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NEWS | March 25, 2024

Champaign Soldier promoted to Captain in Illinois Army National Guard

Nearly nine years after joining the U.S. Army, Mikaya Thomas, of Champaign, was promoted to the rank of captain in the Illinois Army National Guard during a ceremony March 23 at the Illinois Military Academy, Camp Lincoln, in Springfield.

Thomas, the commander of Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 129th Regiment (Regional Training Institute), told family, friends, and fellow Soldiers that her career has come full circle as she celebrates nine years of service March 24.

“I remember being in basic training with aspirations of doing big things and leading Soldiers,” she said. “Today, I’m getting promoted to captain and leading Soldiers.”

Lt. Col. Wyatt Bickett, of Smithton, officer-in-charge of the 129th RTI, said Thomas has proven she has what it takes to move forward in the Illinois Army National Guard and to be a great leader.

“This is a great day for Lieutenant Thomas and her family. We promote Soldiers based on potential not just previous accomplishments,” he said. “This isn’t just a reward. We’re giving you these captain bars today because this is what we expect of you going forward. She has an immense amount of potential. We’re looking forward to keeping her around here for a while and using her talents.”

Thomas aspires to become a Training, Advising, and Counseling Officer with the Illinois Army National Guard Officer Candidate School in the future.