquarters and Headquarters Co., 404th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade; Staff Sgt. Gabriel Cullers, HHC, 2nd Battalion, 130th Infantry Regiment; Sgt. 1st Class John Stockton, HHC, 33rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team; and Spc. Joseph Miller, 232nd Combat Sustainment Support Battalion; all of the Illinois National Guard. Stockton was also the individual pistol champion.

Sgt. Brandon Swanson, of the 1st Battalion, 128th Infantry Regiment, 32nd Brigade Combat Team, Wisconsin National Guard, not only took the top individual spot, but was part of the third place team.

Swanson is also a member of the All Guard Service Rifle Team, which means he represents the National Guard at military and civilian marksmanship competitions across the U.S.

Competitions aren't just about winning awards though. The ability to shoot accurately is a basic soldier skill. "I think fundamentally, it's the most important thing in the entire military," said Swanson.

Swanson uses his marksmanship skills to positively affect his fellow soldiers. He works with other units in his state to pass along those skills. He will soon be attending the Small Arms Master Gunner course in his efforts to become a marksmanship instructor.

Sgt. 1st Class Timothy Glover, of the Master Weapons Training Team, Ohio National Guard, also knows a little bit about training marksmanship skills. He has personally been shooting competitively since 2002, but has been part of the MWTT for the last six years.

Glover has spent a lot of time on the range training soldiers how to be an effective shooter. "We have done a lot of support for the pre- and post-mobilization training for deploying units," said Glover. "They bring us in to help them out on the live fire portion of their training."

The primary mission of Glover's team is to provide primary marksmanship instruction for all Ohio units. As the Assistant Noncommissioned-Officer-In-Charge of the team, it is something that he takes a lot of pride in, but he isn't too proud to learn some new tips at the competitions though.

"One of our guys has a different hold on his standing position where he gets his arm fully extended on the front hand guard," said Glover. "I think it has promise."

The Marksmanship Advisory Council Small Arms Championships occur each year around the nation. There are seven MAC regions in the U.S. that include all 54 states and territories. Ideally, each state conducts their own state matches to find the best teams to send to the MAC regional matches.

The matches are sponsored by the National Guard Marksmanship Training Center in North Little Rock, Ark. Col. Franklin D. Powell, commander of the NGMTC, feels competition is another training tool to strengthen our core of service members.

"These shooters need to take what they learn at these competitions back to their units," said Powell. "If they work hard out here and learn from other shooters, they can bring back a wealth of knowledge that can be invaluable to their units."

First time shooter, Sgt. 1st Class Dustin Zabinski, Alpha Company, Recruiting and Retention Battalion, Wisconsin National Guard, seems to agree.

"The shooting community is awesome," said Zabinski. "I can talk to anybody from any state and they're willing to give up any information whatsoever. We're all on the same team."

2nd Battalion, 130th Infantry Regiment Change of Command PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by Illinois National Guard PAO   
Wednesday, 02 July 2014 08:48

FORT RILEY, KANSAS (07/01/2014)(readMedia)-- Lt. Col. Neil Putnam, a native of New Haven, Connecticut, assumed command of the Illinois Army National Guard's 2nd Battalion, 130th Infantry Regiment from Lt. Col. Clayton E. Kuetemeyer of Chatham, Illinois in Fort Riley, Kansas, on June 26.

Putnam, upon leaving active duty, joined the Illinois National Guard in 1999. His previous assignment was with the Special Operations Command Pacific at Camp Smith, Hawaii serving as the Commands' National Guard Advisor.

Kuetemeyer will be advancing his career at the U.S. Army War College.

Specialized Decatur Unit Mobilizes for Horn of Africa PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by Illinois National Guard PAO   
Tuesday, 01 July 2014 11:23

Approximately 10 Soldiers mobilize July 3 as part of airlift support mission

DECATUR, IL (07/01/2014)(readMedia)-- DECATUR, Ill. – A deployment ceremony is scheduled for approximately 10 Soldiers who will deploy to Djibouti, Africa. The ceremony for Detachment 36, Operational Support Airlift in Decatur will be July 3 at 9 a.m. at Camp Lincoln, 1301 N. MacArthur Blvd. in Springfield, Ill.

The unit will train for a brief time in Fort Bliss, Texas before deploying to Africa for nine months. Det. 36 will fly Beechcraft C-12 Huron aircraft and conduct operational airlift support and VIP transport in the region.

The unit last mobilized in October 2010 and deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

Lt. Governor Simon-backed military education reform becomes law PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by Ken Lowe   
Monday, 30 June 2014 14:31

Law to assist military students goes into effect today

MASCOUTAH – June 28, 2014. Lt. Governor Sheila Simon today joined Governor Pat Quinn who signed legislation crafted by her office to ease the transitions of military students moving in and out of Illinois schools. House Bill 3939 sponsored by Sen. Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake) and Rep. Eddie Lee Jackson (D-East St. Louis) passed the General Assembly almost unanimously.

“Military families make tremendous sacrifices for our country, and today we are taking steps to support them. This law shows that Illinois is a state that protects military families and protects good jobs,” said Simon, who chairs the state’s Interagency Military Base Support and Economic Development Committee (IMBSEDC). “This new law is the result of a lot of hard work, and I commend Rep. Jackson and Sen. Bush for their leadership in the legislature. I would like to thank Governor Quinn for quickly signing it into law.”

In 2010, Illinois joined the Interstate Compact for Military Children and adopted the state’s first-ever law recognizing the unique educational challenges of military students. With today’s action, Illinois joins other Compact states in ensuring that military students enter the same grade level at their new schools, retain previously earned credit and are offered opportunities for extracurricular activities.

“I am proud to represent many of Illinois’ military families, who call this community home,” said House sponsor Rep. Jackson. “Military families and military communities face unique challenges, and it is important that we as a state demonstrate our commitment to supporting the men and women – the families – who sacrifice on our behalf.”

“These families give up so much in order to serve in our military. The least we can do is ensure that school transfers are as easy on their children as possible,” said Sen. Bush, who sponsored the measure in the Senate.

The Simon-backed law brings Illinois into alignment with other Compact states, providing protections military students deserve while also preserving local control. They include:

• Grade Level: Students must be allowed to continue their enrollment at grade level in the receiving state at the time of transition; subsequent evaluation to verify placement is allowed.

• Course & Program Placement: Schools shall initially honor course and program placement for military students at the time of transition, including Advanced Placement and ESL, provided that the courses are offered and space is available; subsequent evaluation to verify placement is allowed.

• Extracurricular Activities: Schools shall facilitate the opportunity for inclusion in sports and other activities to the extent that children are qualified and space is available as determined by the school principal.

The state of Illinois is home to approximately 10,000 military students, most of whom have at least one parent on active duty at major installations in North Chicago, the Quad Cities and Metro East. They may transfer schools up to nine times between kindergarten and high school graduation, a rate three times that of their civilian peers.

Simon added that with potential federal defense spending reductions and potential base closures on the horizon, this measure positions our bases for expansions, not drastic cuts.

During a series of listening posts hosted by the Simon-chaired Interagency Military Base Support and Economic Development Committee (IMBSEDC) held last year near Scott Air Force Base, Naval Station Great Lakes and the Rock Island Arsenal, families and military leadership consistently raised the issue of improving school transition.

As chair of the IMBSEDC, Simon helps coordinate the state’s activities and communications relating to current and former military bases in Illinois. This spring, Simon joined U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), members of Illinois’ congressional delegation and officials from the U.S. Air Force to discuss the future of Scott Air Force Base in Belleville. This fall, her office intends to release an economic impact study of the state’s military industry with the Illinois Chamber of Commerce.


Mobilization for 1544th Transportation Company in Paris Cancelled PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by Illinois National Guard PAO   
Monday, 30 June 2014 13:50

PARIS, IL (06/28/2014)(readMedia)--

WHO: • Illinois Army National Guard's 1544th Transportation Company in Paris, Ill.

WHAT: • Approximately 120 Soldiers with the 1544th Transportation Company in Paris, Illinois were prepared to mobilize in October 2014 in support of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) in Afghanistan.

• The unit's deployment has been cancelled roughly four months prior to the expected mobilization.

• The Illinois National Guard understands the added stress preparing for a mobilization puts on families and employers. The Illinois National Guard will help ensure the lives of Soldiers move forward with as little interruption as possible and will mitigate any issues Soldiers may have with employers, colleges, landlords or other such individuals notified about a possible mobilization.

• The 1544th Transportation Company has a long and well-documented history dating back to the Civil War. The unit originally organized in April of 1861 in Paris, Illinois, as Company E, 12th Illinois Volunteer Company, Illinois Militia. It has been activated for every major conflict since the Civil War including Operation Iraqi Freedom from November 2003 to June 2005.

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