Hometown Military News for Sept. 23, 2016:
129th Regional Training Institute welcomes new commander
SPRINGFIELD – Col. Gregory Ota of Wheaton took command of the Springfield-based 129th Regional Training Institute during a change of command ceremony held at the Illinois Military Academy on Camp Lincoln Sept. 17.
Ota took command from Col. Paul Fanning of Chestnut who will be retiring later in September.
Before taking command of the 129th, Ota was promoted to the rank of colonel by Brig. Gen. Michael Zerbonia of Chatham, the Assistant Adjutant General – Army for the Illinois National Guard.
Ota said he was proud and humbled to be chosen to lead the 129th following Fanning, thanking Zerbonia for the opportunity to lead the unit.
“I’m back,” said Ota. “It’s good to be back at the regiment after a nine-month absence. I’m excited to build on the unit’s success and am honored to take command from Col. Fanning.”
Fanning thanked his family members in attendance before thanking the soldiers in formation.
“Thank you for the hard work and dedication that made the regiment what it is now,” said Fanning. “I’m confident that you’ll continue with the hard work and dedication to keep the regiment moving in the right direction.”
Fanning told his former Soldiers he was confident that Ota will continue to push the Soldiers to be the best and keep pushing forward.