An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

NEWS | Jan. 12, 2024

Athens Soldier Promoted to Chief Warrant Officer Five

Brandon Defenbaugh, of Athens, Illinois, the Illinois Army National Guard’s safety officer, became one of nine chief warrant officers five in the Illinois Army National Guard during a promotion ceremony Jan. 11 at the Illinois Military Academy, Camp Lincoln in Springfield, Illinois. 

“Brandon is a fire and forget warrant officer,” said Col. Lenny Williams, Chief of Staff, Illinois Army National Guard. “You give him something and he’s going to attack it and get it done. I want leaders like that.” 

Williams said Defenbaugh is a servant leader and a candid advisor. 

“Brandon is going to tell us like it is,” Williams said. “I want leaders like that.” 

Defenbaugh enlisted in the Illinois Army National Guard in 1992, serving with the 3637th Sustainment Maintenance Company. In 2004, he was appointed as a warrant officer with the Illinois Army National Guard as an Electronic Systems Maintenance Technician. 

“I’m at a loss for words,” Deffenbaugh said. “If you would have asked in 1992 if I’d be standing up here on stage, I would have said no. But to ask me if I’d be up here getting promoted to this level, it would definitely be a no.” 

Defenbaugh began his federal technician career in 1996 as an electronics mechanic with the Combined Support Maintenance Shop and throughout his career has served as an Electronics Supervisor, deputy CSMS Superintendent, Materiel Readiness Branch Chief and Regional Maintenance Manager-South. 

In 2022, he transitioned to the civilian federal technician sector as the first Sexual Violence Prevention Specialist with the Integrated Primary Prevention Workforce (IPPW). Defenbaugh is the interim Integrated Primary Prevention Officer for the IPPW. 

“Brandon leads with empathy and is a great leader in uniform,” Williams said. “But just as important is this role he’s in when he comes to work everyday as a civilian technician to help our people.” 

Defenbaugh said he’s super motivated where he’s at in his full-time position. 

“I’m excited to get at some of the corrosive behaviors in the organization and take care of the people,” he said. “Without people you can’t fight and win wars.” 

Defenbaugh holds a Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Lincoln Christian University, Lincoln, Illinois, and a Bachelor of Science in Psychology with a focus on addiction and recovery from Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia. 

He has held a variety of positions in the Illinois Army National Guard throughout his more than 30 years of service, including electronics noncommissioned officer with the 3637th SMC, electronic systems maintenance warrant officer, also with the 3637th, missile maintenance technician while serving with Company B, 634th Brigade Support Battalion, and maintenance warrant officer with Joint Force Headquarters. Defenbaugh deployed with the 3637th from June 2007 to May 2008 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. 

Williams thanked Defenbaugh’s family for their support of his career. 

“You don’t get to this level of service without family,” Williams said. “It takes a village to support someone through this many years in their career.” 

Defenbaugh thanked his family as well. 

“I wouldn’t be here without my family,” he said. “We can’t do this without their support.” 

Defenbaugh, and his wife, Angela, reside in Athens, Illinois. They have two children, son Brandon, and wife Ashley, Defenbaugh, and daughter, Ashley, and husband CJ, Garcia, plus two grandchildren, Braxton and Braelynn Defenbaugh.