Col. Richard Hayes Jr. of Buffalo Grove, the director of the Joint Staff of the Illinois National Guard, was promoted to the rank of brigadier general Sept. 7 at Camp Lincoln in Springfield.
"It's a great honor to be bestowed this responsibility," Hayes said. "Throughout my career I've been shaped by the soldiers I've served with. I look forward to this new assignment and serving the soldiers and airmen of the Illinois National Guard."
Hayes assumed duties as the director of the Joint Staff for the Illinois National Guard in August. In this assignment, he is responsible for developing and coordinating all policies, programs, and plans in Joint Matters that affect Illinois' 13,000 Army and Air National Guard personnel.
"It's always a privilege to pin the star on a new general," said Maj. Gen. Dennis Celletti of Springfield, the acting adjutant general of the Illinois National Guard. "These are soldiers who have spent their lives and military career as leaders. Going through the officer ranks and dedicating themselves to their troops."
Hayes was commissioned in 1987 from the Reserve Officer Training Corps program at the University of Kansas. He received his commission as a field artillery officer. Upon completion the Field Artillery Officer Basic Course in 1988 where he finished as honor graduate, he served with the 1st Battalion, 127th Field Artillery Regiment, 35th Infantry Division. He joined the Illinois National Guard in 1989 where he was assigned to 2nd Battalion,122nd Field Artillery Regiment, 33rd Separate Infantry Brigade.
Hayes deployed overseas in 2007 to 2008 serving with Task Force Falcon (KFOR9) Multinational Task Force East (MNTF-E) in Kosovo.
— Submitted by Sgt. Michael Camacho, Illinois National Guard Public Affairs