Illinois National Guard veteran bids farewell after 32 years of service

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SPRINGFIELD – Master Sgt. Ian Spangler of Franklin Grove, Illinois, retired after 32 years of service in the Illinois National Guard during a retirement ceremony held June 3, at the Illinois Military Academy in Springfield.

Spangler enlisted in the Illinois National Guard in 1991 as a Single Channel Radio Operator and concludes his career as the Support Operations Master Sergeant with the 232nd Combat Sustainment Support Battalion. During his 30-year career, Spangler served in many roles with the 232 CSSB, the 106th Calvary Squadron, the 202nd Air Defense Artillery Battalion and with the Recruiting and Retention Battalion.

Spangler deployed twice. First, in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in 2008 and again in 2020 to support Operation Inherent Resolve. Some of the decorated veteran’s awards include the Army Commendation Medal with C Device, Army Commendation Medal with 3 oak leaf clusters and the Meritorious Service Medal.

“He’s been a lot of places and done a lot of things,” said Lt. Col. Michael Barton, the commander of the 232 CSSB. “He’s a guy who has done just about everything in his career and has done them well to say the least.”

Barton continued his praise by depicting Spangler’s reliability.

“We have a saying, fire and forget NCO,” said Barton. “That is talking about a leader who you can tell, ‘Hey I need this done.’ After you tell them that, you can forget because you know you don’t have to think about it anymore because you know it’s going to get done. That’s the kind of leader that Spangler has been throughout his entire career.”

Spangler encouraged his fellow soldiers to lead with a humble heart, humility and compassion toward everyone around.

“With this job, don’t take anything too serious,” said Spangler. “There’s ups and downs with what we do. You can’t let the things that go wrong keep you down.”

Spangler thanked all of his fellow service members as he bid farewell and expressed his gratitude as he prepares for his next chapter in life.

With his military career ending, Spangler looks forward to spending time with his significant other, Danielle and his daughters, Sophia and Ella without the call to duty from the military. Spangler will continue serving his community in his civilian capacity with the Illinois Department of Transportation.