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NEWS | March 20, 2024

Eastridge Named Deputy Assistant Adjutant General – Army of the Illinois National Guard

Col. Michael Eastridge, the Illinois National Guard Chief of the Joint Staff and former Commander of the 33rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, has been named as the Illinois National Guard’s next Deputy Assistant Adjutant General – Army and received his federal recognition as a brigadier general this week.  

His promotion ceremony will be held in April. 

“Mike Eastridge has both extensive combat and domestic response experience combined with years of corporate management,” said Maj. Gen. Rich Neely, The Adjutant General for Illinois and Commander of the Illinois National Guard. “His broad spectrum of leadership will help carry the Illinois Army National Guard ahead as we face future challenges and change.”    

Maj. Gen. Rodney Boyd, the Commander of the Illinois Army National Guard who has been selected as The Adjutant General for Illinois and Commander of the Illinois National Guard, said Eastridge will be instrumental in advising him and the new Illinois Army National Guard Commander in the years ahead. “He’s the right officer for the job. He is already a trusted advisor and friend who will help me and the next Illinois Army National Guard Commander make the right decisions for our 10,000 Soldiers.”  

Eastridge enlisted in the Illinois Army National Guard in 1988 and rose to the rank of staff sergeant before commissioning as a second lieutenant in 2000 through the Illinois Army National Guard’s Officer Candidate School as the program’s distinguished honor graduate.  

“A dozen years as an enlisted Soldier and noncommissioned officer gave me a great foundation as an officer who understands Soldier issues,” Eastridge said. “I did not envision becoming a general officer back then, but I do think that time was extremely valuable in my development as a leader. I am humbled and grateful for this opportunity to continue my military career and have an impact on the future of the organization.” 

Col. Eastridge has deployed three times. His last deployment was from 2008 to 2009 to Afghanistan as a Team Chief for an Afghan Border Police Embedded Training Team. While deployed he assumed command of the 333d Military Police Company, which was conducting decisive action operations. He also deployed to Germany in 2002 with Task Force Santa Fe as a platoon leader with 1st Battalion, 178th Infantry Regiment, which conducted force protection operations.  In 2004, he mobilized to Fort Polk, LA with the 1st Battalion, 131st Infantry Regiment as the Opposing Force Military Intelligence Officer. 

He has held two troop-level commands with the 2nd Squadron, 106th Cavalry Regiment in addition to the overseas command of the 333rd Military Police Co. From 2015 to 2017 he commanded the 1st Battalion, 178th Infantry Regiment.  

He commanded 33rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team from June 2020 through December 2022 and guided the brigade during the Illinois National Guard's COVID-19 response and helped it maintain its readiness and combat power during the pandemic. Eastridge received the Legion of Merit for his command of the 33rd.  

Throughout his career, Eastridge has also held multiple key staff positions culminating with his selection as the Chief of the Illinois National Guard Joint Staff responsible for all Illinois National Guard staff coordination for domestic operations.  

As a traditional National Guard Soldier, Eastridge also has extensive civilian experience that includes over 20 years with Mercedes-Benz Financial Services. He now serves as Mercedes-Benz Financial Services’ Marketing and Sales Support Manager for the United States.   

Eastridge grew up in Wheaton, Illinois. He raised two daughters, Rachel and Megan, and a son, Tim, to adulthood. He now lives in Plymouth, Michigan, with Mary and her two sons, Gavin and Karter.