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NEWS | June 25, 2024

Gold Star Family Pins Rank on National Guard Colonel and Friend

Col. Beth Roxworthy learned lessons throughout her life and military career.

From her parents, she learned her core morals and to treat other people with dignity and respect. During her 13 years as an enlisted Soldier, she learned the values of friendship, camaraderie, and working as a team. With each level of command, she learned new lessons on leadership, accountability, empathy, and compassion.

And from the family of Simone Robinson, she learned the meaning of sacrifice.

Roxworthy, the Commander of the Illinois Army National Guard's Chicago-based 34th Infantry Division Sustainment Brigade, was promoted to colonel on Friday, June 21, in Chicago. 

Her parents, Donald and Jo Ellen Roxworthy of Crystal Lake, pinned the colonel rank on their daughter's left side. Gold Star mother, Regina Byther, and daughter, Nyzia Wilson, pinned the rank on Roxworthy's right side. Nyzia's mother, Sgt. Simone Robinson of Dixmoor, Illinois, died on March 1, 2009, at Brooke Army Hospital in San Antonio, Texas, from wounds suffered when her security post was attacked with an explosive device on Jan. 17, 2009, in Kabul, Afghanistan.

Sgt. Robinson served under Roxworthy's company command in the 634th Brigade Support Battalion before her deployment. At the time, Roxworthy just knew her as a good Soldier.

After Simone's death, Roxworthy assisted her family and they got to know each other. She learned about Simone's dedication to her family, especially her daughter, Nyzia. Roxworthy became close with both Regina and Simone's sister, Sharmonique Robinson.

As the years passed, they have remained close. When Roxworthy was promoted to lieutenant colonel, she wanted Simone's family to be a part of it, but the COVID-19 pandemic curtailed a ceremony. Roxworthy's unit was also a major part of the Illinois National Guard's response to the pandemic.

Her promotion to colonel gave her another opportunity to involve her friends and her family in the celebration.

Maj. Gen. Rodney Boyd, the 41st Adjutant General for Illinois and Commander of the Illinois National Guard, promoted Roxworthy and administered her Oath of Office. The promotion was held in the conference rooms of Jenner & Block Law Firm on the 45th Floor of 353 North Clark Street in Chicago, overlooking Lake Michigan.

Roxworthy has more than 31 years of military service. She enlisted in the Illinois Army National Guard in 1993 as an automated logistics specialist with B Co., 634th Brigade Support Battalion. After 13 years of enlisted service, she received a direct commission to second lieutenant in 2006. She deployed to Iraq from 2006 to 2007 as a platoon leader with A Co., 634th BSB. Following her deployment, she served as commander of G Co., 634th BSB, which was Sgt. Robinson's unit in Crestwood, Illinois. She went on to serve as the battalion's support operations officer and then commanded A Co., 634th BSB. She served as the operations officer for the 766th Brigade Engineer Battalion, the personnel officer for the 108th Sustainment Brigade, and the executive officer for the 198th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion. She then took command of the 634th BSB. In 2022, she deployed to Djibouti, Africa, as the deputy commander of the 404th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade and while deployed served as the executive officer to the Commanding General, Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa.

Her awards and decorations include the Bronze Star, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal (3rd award), the Army Commendation Medal (6th award), the Army Achievement Medal (3rd award) and several others.

She holds a bachelor's degree in Finance from Illinois State University and a master's degree in Logistics and Supply Chain Management from the University of Kansas. Her military education includes Quartermaster Officer Basic Course, Quartermaster Captain's Career Course, University of North Carolina Institute for Defense and Business Strategic Studies Fellowship, Engineer Captain's Career Course, Human Resource Management Course, and Command and General Staff College. She is attending the U.S. Army War College and will earn a master's degree in Strategic Studies in July. 

As a civilian, she is employed as the Legislative Liaison for the Illinois Department of Military Affairs.

She lives in Rochester, Illinois, with her two unruly dogs, Leonard and Olive.