Command Sgt. Maj. Jonathan Genisio, of Orion, Illinois, became the senior enlisted leader of the 129th Regiment (Regional Training Institute) and Commandant of the RTI in a ceremony April 23 at Camp Lincoln, Springfield, Illinois.
“Thank you for the opportunity to serve in such a prestigious role,” Genisio said. “When I left the RTI in 2019, I would have never thought I would have the opportunity to come back as your Command Sergeant Major.”
Genisio assumed responsibility as the senior enlisted leader from Command Sgt. Maj. Brandon Golden, of Easton, Illinois, who had served in the position since Sept. 2.
“Having served with Command Sergeant Major Golden in the 404th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, I know coming into this position, he has laid the groundwork for the unit and my success,” Genisio said. “I will keep his momentum going as I transition into this position.”
Genisio spoke directly to the Soldiers serving in the 129th.
“I look forward working alongside you. I will strive to give you the same exceptional leadership as my predecessor,” he said. “We will continue to bring distinction to the RTI by being professional and efficient in everything we do. My door is always open and I’m only a phone call away.”
Genisio, who serves as a traditional Soldier, is a lieutenant in the Moline Police Department, and has been a team leader on the SWAT team since 2017.
He entered the Illinois National Guard’s Detachment 1, 135th Chemical Company in February 1995 as a light wheel vehicle mechanic. Genisio enlisted in the active duty Army in March 1998.
Following deployments to Kosovo and Egypt, Genisio transitioned to the Illinois National Guard, serving as a Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear specialist with Detachment 1, 135th Chemical Company. Genisio has served in every position in the 44th Chemical Battalion, from private to Command Sergeant Major. He deployed with the 634th Personnel Services Detachment, based in Crestwood, Illinois, and Company B, 2nd Battalion, 130th Infantry Regiment, based in Effingham, Illinois.
Lt. Col. Wyatt Bickett, of Smithton, Illinois, the 129th’s Deputy Commander, welcomed Genisio back to the 129th RTI.
“You come from a legacy of excellence with the 404th and other chemical environments, and with your previous assignment within the RTI, you have a good familiarity with the unit,” Bickett said. “You have a tough act to follow but I know you’re up to the challenge.”