Colonel Rodney A. Thacker assumed duties as the 65th Troop Command Brigade Commander in January 2016.
His previous assignment was with the 244th Digital Liaison Detachment in Chicago. He concurrently serves as the
Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations (G3/5/7), Illinois Army National Guard in Springfield, Illinois.
Colonel Thacker enlisted in the Illinois Army National Guard in 1982 and commissioned as an
Infantry Officer in 1990 through the Illinois Army National Guard Officer Candidate School. Colonel Thacker's
previous assignments include commander of Service Battery and Battery C, 3rd Battalion, 123rd Field Artillery;
Commander, 2nd Squadron, 106th Cavalry Regiment; and the Director of Homeland Security and Emergency Management.
Colonel Thacker deployed to Afghanistan with the 33rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team in 2008 as an Embedded Training
Team Mentor in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
Colonel Thacker's military education includes the Infantry Officer Basic Course, Field Artillery Officer
Advance Course, Combined Arms Service and Staff School, Command and General Staff College, Homeland Security Planners
Course and the Infantry Brigade and Battalion Commander's Course. He is currently enrolled in the U.S. Army War College.
He has a bachelor's degree from Western Illinois University and received a master's degree in Business Administration
from Trident University International in 2013.
Colonel Thacker's military awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal
(3 Oak Leaf Clusters), Army Commendation Medal (1 Oak Leaf Cluster), Army Achievement Medal (2 Oak Leaf Cluster),
Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal (4 Oak Leaf Clusters), Humanitarian Service Medal, National Defense
Service Medal, Global War on Terror Service Medal, Afghan Campaign Medal, Combat Infantryman’s Badge, Expert
Infantryman's Badge and various other federal and state military service decorations, ribbons, and awards.
Colonel Thacker is a member of the National Guard Association of United States, National
Guard Association of Illinois, National Infantry Association, United States Field Artillery Association, and Veterans of Foreign Wars.
As of January 2016
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CSM Cistaro began his military career in 1987 in the 12th Special Forces Group (Airborne) as an Intelligence Analyst
and a Foreign Voice Radio Interceptor (Spanish and Russian). Seven years later he entered the Illinois Army National Guard. In 1995 he became
an Infantryman with D Co. 1/131INF and then C Co. which mobilized to Saudi Arabia for "Operation Desert Spring" in 1999. After 9-11, C/1/131INF
was mobilized again, and was sent to Hohenfels, Germany for "Operation Santa Fe". In 2005 he was mobilized and sent to Ft. Polk Louisiana for
"Operation Cajun Fury". In 2007 he volunteered for the JFHQ Embedded Training Team and was deployed for a year to Afghanistan. There he mentored
and fought alongside his Afghan National Army (ANA) Infantry counterparts in the 2nd Kandak, 2nd Brigade/203rd CORPS in ARSIC East. In 2009 he
was promoted to Command Sergeant Major and was transferred to the 232nd Combat Sustainment Support Battalion. In 2013 he volunteered for the
JFHQ Bilateral Embedded Staff Team (13) and was deployed to Afghanistan, this time with the Polish 10th Logistics Brigade where he assumed
responsibilities as the Task Force White Eagle, Senior Enlisted Advisor. Prior to his return to the United States he was reassigned to the
65th Troop Command as the Brigade Command Sergeant Major.
CSM Cistaro is a graduate of the United States Army Sergeants Major Academy. He has been awarded the Airborne, Air Assault,
Pathfinder and Combat Infantryman's Badges. His decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal,
Army Achievement Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Armed Forces
Reserve Medal with M Device and Silver Hourglass, Army Superior Unit Award, Noncommissioned Officers Professional Development Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, Army Reserve Component Overseas Training Ribbon, Global War on Terror Service Medal, and the
Afghanistan Campaign Medal, and the ISAF NATO MEDAL. His foreign awards include the Polish Army Marksmanship Badge (Bronze), Polish
Afghan Star, and the Polish Bronze Star Medal.
As of February 2016
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