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The Illinois Army National Guard’s 33rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team’s new commander was promoted to colonel in a COVID-19 modified ceremony July 23 in Springfield, Illinois.
Michael Eastridge, a native of Wheaton, Illinois, who now lives in Northville, Michigan, was promoted to colonel in front of a significantly smaller crowd than past promotions to colonel.
“We’re sorry you didn’t get the large promotion ceremony you deserve, but COVID-19 hasn’t dampened the day,” said Maj. Gen. Michael Zerbonia, the Assistant Adjutant General – Army of the Illinois National Guard and Commander of the Illinois Army National Guard. “The colonel rank stands alone. It’s a rank in and of itself because colonels run the Army. They are brigade commanders and serve as primary staff at the division level or in states. This is a well-deserved promotion.”
Eastridge, who became the commander of the 33rd IBCT, based in Urbana, Illinois, enlisted in the Illinois Army National Guard in 1988 and graduated from the ILARNG’s Officer Candidate School in 2000. He was commissioned as an infantry second lieutenant.
“It means a lot to be here and command the brigade,” Eastridge said. “It’s a great opportunity to work with each of you who have provided the bits and pieces for me to be successful.”
Eastridge is the marketing and sales support manager for Mercedes-Benz Financial Services USA and the father of three children; Tim, Rachel and Megan.