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By Barbara Wilson, Illinois National Guard Public Affairs Office
Eric Davis of Mount Pulaski, Illinois, was promoted to colonel in a ceremony at the Illinois National Guard headquarters on Camp Lincoln, Springfield, Illinois, Dec. 29.
“This is a big day for Eric and his family,” said Maj. Gen. Michael Zerbonia, Assistant Adjutant General – Army, Illinois National Guard, and Commander of the Illinois Army National Guard. “It’s not everyday we get to promote such a truly talented officer to the rank of colonel. He is a truly gifted officer who can think tactically and strategically and then bridge the gap between the two. That makes us all better as the Illinois Army National Guard. This is a well-deserved promotion.”
Davis enlisted in the Illinois Army National Guard in 1987 as a cannon crewmember, serving with the Battery B, 2nd Battalion, 123rd Field Artillery Regiment, where he rose to the rank of master sergeant. In 2001, Davis received a direct commission as a field artillery second lieutenant in the Illinois Army National Guard. As a captain, Davis activated and served as the first commander of the 2123rd Forward Support Company, based in Milan, Illinois.
Davis has served in a variety of positions with the then-404th Chemical Brigade and the 33rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team. In 2017 Davis assumed command of 2nd Battalion, 122nd Field Artillery Regiment.
In 2011, Davis deployed to Afghanistan with the Polish Army as part of the ILARNG Bilateral Embedded Staff Team A7, serving as Deputy Commander of a joint multi-national task force in southern Ghazni Province, Afghanistan.
He was assigned as the Deputy Chief of Staff of Plans, Operations and Training, Illinois Army National Guard in June 2020.
“In moments like this there are always lots of people to thank,” Davis told those gathered both physically and virtually through a Facebook Live feed. “I firmly believe we are simply the sum of all who have invested in our service.”
Davis thanked Bonnie, his wife of more than 30 years for “being a rock for our family.”
“I’m at this point in my career because of you,” he said. “You have challenged me to think bigger and I appreciate that very much.”
He also thanked his parents, Ed and Eleanor Davis, for the “solid foundation they provided.”
“You raised me with values and a strong work ethic and I greatly appreciate it,” he said.
Davis also thanked his children for the sacrifices they made over the years.
“I have missed significant events over the years I wished I could have been at because of my job,” he told his five children. “We are proud of each of you.”