Chief Warrant Officer (5) Thomas Black of Springfield was selected to serve as the sixth Command Chief Warrant Officer of the Illinois National Guard.
Black, who enlisted in 1987, previously served as the Deputy of Supply and Logistics Management for the Supply and Services division of the U.S. Property and Fiscal Office. He spent his enlisted career as a flight medic and automated logistics specialist before attending Warrant Officer Candidate School at Fort Rucker, Alabama, in 2005.
“Chief Black is a highly qualified, composed and engaging leader who has the right skill sets to cultivate the next generation of warrant officers and skillfully represent the warrant officer corps at the senior leadership level,” said Maj. Gen. Rich Neely, the Adjutant General and commander of the Illinois National Guard.
The Command Chief Warrant Officer serves as the principle advisor to the Adjutant General on all matters pertaining to warrant officers including warrant officer accessions, training, education, promotion and career management.
“The Illinois Army National Guard’s warrant officer corps is stocked with technical experts who provide important technical advisement to officers and non-commissioned officers throughout the organization,” said Brig. Gen. Rodney Boyd, the Assistant Adjutant General-Army and commander of the Illinois Army National Guard. “Tom brings tremendous expertise to this position. His leadership will energize the warrant officer corps.”
Black replaces Chief Warrant Officer (5) David Hammon who retires in April after serving 42 years in the Illinois National Guard; the last 10 as the command chief warrant officer.
“Chief Hammon has seen and done it all over the course of his long career,” said Boyd. “The organization is better today because of Dave’s persistence and attention to detail. He knows every warrant officer in the state, knows their story, and has been a catalyst of their success and careers.”
Black deployed to Iraq in 2007-2008 on one of the first co-deployments between the Illinois National Guard and Polish Land Forces. In 1989 Black supported a multinational medical training exercise in Bolivia. He has served the Illinois National Guard as a full-time federal military technician since 1993.
“You don’t get anywhere if you don’t surround yourself with great people. I have been very fortunate to work for and with a lot of outstanding leaders,” Black said. “When I interviewed to become a federal technician in 1993, the last question I was asked was ‘Why should we hire you?’ My answer was I wanted to give back to the Guard what it gave to me – an education, experience and I wanted to be part of a team.”
Black said he is blessed for this opportunity to lead the Illinois Army National Guard warrant officer cohort.
“Each of my mentors made a difference in my career,” he said. “Without their support I would have never made it this far. I look forward to paying that forward to ensure the warrant officers continue to be an integral part of this great team.”