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 ng.il.ilarng.list.staff-pao@mail.mil.

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