Military & Veterans News
Illinois National Guard generals receive Gold Polish Army Medal PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by Illinois National Guard PAO   
Friday, 19 September 2014 07:52

WASHINGTON, D.C. (09/12/2014)(readMedia)-- Senior Illinois National Guard leaders were awarded the Gold Polish Army Award and celebrated Polish Armed Forces Day at the Polish Embassy in Washington, D.C., Sept. 9.

Maj. Gen. Daniel Krumrei of Springfield, Illinois, the Adjutant General of the Illinois National Guard along with Maj. Gen. William Cobetto of Hillsboro, Illinois, the Illinois National Guard Assistant Adjutant General-Air, and retired Maj. Gen. Dennis Celletti of Springfield, Illinois, received the Gold Polish Army Award for their support of Polish-American military cooperation.

"I accept this award on behalf of the 13,000 Soldier and Airmen of the Illinois National Guard who have been cooperating with the Polish Armed Forces for over 21 years and who have deployed with the Polish Armed Forces on every rotation to Iraq and Afghanistan since 2003," said Krumrei.

The Polish Army Medal was established in September 1999 to recognize service to the Polish Army by foreign civilians and military personnel. The medal is presented in three grades Gold, Silver and Bronze by the Polish Minister of National Defence.

This year the Illinois National Guard conducted more than 30 separate engagements with the Polish military, strengthening collective defenses. In June, Soldiers participated in a biological response exercise in Poland. In October, 75 Soldiers and Airmen will participate in an exercise in Poland known as Anaconda Saber. Also in October, C130s from the 182nd Airlift Wing will deploy to Poland where they will fly side by side with the Polish C130s in support of NATO operations in Poland.

 
Chicago based unit receives Army Award for Maintenance Excellence PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by Staff Sgt. Michael Camacho, 108th Sustainment Brigade   
Friday, 19 September 2014 07:30

WASHINGTON, D.C.– (09/12/2014)(readMedia)-- The Illinois Army National Guard's 108th Special Troops Battalion based in Chicago received a national-level Army Award for Excellence in Maintenance (AAME) Sept. 10 during the 10th Annual United States Army Combined Logistics Excellence Award ceremony in Washington, D.C.

The 108th STB, which deployed to Kuwait in January under the 108th Sustainment Brigade in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, placed first in the large-unit category in the 2013 AAME competition. This is the second year since 2011 the unit has received the award.

"The AAME gives recognition and improves overall readiness," said Col. Drew Dukett of Roodhouse, Illinois, the 108th Sust. Bde. commander. "When you have a checklist of what needs to be done per the regulation you have to maintain a high level of readiness and maintenance."

This competition maintains the efforts and progress the 108th has already made in its stride toward efficiency, said Dukett.

"Especially in tough fiscal times, maintenance is vitally important. It preserves our ability to conduct military operations and saves the taxpayer the cost of having to replace Army equipment," said Dukett. "My Soldiers understand this and it has shown in their work. I'm proud of them and their dedication. The AAME award is a reflection of their efforts."

AAME evaluators from Fort Lee, Virgina, conducted onsite inspections in the final phase of the competition earlier this year. Evaluators visited the 108th STB's facilities in both North Riverside and the Northwest Armory near Humboldt Park.

The competition involves a thorough inspection in different areas of the unit including maintenance, supply, training and overall unit readiness. The AAME competition is divided into different phases spanning several months. The 108th STB won maintenance competitions at the state, regional and National Guard Bureau levels.

Competition categories are determined by the number of personnel assigned to a unit or command. Units with 300 or more personnel compete in the large category.

The 20-page nomination packet, required to enter the AAME competition, illustrated the unit's maintenance programs and Soldier readiness. The 108th STB is the first unit in the Illinois National Guard to win in the large category since the 232nd Combat Support Battalion out of Springfield in 2001.

The 108th SB as a whole is no stranger to logistical excellence awards. Units and Solders within the brigade have received awards and citations for excellence in supply, maintenance and combat support operations in recent years.

Capt. Alison Jacobs of Rochester, Illinois, the logistics officer with the 108th STB said the unit's success in the competition reflects the unit's overall dedication to mission readiness and support in Illinois and abroad.

"A major part of the AAME program revolves around units displaying that they are prepared for their mission for internal and external support," Jacobs said. "Being mission ready is especially critical for logistical support units."

Jacobs said it was the team effort that made the 108th STB successful in the AAME competition.

"Success doesn't come from the efforts of one person," said Jacobs. "It's a team dynamic, drawing support throughout the unit, from the leadership to Soldiers in the motor pool. It's not just about reaching the standard, but exceeding it and continuing to maintain that level."

 
Veterans’ Service Office Open House All Veterans Welcome! PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by Ryan Yantis   
Monday, 15 September 2014 09:20

Please join the Quad Cities Vet Center and the Jo Daviess County Office, Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs (IDVA) for an informative and fun Open House:

Location:  West Galena Township Building, 607 Gear St. Galena, IL 61036

Date/Time:   Weds, Sept. 24, 2014 from 2 – 4 p.m.

This is an informal opportunity to learn more about what Veteran benefits, programs, and activities are available for veterans and to meet key personnel in the State and County veterans’ assistance offices.   Refreshments to be provided.

Veterans seeking additional information please contact Tina Paggi, Veteran Service Officer, Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs; This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or 815-233-5092.

The IDVA helps veterans their family members navigate the many federal, state, and local resources and benefits earned through service. The IDVA’s Veteran Service Officers – themselves veterans – are trained and certified to help with questions, benefit applications, disability claims and to identify programs for which veterans may be eligible.

IDVA invites all veterans to Stand Up And Be Counted, a state-wide effort to have veterans  provide current contact information and register their DD-214, helping IDVA and the entire veteran advocacy community to gain a better understanding of who and where Illinois' veterans are. This will helps the IDVA plan for future services, lobby for further federal VA funding and facilities, and generally serve Illinois' veterans better.

Stand Up And Be Counted, (http://www2.illinois.gov/veterans/Pages/StandUpCounted.aspx)

 

All postings in community events and calendars are welcomed and appreciated.  Media interested in pre-event interviews or on-site access with IDVA personnel, please contact Ryan Yantis, communication manager, IDVA, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or 312-814-0778.

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Illinois State Military Museum to host "The Fiery Trial: Civil Rights Stories by Candlelight" PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by Illinois National Guard PAO   
Thursday, 11 September 2014 16:11

SPRINGFIELD, IL (09/09/2014)(readMedia)-- The Illinois State Military Museum is one of several historic sites in Springfield, Illinois, that will host "The Fiery trial: Civil Rights Stories by Candlelight." Historians will tell stories, by candlelight, about Illinois residents and civil rights events as part of the nation's "Civil War to Civil Rights" 150th commemoration.

WHO:

• The Illinois State Military Museum

WHAT:

• "The Fiery Trial: Civil Rights Stories by Candlelight"

• A stop on a candlelight tour of historic sites in Springfield, Illinois

• The men who mustered into the 29th U.S. Colored Troops Regiment in Quincy in 1863 faced numerous hurdles just to enlist. Learn of the success of these Illinois Soldiers in combat in Virginia at the Battle of the Crater, at the battle of Appomattox and finally in service in Texas. In addition, the museum will be open for self-guided tours.

WHEN:

• 6 p.m.-9 p.m., Sept. 13

WHERE:

• The Illinois State Military Museum, 1301 N. MacArthur Blvd. in Springfield, Ill.

ADDITIONAL INFO:

• Admission and parking are free

• The Illinois Militia dates back to colonial times, making significant contributions to the Revolutionary War period and the largest contribution of personnel to the Union during the Civil War.

ADDITIONAL TOUR LOCATIONS:

• Lincoln Home National Historic Site

• Elijah Iles House

• Lincoln Tomb and War Memorial State Historic Site

• Old State Capitol State Historic Site

• Dana-Thomas House Historic Site

• Vachel Lindsay Home State Historic Site

For additional information, please contact the Illinois State Military Museum at 217-761-3910.

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Braley Continues Work to Ensure Iowa National Guard Gets Resources to Conduct Scheduled Drills PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by Kirsten Hartman   
Thursday, 11 September 2014 15:43

Congressman urges Administration to quickly approve Guard funds

Washington, D.C. – Continuing his effort to prevent a budget shortfall from threatening the Iowa National Guard’s September training exercises, Rep. Bruce Braley (IA-01) today pushed the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to expedite approval of a reallocation of funds that would allow the Guard to hold its scheduled drills.

A high participation rate in previous training exercises this year, along with higher than expected training costs, has contributed to a $2.4 million budget shortfall in the Iowa National Guard’s budget. If that shortfall is not addressed, it could jeopardize Guard drills scheduled for September. The National Guard recently submitted a reprogramming request that would allow them to transfer money between accounts, and allow the proposed drill to go forward as scheduled.

"The funds can’t be allocated until the Administration sends the request to Congress, and that needs to happen as quickly as possible," Braley said. "Iowans all over our state know the tremendous sacrifice the Iowa National Guard has made to our country and they need to have the resources necessary to conduct their scheduled trainings."

 

Braley’s letter to OMB Director Shaun Donovan urges him to quickly approve any reprogramming request made by the Guard, and send it for approval to the House Appropriations Committee so that the funds can be made available.

“The option of canceling drills is alarming and would lead to a loss of income for Guard members—many of whom rely on the income for basic necessities,” Braley wrote.

Braley has been a consistent advocate for Iowa's National Guard. This year, he repeatedly fought proposed cuts to the Iowa National Guard, citing their work on behalf of Iowans in the aftermath of natural disasters and in combat deployments outside the United States. In December of 2012 he joined Rep. Tom Latham in efforts to block cuts to the Des Moines Air National Guard.

A copy of Braley’s letter is available HERE.

 
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