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NEWS | Jan. 8, 2024

Chicago South Side Native Promoted to Sergeant in the Illinois National Guard, Deploying to Europe

Dejuan Patterson of Chicago was promoted to sergeant in the Illinois Army National Guard just prior to deploying to Europe with the Chicago-based 1863rd Financial Management Support Detachment.

Patterson’s promotion followed his unit’s mobilization ceremony at the Northwest Armory in Chicago Jan. 5. Patterson serves as the military pay chief in the 1863rd and will be deployed to Europe for about a year.

Maj. Gen. Rodney Boyd, Assistant Adjutant General – Army of the Illinois National Guard and Commander of the Illinois Army National Guard addressed the soldiers, family and friends who were in attendance and expressed the importance of the promotion and the weight of Patterson’s new responsibilities.

“The promotion to sergeant, noncommissioned officer, is a lot of responsibility to take on and what better timing than right before a deployment,” said Boyd before turning and facing the newly promoted soldier. “My confidence in you as a brand-new NCO, is that you will do well on this deployment.”

After the ceremony, Patterson, a native of Chicago’s South Side and former active-duty Marine canine handler, was surrounded by his peers, family and leadership as they congratulated and gave words of encouragement.

“It’s a great honor,” said Patterson. “I can’t wait to lead my soldiers. I’ve been waiting for this for a while and it feels great to be appreciated.”

Patterson expressed his excitement about the promotion and upcoming overseas deployment and his gratitude to his civilian employer, Indiana-based White Lodging, for the company’s support of his military service. Patterson is an operations manager with White Lodging.

“(The deployment) is a great opportunity,” Patterson said. “I’m excited to be able to prove myself and it’s an opportunity to get real world hands-on experience with the finance detachment.”

The 1863rd celebrated the soldier and expressed thanks to all of the members of the unit as the prepare to mobilize in support of Operation European Assure, Deter, and Reinforce.