New director of the Illinois National Guard Joint Staff appointed

Governor Bruce Rauner announced that The Adjutant General of the Illinois National Guard, Maj. Gen. Richard J. Hayes Jr., has appointed Col. Michael J. Glisson, as the Illinois National Guard’s Director of the Joint Staff. As a result of the appointment, Col. Glisson will be promoted to brigadier general.

Glisson will replace Brig. Gen. Alicia Tate-Nadeau, who is being appointed as the Assistant Adjutant General – Army. Both Glisson and Tate-Nadeau are traditional Army National Guard Soldiers who will continue their civilian full-time employment outside of the Illinois National Guard. Brig. Gen. Michael Zerbonia, the full-time Assistant Adjutant General – Army and Commander of the Illinois Army National Guard is in a two-star position and is eligible to be promoted to major general.

“I’m pleased to announce this key appointment within the Illinois National Guard and congratulate Col. Glisson on his pending promotion,” Governor Rauner said. “The Director of the Illinois National Guard Joint Staff works with the Illinois Emergency Management Agency and a multitude of other agencies to ensure we are ready to respond to any of a multitude of emergencies that could occur within Illinois.”

The Director of the Joint Staff oversees all Illinois National Guard planning for domestic emergencies as well as the Illinois National Guard Counterdrug Program and the Illinois National Guard’s State Partnership Program with Poland. In addition, the director administers the Department of Defense’s Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve within Illinois.

“Mike Glisson has extensive experience working in both domestic and international operations and has worked with all other U.S. military services as well as a great many international militaries,” Maj. Gen. Hayes said. “He has also worked extensively with Illinois community leaders as well as with communities as far away as Poland and Afghanistan. He will do exceptionally well as the Director of the Joint Staff.”

Glisson previously served as the Commander of the 65th Troop Command Brigade, a position he served in since June 2013. Glisson earned his commission in May 1988 through the Reserve Officer Training Corps at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale. He joined the Illinois Army National Guard in February 1990 as a fire support team chief assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 123rd Field Artillery Regiment and was attached to the 3rd Battalion, 130th Infantry Regiment in East St. Louis, Illinois. He has since held command positions at every level up to brigade as well as several key Army and Joint staff positions.

He has deployed to Afghanistan from 2008 to 2009 as the director of Afghan National Security Forces Development for Combined Joint Task Force Phoenix VIII and previously deployed in support of Operation Noble Eagle as the Chief, Army Liaison Section, Air Mobility Command, U.S. Air Force. He has also supported multiple state active duty mobilizations and overseas training missions. As the plans branch chief for the Illinois Army National Guard, he was a key leader in the success of the 2012 NATO Summit in Chicago.

“Being selected as the Director of the Joint Staff and for promotion to brigadier general is a true honor and privilege,” Glisson said. “I’m looking forward to working as a team with leaders both within the Illinois National Guard and outside our ranks. A great number of challenges lie ahead, but I’m confident that by working as a team we can overcome any obstacles and protect our state and defend our nation.”

Glisson’s professional education includes a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in metalsmithing from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale and a master’s degree in Strategic Studies from the United States Army War College. He graduated from multiple military courses including the Field Artillery Officer Basic and Advanced Courses, Combined Arms Staff Services School, Infantry Captains Career Course, Joint Firepower Course, Joint Operation Fires and Effects Course, Air Mobility Operations Course, Command and General Staff Officer Course and the Reserve Component National Security Course.

Glisson’s awards include a Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Air Force Achievement Medal, Afghan Campaign Ribbon, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal, Illinois Medal of Merit, Illinois State Active Duty Ribbon and the Joint Meritorious Unit Award.

As a civilian, COL Glisson is a self-employed artist blacksmith.