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Licklider Promoted To Colonel January 10, 2019

U.S. Marine Devin Licklider was recently promoted to colonel by Marine Corps Brig. Gen. Arthur Pasagian at the National Museum of the Marine Corps in Quantico, Va.

Licklider was a CH-46 pilot with 91 combat missions in Kosovo and Afghanistan. He also earned a Naval Commendation Medal for valor due to his actions while serving in Iraq with the 2nd Tank Battalion as a forward air controller.

Licklider is a graduat of Kutztown High School, Wilkes University, and the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, Calif. He is currently stationed at Headquarters Marine Corps in Quantico. He is married to Jade Meyer Licklider of Kutztown, and they have two children, Keely and Ireland.

Licklider is a third-generation Marine, with his father, Daniel, serving during the Vietnam War and his grandfather, Donald, having seen action on Okinawa during World War II and being recalled for the Korean War.

Present to congratulate his older brother during the promotion was U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Zachary Licklider. He is assigned to Air Defense Artillery (Patriot Missiles) and has been deployed to Qatar and Bahrain. He is presently stationed at Fort Bragg, N.C. He and his wife, Courtney Looks Licklider, graduated from Dallastown Area High School and have a son, Charlie.

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Carrelli, Weller Receive Awards November 21, 2018

On Nov. 5, the Pennsylvania Department of Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) presented Pennsylvania Adjutant General Anthony Carrelli and Deputy Adjutant General of Veterans Affairs Eric G. Weller with honorary VFW Eagle Awards for their outstanding leadership accomplishments. Major Gen. Carrelli and retired Major Gen. Weller were recognized by the state VFW for dedicating their lives to both serving in the military and managing how Pennsylvania supports its service members and veterans.

The presentation took place inside the Pennsylvania National Guard's Joint Forces Headquarters building in Annville, which also houses the administrative offices of the state Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMVA). The event was attended by command and support staff of the Pennsylvania National Guard as well as the state DMVA administrative team.

Carrelli was confirmed by the Senate of Pennsylvania as the 53rd adjutant general of Pennsylvania on June 29, 2016. In this cabinet-level position with the Pennsylvania DMVA, headquartered at Fort Indiantown Gap, Annville, Carrelli is responsible for the command, control and supervision of National Guard units - Army and Air - allocated to Pennsylvania, six state-owned veterans' homes and programs for Pennsylvania's nearly 800,000 veterans.

Carrelli is a 1985 graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy and a command pilot with more than 4,500 flying hours. During his 33-year career, Carrelli deployed in numerous operations, including Desert Storm, Southern Watch, Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom, and he served as commander of the 111th Fighter Wing in Horsham and the 171st Air Refueling Wing in Pittsburgh, as well as deputy adjutant general - air.

Weller was appointed deputy adjutant general for Veterans Affairs on Nov. 21, 2016. He supervises the administration of state veterans programs, outreach and reintegration and veteran initiatives for nearly 800,000 veterans and their dependents. Weller also oversees the operation of Pennsylvania's six veterans' homes.

Weller retired in August 2016 after more than 35 years of military service. Prior to retirement, he served as the deputy commander for mobilization and reserve affairs, United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM), MacDill Air Force Base, Florida. He has also commanded Air Force units at the Squadron, Group and Wing levels.

Weller's career includes participation in numerous operations in Grenada, Panama, Iraq, Haiti, Bosnia, Kosovo and Afghanistan.

The Pennsylvaniatate VFW also presents VFW Eagle Awards to Pennsylvania Guardians twice a year during the organization's State Convention and Mid-Winter Conference. Nominations for the award are routed through the adjutant general's office. Seventeen members of the Keystone State's Army and Air National Guard have received VFW Eagle Awards through these nominations. Additionally, the Pennsylvania VFW has chosen seven Guard officers or state agency officials to receive honorary VFW Eagle Awards.

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National Guard Unit Completes Mission November 15, 2018

The 28th Infantry Division's headquarters and headquarters battalion passed responsibility of Task Force Spartan (TFS) to the 34th Infantry Division during a transfer of authority (TOA) ceremony held on Nov. 12 at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait. As the 28th wraps up its nine-month deployment, the 34th begins serving as a division headquarters for roughly 10,000 soldiers conducting theater security operations in the Middle East.

Several hundred soldiers from both units observed as division leaders cased the 28th's colors, while the colors of the 34th were unfurled. Every command in the Army is represented by a distinctive flag, and the TOA ceremony signifies assumption of command and the continuity of the mission. According to the Pennsylvania Army National Guard, the 28th is its largest unit. The 34th consists primarily of soldiers from the Iowa and Minnesota National Guard.

Maj. Gen. Andrew Schafer, the 28th's commanding general, told the audience that as he and Command Sgt. Maj. John Jones of the 28th traveled around the TFS area of operations they were consistently impressed by the professional and dedicated soldiers they met at each location.

TFS represents the army component of Operation Spartan Shield (OSS), which is designed to maintain a U.S. military posture sufficient to strengthen U.S. defense relationships, build partner capacity and execute CENTCOM contingency plans if necessary. OSS is in its seventh year.

Lt. Gen. Michael Garrett, U.S. Army Central commander, said the division headquarters at the helm of TFS plays an important role in the security of a dynamic region. Garrett said the complex security environment of the region makes partnership and cooperation with regional militaries and members of the Gulf Cooperation Council ever more important. He acknowledged a group of military leaders from Kuwait and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in the ranks of those observing the ceremony.

TFS is a unique, multi-component organization made up of active Army and National Guard units and rounded out by U.S. Army Reserve support units.

Garrett thanked the Guard and Reserve soldiers for their selfless service and the personal time dedicated to being mission-ready. He asked the citizen-soldiers to pass along his thanks to families and employers.

The 28th's soldiers have begun the redeployment process this week and will process out of active service through Fort Hood, Texas. Most soldiers will return to their families sometime around the Thanksgiving holiday.

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C.D. Bailey October 22, 2018

Seaman recruit Cole D. Bailey graduated from basic training in the U.S. Navy on Sept. 21 in Great Lakes, Ill.

Bailey is the son of David II and Kristen Bailey of York. He is a 2018 graduate of Central York High School, where he participated in varsity cross-country and earned three varsity letters. He was also involved in the Air Force JROTC program, where he participated in Raider Team military competitions. His Raider Team earned numerous awards and traveled to Florida to participate in the National Fitness Challenge, where team members brought home three trophies and a certificate of excellence.

Bailey is now in Virginia for his "A" schooling.

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J.E. Thompson October 18, 2018

James E. Thompson graduated from Navy boot camp at Recruit Training Command, Great Lakes, Ill., on Oct. 12. James is the son of John Thompson and Heidi Thompson. He graduated from Oxford High School in 2018.

James represents the fourth generation of Navy members in his father's family and the fifth generation in his mother's family. Both his parents are Navy veterans. James' father was an EN3 on the USS Cole DDG 67 when it was attacked in Aden, Yemen, on Oct. 12, 2000, and James graduated from boot camp on the 18th anniversary of that attack.

James is now enrolled at CTI A school in Monetary, Calif., where he will learn Russian.

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J.E. Kleckner September 25, 2018

U.S. Air Force Airman Jazmine E. Kleckner graduated from basic military training at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, San Antonio, Texas. Airmen who complete basic training also earn four credits toward an Associate in Applied Science through the Community College of the Air Force.

Kleckner is the daughter of Joshua and Rachel Kleckner and granddaughter of Delroy Kleckner, all of Ephrata. She is a 2017 graduate of Conestoga Valley High School, Lancaster.

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Ryan Reflects On Battle Of Mogadishu September 21, 2018

The Battle of Mogadishu took place 25 years ago, but the details remain fresh in the mind of retired United States Army Maj. Timothy Ryan. "Not a day goes by that I don't think about being over there with my guys or something that happened over there," said Ryan. "I remember it so vividly."

The Battle of Mogadishu was fought on Oct. 3 and 4 in 1993 as various United States military elite special operations units were in Mogadishu, Somalia, to destabilize the government and bring humanitarian aid, along with the support of UNOSOM II (United Nations Operation in Somalia). Ultimately the goal of the mission was accomplished, but things became deadly during the Battle of Mogadishu. Details of the events were later published in the 1999 book "Black Hawk Down: A Story of Modern War" by Mark Bowden and portrayed in the 2001 movie "Black Hawk Down."

As part of Second Platoon, Charlie Company, 2-14th Infantry Regiment, 10th Mountain Division, Ryan was a part of the rescue force for the Battle of Mogadishu.

Ryan recalled being in the mess hall, and while the food on that deployment had been notoriously terrible, on that particular day the cooks told everyone how excited they were to have gotten pork chops to serve. The mood quickly changed when Ryan looked out a window and saw thick black smoke rising from the area of the Bakaara Market, a dangerous zone where Somali military commander and political leader Mohamed Farrah Aidid resided. Shortly afterward, the battalion commander informed them that one United States Black Hawk helicopter had crashed in the city and another had crashed about 1 mile south, leaving 99 United States military personnel trapped in the city.

"I gathered the guys and said if it were you, you'd want someone to do everything they could to get you out of there, so that's what we're going to do," stated Ryan. "I also told them that night was going to define their lives - whether they fought bravely or not."

Halfway through the city, the Humvee line that Ryan was part of was ambushed, forcing the soldiers to get out and defend themselves. From there, Alpha Company headed to the site of the first helicopter crash while Charlie Company went to the second crash site. Ryan said that when they arrived they learned that all of the men had been killed, with the exception of Chief Warrant Officer Michael Durant, a pilot who had been taken hostage.

"It had changed from search-and-rescue to being on the defensive," Ryan said. Sporadic fighting continued through the night, but at daybreak Ryan's unit headed for cover, as most operations are carried out under nightfall to help ensure safety and success.

"We were fighting against an entire city, but there was just no question about it: We weren't going to leave anyone behind," said Ryan. "(The Battle of Mogadishu) is a real testament to the American soldier and their resolve to not leave anyone behind."

Ryan emphasized that American soldiers are trained not only to fight battles, but to value and recognize humanity even in war. He noted that in Somalia, enemy combatants would use women and children as shields, sending them into the front battle lines. "They used the fact that we were decent people to their advantage," remarked Ryan. "But it is a deep-seeded American value that we fight with honor."

According to Ryan, the battle ended with 18 Americans dead and 78 wounded. "It was a really defining period of my life," Ryan said.

Ryan, who grew up in Lebanon, currently resides in Manheim with his wife, Gayle, and their three children. He will travel to Fort Drum, N.Y., in early October to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Battle of Mogadishu.

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D. Stone September 20, 2018

U.S. Air Force Reserve Airman 1st Class Dorrian Stone graduated from basic military training at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, San Antonio, Texas.

The airman completed an intensive, eight-week program that included training in military discipline and studies, Air Force core values, physical fitness, and basic warfare principles and skills.

Airmen who complete basic training also earn four credits toward an associate in applied science degree through the Community College of the Air Force.

Stone, the son of Angela Stone of Mountville, is a 2015 graduate of Lebanon High School.

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M. Esposito September 10, 2018

Army Sgt. Mario Esposito has arrived for duty as a recruiter with U.S. Army Recruiting Station - York, U.S. Army Carlisle Recruiting Company. Esposito is the husband of Kaitlyn M. Esposito and father of Isabella of York.

Esposito is a 2010 graduate of Spring Grove Area Senior High School, Spring Grove.

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Veterans Honored By Sportsmen's Clubs August 29, 2018

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J. Rivera August 22, 2018

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Jordan Rivera graduated from basic military training at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland in San Antonio, Texas.

He is a 2016 graduate of Conestoga Valley High School.

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Koudelka Takes Command Of 193rd SOW August 17, 2018

Col. Terrence L. Koudelka Jr. assumed command of the Pennsylvania Air National Guard's 193rd Special Operations Wing (SOW) in Middletown in a ceremony on base on Aug. 11.

Koudelka is now responsible for the training and readiness of approximately 1,900 combat-ready airmen and seven uniquely modified EC-130J aircraft, which provide military information support operations, electronic attack and special operations forces mobility in support of U.S. Special Operations Command and Air Force Special Operations Command. The wing also includes eight geographically separated units organized in a regional support group that provides various expeditionary combat support capabilities to the Air Force, Air Combat Command, Air Force Space Command, National Guard and Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Koudelka graduated from the Ohio State University with a Bachelor of Science and was commissioned as a second lieutenant in 1990 through AFROTC Detachment 645. He served nearly 11 years on regular active duty in both staff and flying assignments as a B-1B weapon systems officer. Koudelka's career includes participation in numerous combat operations while flying as an aircrew member in the B-1B and EC-130. Koudelka is a master navigator with more than 2,000 flying hours. Koudelka joined the 193rd SOW in May 2002 as an EC-130E and EC-130J Electronic Warfare Officer/Mission Control Chief, EC-130J Chief of Tactics.

Some of his awards include the Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster, the Bronze Star, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters, the Air Medal, the Aerial Achievement Medal with two oak leaf clusters, the Air Force Commendation Medal, the Army Commendation Medal, the Air Force Achievement Medal with oak leaf cluster, and the Army Achievement Medal.

Before taking the reins as wing commander, Koudelka served as vice wing commander under the leadership of Col. Benjamin M. Cason, who served as commander since November 2015.

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E.L. Wilds August 10, 2018

Army Staff Sgt. Evan L. Wilds has arrived for duty as a recruiter with U.S. Army Recruiting Station - Lancaster, U.S. Army Recruiting Company Harrisburg.

Wilds is the husband of Dakota L. Wilds and the father of Dane, Mia, Mac, and Beck Wilds of Lititz. He is a 2011 graduate of Center Grove High School, Greenwood, Ind.

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Mentoring Series Held August 8, 2018

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National Veterans Association Elects Cunningham July 3, 2018

The Korean War Veterans Association (KWVA) recently announced the results of its nationwide election of officers for the year. Local resident Dr. Paul H. Cunningham was elected president.

Cunningham is a McCaskey High School Class of 1948 alumnus. He enlisted in the Air Force after graduation and served four years, including 17 months at duty stations in Korea as a radar repair technician. Cunningham was honorably discharged with the rank of staff sergeant in 1952.

Upon his return to Lancaster, he received his bachelor's degree from Millersville University and begain teaching at Hempfield High School. He later earned master's and doctoral degrees from Temple University, and he took the position of superintendent of schools for Dorchester County, Md.

Cunningham and his wife, Ruth, live in East Hempfield Township.

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Shaffer Earns College Degree July 3, 2018

Kyle Shaffer of New Freedom graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in communication from McDaniel College, Westminster, Md., during the college's 148th commencement ceremony on May 19. Shaffer was one of six McDaniel College graduates commissioned May 18 as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army.

Select graduating seniors also received academic, activity, and leadership awards at the senior investiture and honors convocation on May 18. Shaffer was the recipient of The Michael L. Waghelstein Memorial Award for a student who has demonstrated military proficiency and leadership potential, athletic ability, sincerity, zest for living, and loyalty to country, college, and friends.

Shaffer is a three-year ROTC scholarship recipient. During his college career, he completed the Cultural Language and Understanding Program (CULP) in Gabon, Africa; Cadet Advanced Camp at Fort Knox, Ky.; and Cadet Troop Leader Training with the 10th Mountain Infantry Division at Fort Polk, La. He also competed as part of the Green Terror Battalion Ranger Challenge team for three years. A member of the Phi Delta Theta fraternity at McDaniel, he volunteered with the Boys and Girls Club of Westminster. Shaffer is going active duty and will attend the Armor Officer Basic Course at Fort Benning, Ga.

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Ortiz To Receive Award June 25, 2018

Members of the New York Army National Guard who participated in the humanitarian assistance and disaster relief support missions following the devastation caused by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria in 2017 were recognized for their meritorious participation in operations of a humanitarian nature.

Sgt. Luis Ortiz from Windsor was slated to receive the Humanitarian Service Award for service in Puerto Rico from Oct. 2 to Dec. 15, 2017. Ortiz serves with the 442nd Military Police Company of the New York Army National Guard.

More than 400 Army National Guard soldiers will be eligible to receive the award. Presentations will be made at the unit level at a future date.

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Sailors Clean Up Roadside June 13, 2018

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Goodman Accepted Into Graduate Program June 13, 2018

Sarah Goodman of Hummelstown was recently accepted into a global master's degree program, the Global Field Program (GFP) of Miami University's Project Dragonfly. GFP students, who live throughout the United States and abroad, combine collaborative work in Dragonfly's web-based learning communities with work at conservation sites in Africa, Australia, Asia and the Americas.

Goodman will take classes toward a Master of Arts in teaching in the biological sciences through Project Dragonfly. This summer, Goodman is slated to travel to Baja to study the desert and marine landscapes of two diverse biosphere reserves through ecological and social field methods. Goodman works as a biology teacher at Cedar Cliff High School.

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S.J. Eberle June 8, 2018

U.S. Air Force Airman Sydney J. Eberle graduated from basic military training at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, San Antonio, Texas.

Eberle is the daughter of James Eberle of Lititz and Regena Frakes of Douglassville. She is a 2015 graduate of Manheim Township High School.

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