March 19, 2024

Duckworth Statement on Illinois National Guard Commander Major General Neely’s Retirement


[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – Combat Veteran and U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) today released a statement following the announcement of Illinois National Guard Commander Major General Richard Neely’s retirement in May:

“General Neely exemplifies what it means to be a leader, and the Illinois National Guard is—without question—stronger because of his steadfast leadership. I not only had the honor of working with General Neely as a U.S. Senator, but my husband Bryan and I also had the pleasure of serving with him back when we were Illinois National Guardsmen. After 40 years of service, his retirement is certainly well-earned, but his dedication to the Illinois National Guard, our state and our country will be sorely missed. As the Illinois National Guard moves forward from General Neely’s leadership, I look forward to working with General Boyd in his new role as Adjutant General and helping him ensure the Illinois National Guard remains as strong as it can be.”

In 2022, Duckworth brought Major General Neely as her virtual guest to the State of the Union address, highlight his and the Illinois National Guard’s critical role in helping train troops in places like Ukraine and Poland.

Duckworth is a member of the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee and U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee. She is an Iraq War Veteran who served in the Reserved Forces for 23 years, including the Illinois Army National Guard, before retiring from military service in 2014 at the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.