Illinois National Guard

Press Release

 
<P style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt; LINE-HEIGHT: 200%; TEXT-INDENT: 0.5in"><B style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal"><SPAN lang=X-NONE>SPRINGFIELD, Illinois </SPAN></B><SPAN lang=X-NONE>– </SPAN><SPAN><SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>The 404th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade based in Normal, Illinois, has been selected to receive the 2015 Department of Defense Reserve Family Readiness Award at the Pentagon Hall of Heroes on Feb. 26, 2016. <?xml:namespace prefix = "o" ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /><o:p></o:p></SPAN></P>
<P style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt; LINE-HEIGHT: 200%; TEXT-INDENT: 0.5in"><SPAN>The RFRA Program was established in 2000 to recognize the top unit in each Reserve Component that demonstrated outstanding family readiness while maintaining superior mission readiness. </SPAN><SPAN lang=X-NONE>The Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs presents the award annually to one unit from each of the Reserve components, which includes the Army National Guard,</SPAN><SPAN> the Army Reserve,</SPAN><SPAN lang=X-NONE> the Marine Corps Reserve, the Navy Reserve, the Air National Guard, the Air Force Reserve and the Coast Guard Reserve.<o:p></o:p></SPAN></P>
<P style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt; LINE-HEIGHT: 200%; TEXT-INDENT: 0.5in"><SPAN>“I am very pleased that one of our outstanding brigades is being recognized for their hard work to support the families of our Soldiers,” said Maj. Gen. Richard J. Hayes, the Adjutant General for the Illinois National Guard. “This is a testament to not only the FRG and the leadership of the 404th, but also the unwavering support of the surrounding communities.” <o:p></o:p></SPAN></P>
<P style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt; LINE-HEIGHT: 200%; TEXT-INDENT: 0.5in"><SPAN>Col. Byron Lloyd of Springfield, Illinois, commander of the 404th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade (MEB) said this is an example of getting noticed by doing more than what’s expected of you.<o:p></o:p></SPAN></P>
<P style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt; LINE-HEIGHT: 200%; TEXT-INDENT: 0.5in"><SPAN>“This isn’t a brigade that just meets the quota, it’s a brigade that goes above and beyond the standard,” said Lloyd. “It’s because of this kind of effort, day in and day out, that has put them in a position to receive this award and I couldn’t be more proud of the FRG, the surrounding community, the Soldiers and their families.”<o:p></o:p></SPAN></P>
<P style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt; LINE-HEIGHT: 200%; TEXT-INDENT: 0.5in"><SPAN>Maureen Keener, Family Readiness Support Assistant for the 404th MEB, said she is very proud that the brigade was selected to receive the award. <o:p></o:p></SPAN></P>
<P style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt; LINE-HEIGHT: 200%; TEXT-INDENT: 0.5in"><SPAN>“They are a great brigade to the families because of the individuals running the group and the communities surrounding the unit,” said Keener. <o:p></o:p></SPAN></P>
<P style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt; LINE-HEIGHT: 200%; TEXT-INDENT: 0.5in"><SPAN>All the brigade’s FRGs have been outstanding including the Headquarters and Headquarters Company FRG, which just started in 2014 said Keener.<o:p></o:p></SPAN></P>
<P style="MARGIN: 5pt auto auto; LINE-HEIGHT: 200%; TEXT-AUTOSPACE: ; TEXT-INDENT: 0.5in; mso-add-space: auto; mso-layout-grid-align: none"><SPAN>Capt. Jera Muder, of Riverton, Illinois, company commander for the Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 404th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, took command in August 2014 with no FRG in place. <SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>Muder said that Staff Sgt. Cody Owens’ wife, Megan, stepped up as the leader of the FRG and, within the first weeked of her being there, she had already reached out<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes">  </SPAN>to members in the local community and created folders for each Soldier containing coupons, brochures and free tickets.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes">  </SPAN><o:p></o:p></SPAN></P>
<P style="MARGIN: 5pt auto auto; LINE-HEIGHT: 200%; TEXT-AUTOSPACE: ; TEXT-INDENT: 0.5in; mso-add-space: auto; mso-layout-grid-align: none"><SPAN>“The big reason why we are so successful is because the community is so supportive of the National Guard,” said Muder. “I have never seen an area that is as supportive as the Normal, Illinois area.”<o:p></o:p></SPAN></P>
<P style="MARGIN: 5pt auto auto; LINE-HEIGHT: 200%; TEXT-AUTOSPACE: ; mso-add-space: auto; mso-layout-grid-align: none"><SPAN><SPAN style="mso-tab-count: 1">            </SPAN>Muder said that Megan Owens has done an outstanding job and gone beyond the expections of an FRG leader.<o:p></o:p></SPAN></P>
<P style="MARGIN: 5pt auto auto; LINE-HEIGHT: 200%; TEXT-AUTOSPACE: ; TEXT-INDENT: 0.5in; mso-add-space: auto; mso-layout-grid-align: none"><SPAN>“We were just doing what we needed to do to make sure the families and Soldiers in the unit were supported,” said Megan Owens, Family Readiness Group leader. “At the end of the day, its nice for our group to be recognized and honored for our efforts.”<o:p></o:p></SPAN></P>
<P style="MARGIN: 5pt auto auto; LINE-HEIGHT: 200%; TEXT-AUTOSPACE: ; TEXT-INDENT: 0.5in; mso-add-space: auto; mso-layout-grid-align: none"><SPAN>Muder said family readiness is an essential component to ensure Guard and Reserve units are ready for upcoming deployments and because of that she will continue to look for ways to ensure families and Soldiers have what they need.<o:p></o:p></SPAN></P>
<P style="MARGIN: 5pt auto auto; LINE-HEIGHT: 200%; TEXT-AUTOSPACE: ; TEXT-INDENT: 0.5in; mso-add-space: auto; mso-layout-grid-align: none"><SPAN>“There is always room for improvement in this relatively new group and there are many opportunites for others to join,” said Muder. “We will work to sustain what we have done and the partnerships and relationships that we have established with our supporters.”<o:p></o:p></SPAN></P>
<P style="MARGIN: 5pt auto auto; LINE-HEIGHT: 200%; TEXT-AUTOSPACE: ; TEXT-INDENT: 0.5in; mso-add-space: auto; mso-layout-grid-align: none"><SPAN>In addition to the HHC having a stand out FRG, the Galesburg, Illinois based 444th Chemical Company FRG has been around many years and has made a name for itself.<o:p></o:p></SPAN></P>
<P style="MARGIN: 5pt 0in 0pt 0.5in; LINE-HEIGHT: 200%; TEXT-AUTOSPACE: ; TEXT-INDENT: 0.5in; mso-add-space: auto; mso-layout-grid-align: none"><SPAN>“The 444th Chemical Company Family Readiness Group is one of the best, if not<o:p></o:p></SPAN></P>
<P style="MARGIN: 5pt 0in 0pt 0.5in; LINE-HEIGHT: 200%; TEXT-AUTOSPACE: ; mso-add-space: auto; mso-layout-grid-align: none"><SPAN>the best, FRG in the state,” said Capt. Adam Geerts, commander of the 444th. “It is by far the best FRG that I have personally been part of in my 15 years of service.”<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes">  </SPAN><o:p></o:p></SPAN></P>
<P style="MARGIN: 5pt 0in 0pt 0.5in; LINE-HEIGHT: 200%; TEXT-AUTOSPACE: ; TEXT-INDENT: 0.5in; mso-add-space: auto; mso-layout-grid-align: none"><SPAN>Geerts said all of the credit goes to Barb Genisio and her group of volunteers and FRG appointees.<o:p></o:p></SPAN></P>
<P style="MARGIN: 5pt 0in 0pt 0.5in; LINE-HEIGHT: 200%; TEXT-AUTOSPACE: ; TEXT-INDENT: 0.5in; mso-add-space: auto; mso-layout-grid-align: none"><SPAN>Genisio is the mother of 1st Sgt. Jonathan Genisio, the 444th First Sergeant.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes">  </SPAN>She said she was inspired to be an FRG leader because of the outstanding support she received from an FRG while her son was deployed.<o:p></o:p></SPAN></P>
<P style="MARGIN: 5pt 0in 0pt 0.5in; LINE-HEIGHT: 200%; TEXT-AUTOSPACE: ; TEXT-INDENT: 0.5in; mso-add-space: auto; mso-layout-grid-align: none"><SPAN>“The thing I am most proud of is the closeknit FRG-to-Soldier relationship we have established in the 444th,” said Genisio. “As we move forward, we will be focusing on improving communication with the Families, supporting the Families, gathering more volunteers and finding ways to involve the Families’s youth in activities.” <o:p></o:p></SPAN></P>
<P style="MARGIN: 5pt 0in 0pt 0.5in; LINE-HEIGHT: 200%; TEXT-AUTOSPACE: ; TEXT-INDENT: 0.5in; mso-add-space: auto; mso-layout-grid-align: none"><SPAN>The 444th is part of the CERFP and the FRG has traveled to the collective<o:p></o:p></SPAN></P>
<P style="MARGIN: 5pt auto auto; LINE-HEIGHT: 200%; TEXT-AUTOSPACE: ; TEXT-INDENT: 0.5in; mso-add-space: auto; mso-layout-grid-align: none"><SPAN>exercises the unit was involved in including the Cold Weather Exercise in Macomb, Illinois.<o:p></o:p></SPAN></P>
<P style="MARGIN: 5pt 0in 0pt 0.5in; LINE-HEIGHT: 200%; TEXT-AUTOSPACE: ; mso-add-space: auto; mso-layout-grid-align: none"><SPAN>“They brought chili and hot chocolate for not only our unit, but the other Soldiers and Airmen participating in the exercise that day,” said Geerts.<o:p></o:p></SPAN></P><SPAN>Lloyd said he has no doubt that the brigade will continue to have great FRGs and he looks forward to seeing how they will improve upon their already excellent reputation.</SPAN> 404th MEB Recieves the Department of Defense Reserve Family Readiness Award
29 Feb 2016

SPRINGFIELD, Illinois  The 404th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade based in Normal, Illinois, has been selected to receive the 2015 Department of Defense Reserve Family Readiness Award at the Pentagon Hall of Heroes on Feb. 26, 2016.

 
<p>SPRINGFIELD, Illinois - Illinois
Governor Bruce Rauner, the Commander-in-Chief of the Illinois National Guard,
opened up the Illinois Army National Guard’s Senior Leader Conference on Friday
by telling the more than 130 senior-ranking Soldiers about the importance of
identifying leaders within their ranks and empowering them.</p><p>That’s
what I did in business. I found talented innovative leaders who knew how to
build teams and I backed them,” the Governor said. “Sometimes it didn’t work
out, but far more often than not, it did."</p><p>The Governor
said he sees his role as a “servant” leader. “Yes, by title, I am the
Commander-in-Chief of the Illinois National Guard. But, really, I see myself as
working for you,” he told the military leadership assembled at Camp Lincoln for
the conference.</p><p>The Illinois
Army National Guard Senior Leader’s Conference is a three-day workshop, running
from Feb. 26-28, for command teams at the battalion level and above. Battalion
Commanders are upper management who command between 300 to 700 Soldiers across
three or four different locations. The conference is focused on leadership,
ethics, increasing our connection to the community, individual and unit
readiness, force development, and embodying the Minuteman.</p><p>Guest
speakers include Maj. Gen. Charles W. Whittington Jr., the First Army Deputy
Commanding General – Operations; Rear Admiral Margaret Klein, the Senior
Advisor to the Secretary of Defense for Military Professionalism; Dr. Rick
Olsen, an expert on leadership issues and cultural change from the U.S. Army’s Command
and General Staff College; Col. (ret.) Robert Simpson, an expert on Russian New
Generation Warfare working for The Patuxent Partnership in support of the U.S.
Army Training and Doctrine Command’s Army Capabilities Integration Center; Lt.
Col. Kelly C. Brown, a Fellow in the Chief of Staff of the Army’s Strategic
Studies Group; and Lt. Col. Krista M. Soria, a strategic analyst for Force 2025
and Beyond, Army Capabilities Integration Center.</p> Governor Rauner Opens Illinois Army National Guard Senior Leader Conference
2 Mar 2016

SPRINGFIELD, Illinois – Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner, the Commander-in-Chief of the Illinois National Guard, opened up the Illinois Army National Guard’s Senior Leader Conference on Friday by telling the more than 130 senior-ranking Soldiers about the importance of identifying leaders within their ranks and empowering them.

 
<p>SPRINGFIELD, Illinois - Illinois
Governor Bruce Rauner, the Commander-in-Chief of the Illinois National Guard,
opened up the Illinois Army National Guard’s Senior Leader Conference on Friday
by telling the more than 130 senior-ranking Soldiers about the importance of
identifying leaders within their ranks and empowering them.</p><p>That’s
what I did in business. I found talented innovative leaders who knew how to
build teams and I backed them,” the Governor said. “Sometimes it didn’t work
out, but far more often than not, it did."</p><p>The Governor
said he sees his role as a “servant” leader. “Yes, by title, I am the
Commander-in-Chief of the Illinois National Guard. But, really, I see myself as
working for you,” he told the military leadership assembled at Camp Lincoln for
the conference.</p><p>The Illinois
Army National Guard Senior Leader’s Conference is a three-day workshop, running
from Feb. 26-28, for command teams at the battalion level and above. Battalion
Commanders are upper management who command between 300 to 700 Soldiers across
three or four different locations. The conference is focused on leadership,
ethics, increasing our connection to the community, individual and unit
readiness, force development, and embodying the Minuteman.</p><p>Guest
speakers include Maj. Gen. Charles W. Whittington Jr., the First Army Deputy
Commanding General – Operations; Rear Admiral Margaret Klein, the Senior
Advisor to the Secretary of Defense for Military Professionalism; Dr. Rick
Olsen, an expert on leadership issues and cultural change from the U.S. Army’s Command
and General Staff College; Col. (ret.) Robert Simpson, an expert on Russian New
Generation Warfare working for The Patuxent Partnership in support of the U.S.
Army Training and Doctrine Command’s Army Capabilities Integration Center; Lt.
Col. Kelly C. Brown, a Fellow in the Chief of Staff of the Army’s Strategic
Studies Group; and Lt. Col. Krista M. Soria, a strategic analyst for Force 2025
and Beyond, Army Capabilities Integration Center.</p> Governor Rauner Opens Illinois Army National Guard Senior Leader Conference
2 Mar 2016

SPRINGFIELD, Illinois – Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner, the Commander-in-Chief of the Illinois National Guard, opened up the Illinois Army National Guard’s Senior Leader Conference on Friday by telling the more than 130 senior-ranking Soldiers about the importance of identifying leaders within their ranks and empowering them.

 
<P style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt; LINE-HEIGHT: 200%; TEXT-INDENT: 0.5in"><B style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal"><SPAN>WHEATON, Illinois – </SPAN></B><SPAN>Members of Illinois’ Bilateral Embedded Staff Team A15 were recognized for their service in Afghanistan during a Freedom Salute ceremony at the First Division Museum at Cantigny Park in Wheaton, Illinois, Mar. 5.<SPAN style="mso-tab-count: 1">            </SPAN><?xml:namespace prefix = "o" ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /><o:p></o:p></SPAN></P>
<P style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt; LINE-HEIGHT: 200%; TEXT-INDENT: 0.5in"><SPAN>Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner spoke to those in attendance of the importance of the ongoing mission in Afghanistan and the important partnership Illinois has with the Polish forces. He said BEST A15 played a vital role in that partnership.<o:p></o:p></SPAN></P>
<P style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt; LINE-HEIGHT: 200%; TEXT-INDENT: 0.5in"><SPAN><SPAN style="mso-tab-count: 1">            </SPAN>“The deployments in Afghanistan are critically important to America’s safety and the safety of the world, the ongoing campaign in Afghanistan is critical and our partnership with the military in Poland is one of the most important partnerships America has,” said Rauner.<o:p></o:p></SPAN></P>
<P style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt; LINE-HEIGHT: 200%; TEXT-INDENT: 0.5in"><SPAN><SPAN style="mso-tab-count: 1">            </SPAN>Lieutenant Governor Evelyn Sanguinetti and Congressman Peter J. Roskam, 6th Congressional District, echoed the governor’s sentiments praising the Soldiers for their service and welcoming them home.<o:p></o:p></SPAN></P>
<P style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt; LINE-HEIGHT: 200%; TEXT-INDENT: 0.5in"><SPAN><SPAN style="mso-tab-count: 1">            </SPAN>Lt. Col. Michael Beierman of Monee led the six-man team, which mobilized in May 2015. The team was comprised of Maj. Brice Graber of Morton Grove, Illinois; Capt. Kenneth Allison of Pekin, Illinois; Chief Warrant Officer 2 Gordon Goodwin of Chicago and Sgt 1st Class Robert Brogdon of Chatham, Illinois.<o:p></o:p></SPAN></P>
<P style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt; LINE-HEIGHT: 200%; TEXT-INDENT: 0.5in"><SPAN><SPAN style="mso-tab-count: 1">            </SPAN>Brogdon, a 24-year veteran of the military, has served and deployed with the U.S. Navy and the Illinois Army National Guard and said there have been a lot of changes over the years during deployments, one significant change being communication with families.<o:p></o:p></SPAN></P>
<P style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt; LINE-HEIGHT: 200%; TEXT-INDENT: 0.5in"><SPAN><SPAN style="mso-tab-count: 1">            </SPAN>“Being deployed in the ‘80s, communication was limited to phone calls and letter writing,” said Brogdon. “Now we are able to talk almost every day through e-mail and video chat.”<o:p></o:p></SPAN></P>
<P style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt; LINE-HEIGHT: 200%; TEXT-INDENT: 0.5in"><SPAN><SPAN style="mso-tab-count: 1">            </SPAN>Brogdon and his wife, Jenny, said that reintegration was not as difficult as previous deployments because of the continuous, daily communication.<o:p></o:p></SPAN></P>
<P style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt; LINE-HEIGHT: 200%; TEXT-INDENT: 0.5in"><SPAN><SPAN style="mso-tab-count: 1">            </SPAN>Prior to their deployment, Beierman spoke to his team about the page in history they were about to write. He concluded that the First Division Museum which houses exhibits from not only World War I and World War II, but later U.S. wars as well, was very fitting for their ceremony.<o:p></o:p></SPAN></P>
<P style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt; LINE-HEIGHT: 200%; TEXT-INDENT: 0.5in"><SPAN><SPAN style="mso-tab-count: 1">            </SPAN>“Here at Cantigny, in the midst of some of the great Soldiers of the world, your page is written in that book as well,” said Beierman.<o:p></o:p></SPAN></P> Illinois Unit Honored for Service in Afghanistan with Polish Brigade
6 Mar 2016

WHEATON, Illinois – Members of Illinois’ Bilateral Embedded Staff Team A15 were recognized for their service in Afghanistan during a Freedom Salute ceremony at the First Division Museum at Cantigny Park in Wheaton, Illinois, Mar. 5. Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner spoke to those in attendance of the importance of the ongoing mission in Afghanistan and the important partnership Illinois has with the Polish forces. He said BEST A15 played a vital role in that partnership.

 
<P style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt; LINE-HEIGHT: 200%; TEXT-INDENT: 0.5in"><B style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal"><SPAN>WHEATON, Illinois – </SPAN></B><SPAN>Members of Illinois’ Bilateral Embedded Staff Team A15 were recognized for their service in Afghanistan during a Freedom Salute ceremony at the First Division Museum at Cantigny Park in Wheaton, Illinois, Mar. 5.<SPAN style="mso-tab-count: 1">            </SPAN><?xml:namespace prefix = "o" ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /><o:p></o:p></SPAN></P>
<P style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt; LINE-HEIGHT: 200%; TEXT-INDENT: 0.5in"><SPAN>Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner spoke to those in attendance of the importance of the ongoing mission in Afghanistan and the important partnership Illinois has with the Polish forces. He said BEST A15 played a vital role in that partnership.<o:p></o:p></SPAN></P>
<P style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt; LINE-HEIGHT: 200%; TEXT-INDENT: 0.5in"><SPAN><SPAN style="mso-tab-count: 1">            </SPAN>“The deployments in Afghanistan are critically important to America’s safety and the safety of the world, the ongoing campaign in Afghanistan is critical and our partnership with the military in Poland is one of the most important partnerships America has,” said Rauner.<o:p></o:p></SPAN></P>
<P style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt; LINE-HEIGHT: 200%; TEXT-INDENT: 0.5in"><SPAN><SPAN style="mso-tab-count: 1">            </SPAN>Lieutenant Governor Evelyn Sanguinetti and Congressman Peter J. Roskam, 6th Congressional District, echoed the governor’s sentiments praising the Soldiers for their service and welcoming them home.<o:p></o:p></SPAN></P>
<P style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt; LINE-HEIGHT: 200%; TEXT-INDENT: 0.5in"><SPAN><SPAN style="mso-tab-count: 1">            </SPAN>Lt. Col. Michael Beierman of Monee led the six-man team, which mobilized in May 2015. The team was comprised of Maj. Brice Graber of Morton Grove, Illinois; Capt. Kenneth Allison of Pekin, Illinois; Chief Warrant Officer 2 Gordon Goodwin of Chicago and Sgt 1st Class Robert Brogdon of Chatham, Illinois.<o:p></o:p></SPAN></P>
<P style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt; LINE-HEIGHT: 200%; TEXT-INDENT: 0.5in"><SPAN><SPAN style="mso-tab-count: 1">            </SPAN>Brogdon, a 24-year veteran of the military, has served and deployed with the U.S. Navy and the Illinois Army National Guard and said there have been a lot of changes over the years during deployments, one significant change being communication with families.<o:p></o:p></SPAN></P>
<P style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt; LINE-HEIGHT: 200%; TEXT-INDENT: 0.5in"><SPAN><SPAN style="mso-tab-count: 1">            </SPAN>“Being deployed in the ‘80s, communication was limited to phone calls and letter writing,” said Brogdon. “Now we are able to talk almost every day through e-mail and video chat.”<o:p></o:p></SPAN></P>
<P style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt; LINE-HEIGHT: 200%; TEXT-INDENT: 0.5in"><SPAN><SPAN style="mso-tab-count: 1">            </SPAN>Brogdon and his wife, Jenny, said that reintegration was not as difficult as previous deployments because of the continuous, daily communication.<o:p></o:p></SPAN></P>
<P style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt; LINE-HEIGHT: 200%; TEXT-INDENT: 0.5in"><SPAN><SPAN style="mso-tab-count: 1">            </SPAN>Prior to their deployment, Beierman spoke to his team about the page in history they were about to write. He concluded that the First Division Museum which houses exhibits from not only World War I and World War II, but later U.S. wars as well, was very fitting for their ceremony.<o:p></o:p></SPAN></P>
<P style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt; LINE-HEIGHT: 200%; TEXT-INDENT: 0.5in"><SPAN><SPAN style="mso-tab-count: 1">            </SPAN>“Here at Cantigny, in the midst of some of the great Soldiers of the world, your page is written in that book as well,” said Beierman.<o:p></o:p></SPAN></P> Illinois Unit Honored for Service in Afghanistan with Polish Brigade
6 Mar 2016

WHEATON, Illinois – Members of Illinois’ Bilateral Embedded Staff Team A15 were recognized for their service in Afghanistan during a Freedom Salute ceremony at the First Division Museum at Cantigny Park in Wheaton, Illinois, Mar. 5. Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner spoke to those in attendance of the importance of the ongoing mission in Afghanistan and the important partnership Illinois has with the Polish forces. He said BEST A15 played a vital role in that partnership.

 
<i>Story by Staff Sgt. Robert R. Adams, Illinois National Guard Public Affairs </i><div><br></div><div><b>SPRINGFIELD, Ill. –</b> The 404th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade based in Normal, Illinois, has been selected to receive the 2015 Department of Defense Reserve Family Readiness Award at the Pentagon Hall of Heroes on Feb. 26, 2016.</div><div><br></div><div>The RFRA Program was established in 2000 to recognize the top unit in each Reserve Component that demonstrated outstanding family readiness while maintaining superior mission readiness. The Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs presents the award annually to one unit from each of the Reserve components, which includes the Army National Guard, the Army Reserve, the Marine Corps Reserve, the Navy Reserve, the Air National Guard, the Air Force Reserve and the Coast Guard Reserve.</div><div><br></div><div>“I am very pleased that one of our outstanding brigades is being recognized for their hard work to support the families of our Soldiers,” said Maj. Gen. Richard J. Hayes, the Adjutant General for the Illinois National Guard. “This is a testament to not only the FRG and the leadership of the 404th, but also the unwavering support of the surrounding communities.”</div><div><br></div><div>Col. Byron Lloyd of Springfield, Illinois, commander of the 404th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade (MEB) said this is an example of getting noticed by doing more than what’s expected of you.</div><div><br></div><div>“This isn’t a brigade that just meets the quota, it’s a brigade that goes above and beyond the standard,” said Lloyd. “It’s because of this kind of effort, day in and day out, that has put them in a position to receive this award and I couldn’t be more proud of the FRG, the surrounding community, the Soldiers and their families.”</div><div><br></div><div>Maureen Keener, Family Readiness Support Assistant for the 404th MEB, said she is very proud that the brigade was selected to receive the award. </div><div><br></div><div>“They are a great brigade to the families because of the individuals running the group and the communities surrounding the unit,” said Keener.</div><div><br></div><div>All the brigade’s FRGs have been outstanding including the Headquarters and Headquarters Company FRG, which just started in 2014 said Keener.</div><div><br></div><div>Capt. Jera Muder, of Riverton, Illinois, company commander for the Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 404th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, took command in August 2014 with no FRG in place. Muder said that Staff Sgt. Cody Owens’ wife, Megan, stepped up as the leader of the FRG and, within the first weekend of her being there, she had already reached out to members in the local community and created folders for each Soldier containing coupons, brochures and free tickets. </div><div><br></div><div>“The big reason why we are so successful is because the community is so supportive of the National Guard,” said Muder. “I have never seen an area that is as supportive as the Normal, Illinois area.”</div><div><br></div><div>Muder said that Megan Owens has done an outstanding job and gone beyond the expectations of an FRG leader.</div><div><br></div><div>“We were just doing what we needed to do to make sure the families and Soldiers in the unit were supported,” said Megan Owens, Family Readiness Group leader. “At the end of the day, its nice for our group to be recognized and honored for our efforts.”</div><div><br></div><div>Muder said family readiness is an essential component to ensure Guard and Reserve units are ready for upcoming deployments and because of that she will continue to look for ways to ensure families and Soldiers have what they need. </div><div><br></div><div>“There is always room for improvement in this relatively new group and there are many opportunites for others to join,” said Muder. “We will work to sustain what we have done and the partnerships and relationships that we have established with our supporters.” </div><div><br></div><div>In addition to the HHC having a stand out FRG, the Galesburg, Illinois based 444th Chemical Company FRG has been around many years and has made a name for itself. </div><div><br></div><div>“The 444th Chemical Company Family Readiness Group is one of the best, if not the best, FRG in the state,” said Capt. Adam Geerts, commander of the 444th. “It is by far the best FRG that I have personally been part of in my 15 years of service.” </div><div><br></div><div>Geerts said all of the credit goes to Barb Genisio and her group of volunteers and FRG appointees. Genisio is the mother of 1st Sgt. Jonathan Genisio, the 444th First Sergeant. She said she was inspired to be an FRG leader because of the outstanding support she received from an FRG while her son was deployed. </div><div><br></div><div>“The thing I am most proud of is the closeknit FRG-to-Soldier relationship we have established in the 444th,” said Genisio. “As we move forward, we will be focusing on improving communication with the Families, supporting the Families, gathering more volunteers and finding ways to involve the Families’s youth in activities.” </div><div><br></div><div>The 444th is part of the CERFP and the FRG has traveled to the collective exercises the unit was involved in including the Cold Weather Exercise in Macomb, Illinois. “They brought chili and hot chocolate for not only our unit, but the other Soldiers and Airmen participating in the exercise that day,” said Geerts. </div><div><br></div><div>Lloyd said he has no doubt that the brigade will continue to have great FRGs and he looks forward to seeing how they will improve upon their already excellent reputation.</div> 404th MEB Selected to Receive the Department of Defense Reserve Family Readiness Award
14 Mar 2016

The 404th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade based in Normal, Illinois, has been selected to receive the 2015 Department of Defense Reserve Family Readiness Award at the Pentagon Hall of Heroes on Feb. 26, 2016.

 
<p>

<i>Story by 1st Lt. Aaron Ritter, Illinois National Guard
Public Affairs Office</i> </p><p><b>Springfield, Illinois –</b> The
Adjutant General of the Illinois National Guard, Maj. Gen. Richard Hayes Jr.,
spoke to members of the Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault (ICASA), and
signed a memorandum of understanding with the local crisis center, during a workshop
March 17 at the Westminster Presbyterian Church, in Springfield, Illinois. </p><p>Nearly
50 ICASA members, from crisis centers across Illinois, attended the event where
Hayes discussed sexual assaults in the Illinois National Guard and the combined
efforts to combat it. Hayes and crisis
center directors signed memorandums of understanding to establish a mutual
relationship that benefits service members who are victims of sexual assault.</p><p>“Preventing
sexual assault and sexual harassment, and responding to the needs of the
victims, is a significant challenge to our organization,” Hayes said to the
ICASA attendees. “The Illinois National
Guard’s relationship with your organization is critical to our effort to create
a culture that is free of sexual harassment and ends sexual assaults within our
ranks.”</p><p>The
memorandum contains provisions for both the Illinois National Guard and the ICASA
members. For instance, ICASA employees
and volunteers will participate in military competency training or other joint
training with National Guard sexual assault response personnel. Both organizations also agreed to share
resources, information and services to help provide more options in the
effective care and support to service member victims, all the while ensuring
victims’ privacy remains intact.</p><p>“This
mutual agreement expresses the convergence of will between both parties,
indicating the common line of actions when servicing military members in
crisis,” Sgt. Maj. Diane Rogers, the Illinois National Guard State Sexual
Assault Response Coordinator (SARC), said. </p><p>Rogers
said this agreement also promotes communication between the organizations to
better assess and support victims’ needs. </p><p>Over
the past decade, the Illinois National Guard has given greater emphasis and
training in sexual assault prevention and response. Since 2005, the Illinois National Guard has
investigated 97 sexual assault cases. At
present, there are 17 cases being investigated, four of which were initiated in
2016. The reported cases not only
include service member against service member, but also civilians as victims
and perpetrators. </p><p>Despite
these statistics, Hayes said the culture is changing and the numbers are proof
that the education and awareness programs are working. </p><p>“Our
statistics show more service members are coming forward to report incidents
each year,” Hayes said. “We do not
believe more reports is because of more incidents. Instead, these numbers indicate a growing
trust in our efforts to care for the victims and punish those who would commit
such acts.” </p><p>Hayes
said the ultimate goal is to eliminate sexual violence entirely, but in the
meantime, it is the responsibility and top priority of the Illinois National
Guard and ICASA to ensure all available resources are available to aid in a
victim’s recovery. </p><p>Service
members who are victims of sexual assault may get information or services by
calling or visiting the listed resources: </p><p>Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault:
217-753-4117 or <a href="http://www.icasa.org/">http://www.icasa.org/</a> </p><p>Illinois National Guard 24/7  SARC: 217-299-9407
or 217-299-8922 or <a href="http://www.il.ngb.army.mil/Programs/SAPR/SARP.aspx">http://www.il.ngb.army.mil/Programs/SAPR/SARP.aspx</a></p><p>Department of Defense Safe Helpline: 877-995-5247 or <a href="http://www.SafeHelpline.org">www.SafeHelpline.org</a></p><p><!-- Department of Defense Safe Helpline:
877-995-5247 or http://www.safehelpline.org/




--><br></p> Illinois Adjutant General speaks on sexual assault, signs agreements with rape crisis centers
17 Mar 2016

The Adjutant General of the Illinois National Guard, Maj. Gen. Richard Hayes Jr., spoke to members of the Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault (ICASA), and signed a memorandum of understanding with the local crisis center, during a workshop March 17 at the Westminster Presbyterian Church, in Springfield, Illinois.

 
<p>

<i>Story by 1st Lt. Aaron Ritter, Illinois National Guard
Public Affairs Office</i> </p><p><b>Springfield, Illinois –</b> The
Adjutant General of the Illinois National Guard, Maj. Gen. Richard Hayes Jr.,
spoke to members of the Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault (ICASA), and
signed a memorandum of understanding with the local crisis center, during a workshop
March 17 at the Westminster Presbyterian Church, in Springfield, Illinois. </p><p>Nearly
50 ICASA members, from crisis centers across Illinois, attended the event where
Hayes discussed sexual assaults in the Illinois National Guard and the combined
efforts to combat it. Hayes and crisis
center directors signed memorandums of understanding to establish a mutual
relationship that benefits service members who are victims of sexual assault.</p><p>“Preventing
sexual assault and sexual harassment, and responding to the needs of the
victims, is a significant challenge to our organization,” Hayes said to the
ICASA attendees. “The Illinois National
Guard’s relationship with your organization is critical to our effort to create
a culture that is free of sexual harassment and ends sexual assaults within our
ranks.”</p><p>The
memorandum contains provisions for both the Illinois National Guard and the ICASA
members. For instance, ICASA employees
and volunteers will participate in military competency training or other joint
training with National Guard sexual assault response personnel. Both organizations also agreed to share
resources, information and services to help provide more options in the
effective care and support to service member victims, all the while ensuring
victims’ privacy remains intact.</p><p>“This
mutual agreement expresses the convergence of will between both parties,
indicating the common line of actions when servicing military members in
crisis,” Sgt. Maj. Diane Rogers, the Illinois National Guard State Sexual
Assault Response Coordinator (SARC), said. </p><p>Rogers
said this agreement also promotes communication between the organizations to
better assess and support victims’ needs. </p><p>Over
the past decade, the Illinois National Guard has given greater emphasis and
training in sexual assault prevention and response. Since 2005, the Illinois National Guard has
investigated 97 sexual assault cases. At
present, there are 17 cases being investigated, four of which were initiated in
2016. The reported cases not only
include service member against service member, but also civilians as victims
and perpetrators. </p><p>Despite
these statistics, Hayes said the culture is changing and the numbers are proof
that the education and awareness programs are working. </p><p>“Our
statistics show more service members are coming forward to report incidents
each year,” Hayes said. “We do not
believe more reports is because of more incidents. Instead, these numbers indicate a growing
trust in our efforts to care for the victims and punish those who would commit
such acts.” </p><p>Hayes
said the ultimate goal is to eliminate sexual violence entirely, but in the
meantime, it is the responsibility and top priority of the Illinois National
Guard and ICASA to ensure all available resources are available to aid in a
victim’s recovery. </p><p>Service
members who are victims of sexual assault may get information or services by
calling or visiting the listed resources: </p><p>Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault:
217-753-4117 or <a href="http://www.icasa.org/">http://www.icasa.org/</a> </p><p>Illinois National Guard 24/7  SARC: 217-299-9407
or 217-299-8922 or <a href="http://www.il.ngb.army.mil/Programs/SAPR/SARP.aspx">http://www.il.ngb.army.mil/Programs/SAPR/SARP.aspx</a></p><p>Department of Defense Safe Helpline: 877-995-5247 or <a href="http://www.SafeHelpline.org">www.SafeHelpline.org</a></p><p><!-- Department of Defense Safe Helpline:
877-995-5247 or http://www.safehelpline.org/




--><br></p> Illinois Adjutant General speaks on sexual assault, signs agreements with rape crisis centers
17 Mar 2016

The Adjutant General of the Illinois National Guard, Maj. Gen. Richard Hayes Jr., spoke to members of the Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault (ICASA), and signed a memorandum of understanding with the local crisis center, during a workshop March 17 at the Westminster Presbyterian Church, in Springfield, Illinois.

 
<P>SPRINGFIELD, Illinois – Three Illinois Army National Guard Soldiers and 11 Soldiers from other states’ National Guard units graduated from the 129th Regional Training Institute’s Food Service Specialist (92G) qualification course at the Illinois Military Academy on Camp Lincoln in Springfield, Illinois March 28.</P>
<P>Sgt. Jacob Eastburn of Geneseo, Illinois; Staff Sgt. Curtis Whitten of Milan, Illinois; and Sgt. Kyle Wolber of Villa Park, Illinois; will all return to their units as food service specialists. Whitten, a Soldier with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 123rd Engineer Battalion in Milan, Illinois, was recognized as the phase one honor graduate while Wobler, with Company G, 634th Brigade Support Battalion in Joliet, Illinois, was recognized as the phase two distinguished honor graduate with a 100 percent grade point average.</P>
<P>During the four-week, two-phase course, Soldiers are trained on food safety, cooking techniques, field and garrison feeding equipment, and field and garrison feeding operations, including how to operate a dining facility. To graduate, Soldiers must complete a total of 340 hours of instruction in both phases as well as five written exams and two hands-on evaluations.</P> Three Illinois Soldiers become food service specialists
29 Mar 2016

SPRINGFIELD, Illinois – Three Illinois Army National Guard Soldiers and 11 Soldiers from other states’ National Guard units graduated from the 129th Regional Training Institute’s Food Service Specialist (92G) qualification course at the Illinois Military Academy on Camp Lincoln in Springfield, Illinois March 28.

 
<P>SPRINGFIELD, Illinois – Three Illinois Army National Guard Soldiers and 11 Soldiers from other states’ National Guard units graduated from the 129th Regional Training Institute’s Food Service Specialist (92G) qualification course at the Illinois Military Academy on Camp Lincoln in Springfield, Illinois March 28.</P>
<P>Sgt. Jacob Eastburn of Geneseo, Illinois; Staff Sgt. Curtis Whitten of Milan, Illinois; and Sgt. Kyle Wolber of Villa Park, Illinois; will all return to their units as food service specialists. Whitten, a Soldier with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 123rd Engineer Battalion in Milan, Illinois, was recognized as the phase one honor graduate while Wobler, with Company G, 634th Brigade Support Battalion in Joliet, Illinois, was recognized as the phase two distinguished honor graduate with a 100 percent grade point average.</P>
<P>During the four-week, two-phase course, Soldiers are trained on food safety, cooking techniques, field and garrison feeding equipment, and field and garrison feeding operations, including how to operate a dining facility. To graduate, Soldiers must complete a total of 340 hours of instruction in both phases as well as five written exams and two hands-on evaluations.</P> Three Illinois Soldiers become food service specialists
29 Mar 2016

SPRINGFIELD, Illinois – Three Illinois Army National Guard Soldiers and 11 Soldiers from other states’ National Guard units graduated from the 129th Regional Training Institute’s Food Service Specialist (92G) qualification course at the Illinois Military Academy on Camp Lincoln in Springfield, Illinois March 28.

 
<P>SPRINGFIELD, Illinois – Three Illinois Army National Guard Soldiers and 11 Soldiers from other states’ National Guard units graduated from the 129th Regional Training Institute’s Food Service Specialist (92G) qualification course at the Illinois Military Academy on Camp Lincoln in Springfield, Illinois March 28.</P>
<P>Sgt. Jacob Eastburn of Geneseo, Illinois; Staff Sgt. Curtis Whitten of Milan, Illinois; and Sgt. Kyle Wolber of Villa Park, Illinois; will all return to their units as food service specialists. Whitten, a Soldier with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 123rd Engineer Battalion in Milan, Illinois, was recognized as the phase one honor graduate while Wobler, with Company G, 634th Brigade Support Battalion in Joliet, Illinois, was recognized as the phase two distinguished honor graduate with a 100 percent grade point average.</P>
<P>During the four-week, two-phase course, Soldiers are trained on food safety, cooking techniques, field and garrison feeding equipment, and field and garrison feeding operations, including how to operate a dining facility. To graduate, Soldiers must complete a total of 340 hours of instruction in both phases as well as five written exams and two hands-on evaluations.</P> Three Illinois Soldiers become food service specialists
29 Mar 2016

SPRINGFIELD, Illinois – Three Illinois Army National Guard Soldiers and 11 Soldiers from other states’ National Guard units graduated from the 129th Regional Training Institute’s Food Service Specialist (92G) qualification course at the Illinois Military Academy on Camp Lincoln in Springfield, Illinois March 28.

 
<P>MARSEILLES, Illinois – Nine Soldiers from units across the state came to Marseilles Training Center in Marseilles, Illinois, to prove they have what it takes to be called Illinois’ Soldier and Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year April 7 to 10. </P>
<P>Staff Sgt. Anthony Henner of Milwaukee, a Soldier with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 178th Infantry based in Chicago, took top honors as the Illinois Army National Guard's Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year. Spc. Tycjan Sieradzki of Algonquin, Illinois, a Soldier with the 244th Digital Liaison Detachment based in Chicago, took top honors as the Soldier of the Year. The competitors were the top representatives from their respective brigades. </P>
<P>The Best Warrior Competition pits these Soldiers against each other in a multitude of events designed to test their physical fitness, mental toughness, and their competence at warrior skills. The winners of the competition become the state’s Soldier and NCO of the Year. They will go on to compete in the regional competition with hopes of reaching the national level to compete for the Army’s Soldier and NCO of the Year titles. </P>
<P>Sieradzki competed in the 2015 Best Warrior Competition and finished third. He said he was motivated to redeem himself this year. </P>
<P>“It feels great to win,” said Sieradzki. “I just hope that by coming back and winning this year after losing last time motivates some of the Soldiers in my unit to step up and do the same thing.” </P>
<P>The competition began April 7 with the Army Physical Fitness Test, a three-event test consisting of two minutes of pushups followed by two minutes of sit-ups and finished with a timed two-mile run. Over the next three days, the Soldiers competed at weapons qualification, common skill tasks, land navigation, a confidence course obstacle race, and a question and answer board. The competition capped off with a timed 10-mile road march with a 40-pound rucksack. </P>
<P>The nine competitors were selected from a pool of nearly 10,000 Soldiers in the Illinois Army National Guard through platoon, company, and battalion-level boards to compete as Illinois’ Best Warriors. </P>
<P>Brig. Gen. Michael Zerbonia of Chatham, Illinois, the Assistant Adjutant General – Army, Illinois National Guard, addressed the competitors to open the awards ceremony. Zerbonia said he was proud to see not only the competitive spirit, but the comradery on display throughout the competition. </P>
<P>“Everybody out there wants to be the best, to be number one,” Zerbonia said. “When it comes down to it, you really want the team to be the best, to be number one, and that’s what it’s about. At the end of the day we’re a team.” </P>
<P>Henner and Sieradzki will compete May 16 to 19 at the Best Warrior regional competition at Camp Perry Joint Training Center in Port Clinton, Ohio. If they prevail, they will compete at the National Guard’s national competition, then the Army-wide competition later this year.</P> Illinois Soldiers compete for title of Best Warrior
12 Apr 2016

MARSEILLES, Illinois – Nine Soldiers from units across the state came to Marseilles Training Center in Marseilles, Illinois, to prove they have what it takes to be called Illinois’ Soldier and Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year April 7 to 10.

 
<P>MARSEILLES, Illinois – Nine Soldiers from units across the state came to Marseilles Training Center in Marseilles, Illinois, to prove they have what it takes to be called Illinois’ Soldier and Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year April 7 to 10. </P>
<P>Staff Sgt. Anthony Henner of Milwaukee, a Soldier with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 178th Infantry based in Chicago, took top honors as the Illinois Army National Guard's Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year. Spc. Tycjan Sieradzki of Algonquin, Illinois, a Soldier with the 244th Digital Liaison Detachment based in Chicago, took top honors as the Soldier of the Year. The competitors were the top representatives from their respective brigades. </P>
<P>The Best Warrior Competition pits these Soldiers against each other in a multitude of events designed to test their physical fitness, mental toughness, and their competence at warrior skills. The winners of the competition become the state’s Soldier and NCO of the Year. They will go on to compete in the regional competition with hopes of reaching the national level to compete for the Army’s Soldier and NCO of the Year titles. </P>
<P>Sieradzki competed in the 2015 Best Warrior Competition and finished third. He said he was motivated to redeem himself this year. </P>
<P>“It feels great to win,” said Sieradzki. “I just hope that by coming back and winning this year after losing last time motivates some of the Soldiers in my unit to step up and do the same thing.” </P>
<P>The competition began April 7 with the Army Physical Fitness Test, a three-event test consisting of two minutes of pushups followed by two minutes of sit-ups and finished with a timed two-mile run. Over the next three days, the Soldiers competed at weapons qualification, common skill tasks, land navigation, a confidence course obstacle race, and a question and answer board. The competition capped off with a timed 10-mile road march with a 40-pound rucksack. </P>
<P>The nine competitors were selected from a pool of nearly 10,000 Soldiers in the Illinois Army National Guard through platoon, company, and battalion-level boards to compete as Illinois’ Best Warriors. </P>
<P>Brig. Gen. Michael Zerbonia of Chatham, Illinois, the Assistant Adjutant General – Army, Illinois National Guard, addressed the competitors to open the awards ceremony. Zerbonia said he was proud to see not only the competitive spirit, but the comradery on display throughout the competition. </P>
<P>“Everybody out there wants to be the best, to be number one,” Zerbonia said. “When it comes down to it, you really want the team to be the best, to be number one, and that’s what it’s about. At the end of the day we’re a team.” </P>
<P>Henner and Sieradzki will compete May 16 to 19 at the Best Warrior regional competition at Camp Perry Joint Training Center in Port Clinton, Ohio. If they prevail, they will compete at the National Guard’s national competition, then the Army-wide competition later this year.</P> Illinois Soldiers compete for title of Best Warrior
12 Apr 2016

MARSEILLES, Illinois – Nine Soldiers from units across the state came to Marseilles Training Center in Marseilles, Illinois, to prove they have what it takes to be called Illinois’ Soldier and Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year April 7 to 10.

 
<P>MARSEILLES, Illinois – Nine Soldiers from units across the state came to Marseilles Training Center in Marseilles, Illinois, to prove they have what it takes to be called Illinois’ Soldier and Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year April 7 to 10. </P>
<P>Staff Sgt. Anthony Henner of Milwaukee, a Soldier with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 178th Infantry based in Chicago, took top honors as the Illinois Army National Guard's Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year. Spc. Tycjan Sieradzki of Algonquin, Illinois, a Soldier with the 244th Digital Liaison Detachment based in Chicago, took top honors as the Soldier of the Year. The competitors were the top representatives from their respective brigades. </P>
<P>The Best Warrior Competition pits these Soldiers against each other in a multitude of events designed to test their physical fitness, mental toughness, and their competence at warrior skills. The winners of the competition become the state’s Soldier and NCO of the Year. They will go on to compete in the regional competition with hopes of reaching the national level to compete for the Army’s Soldier and NCO of the Year titles. </P>
<P>Sieradzki competed in the 2015 Best Warrior Competition and finished third. He said he was motivated to redeem himself this year. </P>
<P>“It feels great to win,” said Sieradzki. “I just hope that by coming back and winning this year after losing last time motivates some of the Soldiers in my unit to step up and do the same thing.” </P>
<P>The competition began April 7 with the Army Physical Fitness Test, a three-event test consisting of two minutes of pushups followed by two minutes of sit-ups and finished with a timed two-mile run. Over the next three days, the Soldiers competed at weapons qualification, common skill tasks, land navigation, a confidence course obstacle race, and a question and answer board. The competition capped off with a timed 10-mile road march with a 40-pound rucksack. </P>
<P>The nine competitors were selected from a pool of nearly 10,000 Soldiers in the Illinois Army National Guard through platoon, company, and battalion-level boards to compete as Illinois’ Best Warriors. </P>
<P>Brig. Gen. Michael Zerbonia of Chatham, Illinois, the Assistant Adjutant General – Army, Illinois National Guard, addressed the competitors to open the awards ceremony. Zerbonia said he was proud to see not only the competitive spirit, but the comradery on display throughout the competition. </P>
<P>“Everybody out there wants to be the best, to be number one,” Zerbonia said. “When it comes down to it, you really want the team to be the best, to be number one, and that’s what it’s about. At the end of the day we’re a team.” </P>
<P>Henner and Sieradzki will compete May 16 to 19 at the Best Warrior regional competition at Camp Perry Joint Training Center in Port Clinton, Ohio. If they prevail, they will compete at the National Guard’s national competition, then the Army-wide competition later this year.</P> Illinois Soldiers compete for title of Best Warrior
12 Apr 2016

MARSEILLES, Illinois – Nine Soldiers from units across the state came to Marseilles Training Center in Marseilles, Illinois, to prove they have what it takes to be called Illinois’ Soldier and Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year April 7 to 10.

 
<P>MARSEILLES, Illinois – Nine Soldiers from units across the state came to Marseilles Training Center in Marseilles, Illinois, to prove they have what it takes to be called Illinois’ Soldier and Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year April 7 to 10. </P>
<P>Staff Sgt. Anthony Henner of Milwaukee, a Soldier with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 178th Infantry based in Chicago, took top honors as the Illinois Army National Guard's Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year. Spc. Tycjan Sieradzki of Algonquin, Illinois, a Soldier with the 244th Digital Liaison Detachment based in Chicago, took top honors as the Soldier of the Year. The competitors were the top representatives from their respective brigades. </P>
<P>The Best Warrior Competition pits these Soldiers against each other in a multitude of events designed to test their physical fitness, mental toughness, and their competence at warrior skills. The winners of the competition become the state’s Soldier and NCO of the Year. They will go on to compete in the regional competition with hopes of reaching the national level to compete for the Army’s Soldier and NCO of the Year titles. </P>
<P>Sieradzki competed in the 2015 Best Warrior Competition and finished third. He said he was motivated to redeem himself this year. </P>
<P>“It feels great to win,” said Sieradzki. “I just hope that by coming back and winning this year after losing last time motivates some of the Soldiers in my unit to step up and do the same thing.” </P>
<P>The competition began April 7 with the Army Physical Fitness Test, a three-event test consisting of two minutes of pushups followed by two minutes of sit-ups and finished with a timed two-mile run. Over the next three days, the Soldiers competed at weapons qualification, common skill tasks, land navigation, a confidence course obstacle race, and a question and answer board. The competition capped off with a timed 10-mile road march with a 40-pound rucksack. </P>
<P>The nine competitors were selected from a pool of nearly 10,000 Soldiers in the Illinois Army National Guard through platoon, company, and battalion-level boards to compete as Illinois’ Best Warriors. </P>
<P>Brig. Gen. Michael Zerbonia of Chatham, Illinois, the Assistant Adjutant General – Army, Illinois National Guard, addressed the competitors to open the awards ceremony. Zerbonia said he was proud to see not only the competitive spirit, but the comradery on display throughout the competition. </P>
<P>“Everybody out there wants to be the best, to be number one,” Zerbonia said. “When it comes down to it, you really want the team to be the best, to be number one, and that’s what it’s about. At the end of the day we’re a team.” </P>
<P>Henner and Sieradzki will compete May 16 to 19 at the Best Warrior regional competition at Camp Perry Joint Training Center in Port Clinton, Ohio. If they prevail, they will compete at the National Guard’s national competition, then the Army-wide competition later this year.</P> Illinois Soldiers compete for title of Best Warrior
12 Apr 2016

MARSEILLES, Illinois – Nine Soldiers from units across the state came to Marseilles Training Center in Marseilles, Illinois, to prove they have what it takes to be called Illinois’ Soldier and Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year April 7 to 10.

 
12