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After a 31-year career in the Illinois Army National Guard, Lt. Col. Jeffary Jiannoni, of Petersburg, Illinois, retired from military service.
“This has been a great journey for me,” Jiannoni said during a retirement ceremony at the Illinois Military Academy, Camp Lincoln, Springfield, Illinois, Oct. 8. “The Army has provided me with tremendous opportunities in life.”
Jiannoni enlisted in the Illinois Army National Guard in 1989. He commissioned through the Illinois Army National Guard’s Officer Candidate program in 1998.
Throughout his career, Jiannoni has served in a variety of command and staff positions including training and operations of the 232nd Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, based in Springfield, Illinois; Commander, 126th Maintenance Company, based in Quincy, Illinois and most recently as the officer in charge for the 65th Troop Command, based in Peoria, Illinois.
Jiannoni deployed with the 126th Maintenance Company in 2003 in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Additionally, in 2009 he deployed with the Bilateral Embedded Staff Team A4, Task Force White Eagle. Jiannoni was also instrumental in establishing the Modern Army Combatives Program and competition team in the Illinois Army National Guard. He served as subject matter expert and team captain from 2006-2012.
“Thank you to my family,” he said. “I’ve missed anniversaries, birthdays and ball games when I was deployed or away on temporary duty.”
“Retirement is another step in life,” Jiannoni said. “Everyone has an expiration date. In the Illinois National Guard, mine is now. But I will have some great stories to tell my grandchildren some day.”
Col. Leonard Williams, of Dyer, Indiana, Chief of Staff, Illinois Army National Guard, described Jiannoni as a selfless leader who put people and the organization first.
“If you take care of the people, then they’ll take care of you,” said Col. Leonard Williams, of Dyer, Indiana, Chief of Staff, Illinois Army National Guard. “You can get a lot of it wrong, but don’t get the people part wrong. Thank you for always getting the people part right.”
Williams congratulated Jiannoni for his three decades of service and also thanked Jiannoni’s wife, Angie and children, Jaydn, Marissa and Dane for their sacrifices throughout Jiannoni’s career.
“Thank you to the family,” he said. “We don’t do what we do without family. It takes the whole family for us to accomplish our mission.”
During the ceremony, Jiannoni was presented with the Meritorious Service Medal.