Chicago's brigade will provide sustainment support in Operation Enduring Freedom

FOREST PARK, IL (12/30/2013)(readMedia)-- Chicago's own 108th Sustainment Brigade will hold a deployment ceremony on Jan. 4. The unit's approximately 280 Illinois National Guard Soldiers will deploy to Kuwait in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

The ceremony will be Jan. 4 at 2 p.m. at the Living Word Christian Center, 7600 West Roosevelt Road, Forest Park, Ill.

The Soldiers will train for a brief time at Fort Hood, Texas, before deploying overseas for approximately 10 months. During the past year the unit has participated in training exercises in Fort Leavenworth, Kan., and the Illinois National Guard's Marseilles Training Center in Marseilles in preparation for the deployment.

The 108th is composed of Soldiers from communities throughout Illinois, but with a large concentration of Soldiers from Chicago and the surrounding suburbs. Officially opened in 1941, the unit's armory is on the city's northwest side.

In Kuwait, the 108th will provide mission command, and will conduct sustainment and supply, Army watercraft, postal, human resources, contract oversight and finance operations in support of the Unified Land Operations' mission. The brigade will directly support the 143rd Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) and 1st Theater Sustainment Command's ongoing support mission in Kuwait.

The unit is scheduled to return to Illinois in fall 2014.

News media attending the event should arrive at least 30 minutes prior to the ceremony. For more information call the Public Affairs Office at 217-761-3569.

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Military museum recreates holiday celebration in the trenches of first world war

SPRINGFIELD, IL (12/12/2013)(readMedia)-- WHO:

• Illinois State Military Museum

• Illinois National Guard and Militia Historical Society


Military Museum Living Historians tell the story of World War I's 1914 Christmas truce and the Great War that changed Illinois and the world. Dr. Chris McDonald, Lincoln Land Community College professor of political science, provides a short talk about the Christmas truce. Holiday carols by the Sound Celebration.


• 6 to 9:00 p.m. Dec.17, 2013


• Illinois State Military Museum, 1301 N. MacArthur Blvd, Springfield, Ill., 62702, two blocks north of the intersection of MacArthur Blvd. and North Grand Ave.


• Free coffee, hot cider or cocoa.

• The museum is a collection site for the Toys for Tots program and will be accepting donations of new, unwrapped toys.

• Admission and parking are free.

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

The Illinois State Military Museum displays the history of the Illinois National Guard from 1723 to the 21st Century. Located two blocks north of the intersection of MacArthur Blvd. and North Grand Ave. in Springfield, Ill., the museum is open Tuesday through Saturday, 1-4:30 p.m. Admission and parking are free. Contact the museum at (217) 761-3910 or or visit Become a museum Facebook Fan at To learn more about Illinois National Guard history visit

Six Soldiers earn Bronze Star Medal

FORT SHERIDAN, IL (10/15/2013)(readMedia)-- Approximately 130 Illinois Army National Guard Soldiers from the 933rd Military Police Company based in Fort Sheridan, Ill., were recognized for their service in Afghanistan at a Freedom Salute ceremony at the Chicago Botanic Gardens, Oct. 12.

The unit mobilized Aug. 7, 2012 and deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF).

"Welcome back 933rd, I'm glad to have you back to recognize all the great work you did in Afghanistan. Be very proud of yourselves for the fine work you did over there," said Brig. Gen. Richard J. Hayes Jr., Assistant Adjutant General-Army. "To the families - thank you for your enduring sacrifice. I know it's very hard to have your loved ones away."

The company worked with Special Forces troops in Afghanistan; therefore, much of its mission is classified. 933rd Soldiers were spread across four remote combat posts in Afghanistan successfully accomplishing missions such as guard operations and prisoner escort.

"I want to thank you all for coming and the support," said Capt. Thomas Gilligan of Bolingbrook, 933rd commander. "The most important part of the National Guard is the bond we have with our families, friends and local community and as you can see with the facilities we have here today and the support we have been given over the year and the various things that got shipped to us that we needed in theater, the support we have as a unit is great and that is because of you guys."

Six Soldiers earned Bronze Star Medals, 76 earned Army Commendation Medals, 42 earned the Army Achievement Medals and 19 Soldiers received Combat Action Badges. Recipients of the Bronze Star Medal included Capt. Thomas Gilligan of Bolingbrook, 1st Lt. Christopher Rothwell of Chicago, 1st Lt. Lorrie Novak of Oak Forrest, Sgt. 1st Class Delval Desavieu of Dolton, Staff Sgt. Bret Thompson of Yorkville. Sgt. 1st Class Joel Mauney of Springfield also earned the Bronze Star Medal, but was not present for the ceremony.

The 933rd also mobilized from February 2003 to July 2004, as one of the first Illinois Army National Guard units to be deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

The Freedom Salute Campaign is a small way to show these patriotic citizen-Soldiers, their families and employers how much their sacrifice is appreciated. On behalf of the National Guard Bureau, the Illinois Army National Guard presented each eligible Soldier with an encased American flag, as well as a sequentially-numbered commemorative coin, certificate of appreciation and lapel pin. Families also received items recognizing their support and sacrifice.

The Freedom Salute Campaign is one of the largest Army National Guard recognition endeavors in history. It is designed to publicly acknowledge Army National Guard Soldiers and those who supported them while deployed.

SPRINGFIELD, IL (10/01/2013)(readMedia)-- The federal government shutdown will mean temporary layoffs of some state employees and the indefinite furlough of more than 1,100 Illinois National Guard federal technicians.

"This has been a difficult year for our technicians and their families," said Brig. Gen. Daniel M. Krumrei, the Adjutant General of the Illinois National Guard. "They along with our state employees are hard working, professional people who are tirelessly dedicated to our mission; helping our neighbors, defending our nation and protecting the state. This is no way to treat these patriots and heroes who train, mobilize, serve, sacrifice, bleed and die: just like every other Soldier and Airman. It is long past time we treat the National Guard with the dignity and equality they have earned in over 300 years of service to the people of this nation."

During the past four months, federal government officials furloughed more than 1,100 employees for up to five days. The nation requires these Soldiers to be active, traditional members of the Illinois National Guard who wear their military uniforms to work daily. However, under fiscal law the National Guard must treat these employees differently than other full-time military members.

Approximately 80 military civilian employees who support critical life and safety activities are exempt from the furlough.

Because the federal government reimburses the state for 53 Illinois Department of Military Affairs employees, the Adjutant General is also forced to layoff these employees.

The shutdown also caused the termination of the contracts of 15 employees paid through the State's Master Cooperative Agreement with the federal government.

SPRINGFIELD, IL (09/27/2013)(readMedia)-- Story by Sgt. Robert R. Adams, Illinois National Guard Public Affairs and photos by MSgt. Shaun Kerr, 183rd Public Affairs

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - Air Force Lt. Gen. Joseph L. Lengyel, Vice Chief of the National Guard Bureau, visited Illinois National Guard leaders and servicemembers Sept. 26 at the 183rd Fighter Wing and Camp Lincoln in Springfield, Ill.

The visit started at the wing with a presentation of the newly-fielded UH-72 Lakota helicopter. After the presentation Lengyel spoke to Airmen of the 183rd over lunch about the upcoming challenges the National Guard will be facing, but also emphasized the Guard's importance to the safety and well-being of the U.S. Lengyel listened to their concerns to take back with him to the Pentagon.

"Anytime you can give your opinion to someone who can make a difference, I think it's important and you should," said Senior Airmen Alicia Braun of Springfield, Contract Specialist and Warranted Contracting Officer with the 183rd Fighter Wing in Springfield, Ill.

After lunch, Lengyel visited the wing's communications building and the Composite Repair Facility.

"It is important for generals to go out into the field and visit to stay in touch with the Airmen and Soldiers of the National Guard and see what they do on a daily basis," said Brig. Gen. William D. Cobetto of Hillsboro, the Assistant Adjutant General Air for the Illinois National Guard. "Also, it is important so they can continue to tell the story about our professionalism and to get the views of Airmen and Soldiers on new policies that have come out and how they affect their lives."

Later, Lengyel toured Camp Lincoln where he shook hands and thanked Soldiers at the Central Issuing Facility (CIF).

"It makes us feel good that we are being recognized for all the hard work that my team and I do," said Army Sgt. Christopher Behrends of Virginia, Ill., materials handler for CIF, with the 1544th Transportation Company of Paris, Ill.

Lengyel also visited the United States Property and Fiscal Office, the Combined Service Maintenance Shop, the Allied Trades Building and the Illinois State Military Museum.

"For General Lengyel to get to interact with the Soldiers and Airmen today was a great opportunity for him to see what we do and how we accomplish our mission." said Army Col Christopher J. Hall of Mount Carmel, Ill., United States Property and Fiscal Officer for the Illinois National Guard.

Hall said it is important for servicemembers to see the level of care and concern from senior leadership.

"When you go to the field and see the people that are actually doing the work and that they are motivated and focused on their jobs, it motivates me to go back to the Pentagon and keep the right focus," said Lengyen. "It really is about the Soldiers and the Airmen and enabling them to do their jobs."

Lengyrl said the National Guard is a part of the solution to improve the fiscal environment in the United States right now.

"We have proven ourselves over the past 12 years particularly since 9/11 that we are so well equipped and so well trained and ready to do all of our missions, which includes war-time mission and homeland defense and civil support mission," said Lengyel.

SPRINGFIELD, IL (09/24/2013)(readMedia)-- Five Soldiers were sworn into the Illinois Army National Guard at the opening ceremony at a WWE event Sept. 22 at the Prairie Capitol Convention Center in Springfield, Ill.

Lt. Col. Mark Alessia of Sherman, Ill., the commander of the Illinois National Guard's Recruiting and Retention Command in Springfield, Ill., administered the oath of military service to Pfc. Allison Hoffman of Quincy, Ill., Pvt. Bradley Wagner of Sherman, Ill., Spc. Eilleen Figueroa of Decatur, Ill., Pvt. Joshua Mort of Springfield, Ill., and Pvt. Ian Mundstock of Litchfield, Ill.

The five new Soldiers will go to serve in units throughout the state.

SPRINGFIELD, IL (09/16/2013)(readMedia)-- Sixty-four Soldiers competed in the Illinois National Guard's fourth annual Adjutant General's Combatives Tournament at Camp Lincoln in Springfield, Ill, Sept. 15.

The tournament was open to all Illinois Army National Guard Soldiers regardless of combatives experience.

Fighters competed individually in brackets based on weight class, while team points were awarded based on total number of bout wins and individual placement. The 2nd Squadron, 106th Cavalry Regiment received the overall team award, an axe hand forged by Col. Michael Glisson, the 65th Troop Command Brigade commander.

The tournament was double elimination. The preliminary rounds were fought under Modern Army Combatives standard rules, which allows takedowns, joint locks and choke submissions. The championship bouts were fought under intermediate rules, which added open hand strikes to the head, punches to the body and head to toe kicks.

Individual winners included:

Bantamweight division (110 pounds and under): Sgt. Kassandra Cussen of Johnsburg, Ill., with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 33rd Brigade Special Troops Battalion in Machesney Park, Ill.

Flyweight division (110.1 to 125 pounds): Spc. Jose Duarte Jr. of Elgin, Ill., with Troop C, 2nd Squadron, 106th Cavalry Regiment in Aurora, Ill.

Lightweight division (125.1 to 140 pounds): Sgt. Jacob Trigleth of Effingham, Ill., with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Battalion, 130th Infantry Regiment in Marion, Ill.

Welterweight division (140.1 to 155 pounds): Sgt. 1st Class Joshua Lipa of Decatur, Ill., with the Recruiting and Retention Battalion

Middleweight division (155.1 to 170 pounds): Sgt. Allen Simmerman of Chillicothe, Ill., with Company A, 33rd Brigade Special Troops Battalion in Marseilles, Ill.

Cruiserweight division (170.1 to 185 pounds): Spc. Logan Weir of Monmouth, Ill., with the 444th Chemical Company in Galesburg, Ill.

Light heavyweight division (185.1 to 205 pounds): Sgt. Thomas Luca of Springfield, Ill., with Company B, 935th Aviation Support Battalion at Chicago Midway

Heavyweight division (over 205.1 pounds): Pfc. Steven McMahon of Streamwood, Ill., with Troop C, 2nd Squadron, 106th Cavalry Regiment in Aurora, Ill.

The Modern Army Combative Program (MACP) uses competitions as a tool to motivate Soldiers to train, build esprit de corps and to build confidence by testing techniques against a fully resistant opponent. MACP Instructors with the Illinois Army National Guard administered this year's tournament.

During the tournament, MACP Instructors gave a tactical demonstration to present several techniques and training methods recently added to the MACP course curriculum. The demonstration included close quarters fighting in full combat equipment, detainee handling and hand-cuffing, as well as extraction of a non-compliant subject from a vehicle.

For more information on Illinois' Combatives Program and updates on future competitions, please visit the Illinois Army National Guard Combatives Team's Facebook Page at

SPRINGFIELD, IL (09/14/2013)(readMedia)-- Illinois Army National Guard Sgt. 1st Class Jerome W. Baker, 29, died Sept. 13 while conducting physical fitness training during a military education course at Fort Custer in Augusta, Mich.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the Baker family and especially Jerome's mother Denise and his four young daughters," said Brig. Gen. Daniel M. Krumrei the Adjutant General of the Illinois National Guard. "Jerome served with the Illinois National Guard for 11 years building a reputation as an intelligent noncommissioned officer and mentor. He was well-respected and admired by his fellow Soldiers, subordinates and leaders."

Baker, of Riverdale, Ill., was the noncommissioned officer in charge of readiness for Company G, 634th Brigade Support Battalion, 33rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team. He was at Fort Custer completing the Senior Leaders Course.

Funeral arrangements are pending at this time. Media queries should be addressed to the Illinois National Guard Public Affairs Office at 217-761-3075 or

SPRINGFIELD, IL (09/05/2013)(readMedia)-- Three Illinois Army National Guard Soldiers were among 80 people recognized by the Illinois Emergency Services Management Association and the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) during a ceremony at the 17th Annual IEMA conference Sept. 4 in Springfield, Ill.

Maj. Wyatt Bickett of Glenarm, Ill., Maj. Lenny Williams of and Capt. Michael Raschen of Edwardsville, Ill., all with the Illinois National Guard's Joint Dyer, Ind., Staff received accreditation for completing the Illinois Professional Emergency Manager (IPEM) course and Illinois Professional Development Series (IPDS).

The IPEM was established to provide an education and training standard for those involved in the emergency management field. The IPEM will also assist county and municipal administrators by providing a framework to use in evaluating individuals applying for positions in their emergency management program.

The Illinois National Guard has had six members within its ranks who have received this accreditation since 2002.

U.S. Army National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Michael Camacho, Illinois National Guard Public Affairs/ Maj. Wyatt Bickett of Glenarm, Ill., Maj. Lenny Williams of Dyer, Ind., and Capt. Michael Raschen of Edwardsville, Ill., all with the Illinois National Guard's Joint Staff, stand with Jon Monken of Chatham, Ill., director of the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) and a captain in the Illinois Army National Guard, after receiving their accreditation for completing the Illinois Professional Emergency Manager (IPEM) course and Illinois Professional Development Series (IPDS) at the 17th Annual IEMA conference Sept. 4 in Springfield, Ill.

CHAMPAIGN, IL (09/04/2013)(readMedia)--


• Sgt. Shawna Morrison was killed in Iraq on Sept. 5, 2004. She was a member of the Illinois Army National Guard's 1544th Transportation Company based in Paris, Ill.


• The University of Illinois in Champaign, Ill. will recognize Morrison and dedicate a permanent memorial in the north courtyard of Lincoln Hall in her memory.


• September 8, 2013 at 3:00 p.m.


• University of Illinois campus, Lincoln Hall Theater, 702 S. Wright St in Urbana, Ill.


• Shawna Morrison was a student at the University of Illinois and was the first female from the Illinois National Guard killed while serving in Iraq. She was also the first Illinois student actively enrolled in college to die in combat operations.


• Brig. Gen. Daniel Krumrei, the Adjutant General of the Illinois National Guard, will join Lt. Gen. Patricia Horoho, Army Surgeon General and Thomas Lamont, Assistant Secretary of the Army for Manpower and Reserve Affairs at the event.

The event is open to the public. RSVPs are requested, but not required at

For more information, contact the Illinois National Guard Public Affairs Office at 217-761-3569 or Email:

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