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NEWS | Jan. 8, 2024

From ROTC Cadet to Lieutenant Colonel, an Illinois National Guard Soldier from Chatham Gets Promoted

The Illinois Army National Guard’s Nicholas Krzensinki of Chatham was promoted to lieutenant colonel during a ceremony at the Illinois Military Academy on Camp Lincoln in Springfield on Jan. 4.

Krzensinki’s daughter, Madelyn and son, Eliot, removed his major rank and pinned on his new rank, lieutenant colonel, while his wife, Ashley, looked on. After the two children took their seats, Krzensinki expressed gratitude for the many opportunities that he has had in the past and all of the great people he was able to work with.

“I appreciate everyone coming out to support me. I’m super excited to be here,” Krzensinki said. “My first thought was to find a dark closet and get the promotion over with but I really wanted family involved. No one stands up here purely on their own merit. I realized that this is an opportunity for me to thank those who have been supportive of me and provided me mentorship along the way.”

Krzesinski began his military career when he commissioned from Reserve Officer Training Corps at Illinois State University in 2005 as a chemical officer. After completing the Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Basic Officer Leaders Course, he was assigned as the reconnaissance platoon leader in the Machesney Park-based 135th Chemical Company.

Throughout his career he has held multiple positions including, operations officer of the 135th Chemical Company, officer in charge of the Normal-based 450th Detachment, 44th Chemical Battalion logistics officer, commander of the Shiloh-based 445th Chemical Company, operations officer for the Sullivan-based 634th Brigade Support Battalion and then executive officer of the 634th. He now serves as a staff officer in the Illinois Army National Guard headquarters’ Plans, Operations, and Training Directorate (G3).

Krzesinski deployed with the 135th Chemical Co. to Afghanistan in 2008 where the unit conducted security force missions in and around Kabul. He conducted multinational operations with the Polish Army at exercise Anaconda 16 in Poland, participated in multiple Pacific Pathways exercises in Asia, and supported the 33rd’s deployment to Ukraine. In addition, he supported Illinois Army National Guard’s COVID-19 response operations in 2020 and 2021.

His next mission will take him back overseas as the Support Operations Officer with the 34th Division Sustainment Brigade’s headquarters when the unit deploys to the Middle East.

“Eliot and Madelyn, I’m proud of you and I want you to know that I love you,” Krzensinki told his family. “Ashley, you have shouldered the brunt of me going off when the Army tells me to. I would not be able to be up here without your unwavering support. I love you and appreciate all that you do. Thank you.”