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NEWS | April 23, 2023

Easton Soldier Retires from Illinois Army National Guard After 25 Year Career

Command Sgt. Maj. Brandon Golden, of Easton, Illinois, the 129th Regiment (Regional Training Institute) senior enlisted advisor and Commandant of the Regional Training Institute, retired from the Illinois Army National Guard after 25 years of service in a ceremony on April 23 at the Illinois Military Academy, Camp Lincoln, Springfield, Illinois.

“Two things come to mind when I think about Command Sergeant Major Golden,” said Lt. Col. Wyatt Bickett, of Smithton, Illinois, deputy commander of the 129th Regiment (RTI). “Those two things are protecting Soldiers and growing leaders. It’s not just about telling Soldiers what to do and then have them do it. It’s about growing them to replace him someday.”

Bickett thanked Golden’s wife, Rachel, son Zachary, and daughter Olivia for their support throughout his career.

“It’s not just the service member who serves, but also the family, including the extended family,” Bickett said. “It says a lot about what he does outside of the uniform with so many of you here today.”

Bickett said Golden has a long legacy and history in the military police.

“Command Sergeant Major Golden has had an influence not only in the Illinois National Guard but also overseas on multiple mobilizations and overseas combat tours,” Bickett said. “He was integral to the success of the 33rd Military Police Battalion during the civil disturbance state active duty mission by working with both state and federal organizations.”

Bickett told Golden it has been a pleasure working with him at the RTI.

“We’re sad to see you go but proud of the job you have done,” Bickett said.

Golden said the Illinois Army National Guard has been a great career and thanked his family for their support.

“Rachel, thank you for your support throughout my career,” he said. “I am looking forward to spending more time with my family.”

Golden enlisted in the Illinois Army National Guard Jan. 30, 1998 as a military police officer. He served in the 233rd Military Police (MP) Company, based in Springfield, holding every position from private through operations sergeant. Golden also served as the first sergeant of the 333rd MP Company, based at Fort Sheridan, Illinois, the RTI’s Quality Assurance noncommissioned officer, the 33rd MP Battalion operations sergeant and the 33rd MP Battalion command sergeant major. He has served as the 129th RTI Commandant since Sept. 2.

Golden, a traditional Soldier, is the training coordinator for the Springfield Police Department.