SPRINGFIELD - Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich and Maj. Gen. Randal Thomas, Adjutant General of the Illinois National Guard, today announced the appointment of Col. Dennis Celletti as the new Assistant Adjutant General for Army. As Assistant Adjutant General for Army, Col. Celletti will command the more than 9,400 Soldiers of the Illinois Army National Guard.
Prior to his being named as Assistant Adjutant General – Army by the Governor, Col. Celletti was the Chief of Staff of the Illinois Army National Guard. As Chief of Staff, he was responsible for all staff operations of the Illinois National Guard Joint Force Headquarters, ensuring the effective and efficient functioning of the headquarters staff to support Illinois National Guard units throughout the state.
“Hurricanes Katrina and Rita further demonstrated the importance of a ready and reliable National Guard force in any state- or national-level disaster response. Having the right people in positions of leadership is critically important to ensuring Illinois is prepared to respond to emergencies. Given his superb military record, background and experience, I know that Colonel Dennis Celletti is the right person to fill this very important role for the men and women of the Illinois Army National Guard and the people of Illinois,” said Gov. Blagojevich about the appointment.
Celletti entered military service in 1972, when he enlisted in the Illinois Army National Guard. He was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Illinois Army National Guard in 1976 through the Illinois Military Academy Officer Candidate School. During his more than 30 years of military service with the Illinois Army National Guard, he has held several command positions including Troop Commander, Troop E, 106th Cavalry; Commander, 44th Chemical Battalion; Regimental Commander, 129th Regional Training Institute; and Commander, 65th Troop Command. Prior to becoming Chief of Staff, Celletti was the Director of Plans, Operations and Training for the Illinois Army National Guard.
“Colonel Celletti’s record of accomplishment as a both a Soldier and a leader speaks for itself,” said Maj. Gen. Thomas. “He has excelled at every level of command throughout his military career and has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to the welfare of the Soldiers of the Illinois Army National Guard. Our Soldiers are in capable hands.”
Celletti’s professional military education includes the Infantry Officer Basic Course, Armor Officer Basic Course, Armor Officer Advance Course, Chemical Officer Advance Course, Combined Arms and Services Staff School, Command and General Staff College and the U.S. Army War College. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Western Illinois University, Macomb, Illinois.
His military awards and decorations include the Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal and Humanitarian Service Medal.
Celletti replaces the retiring Brig. Gen. Charles Fleming. The appointment to Assistant Adjutant General comes with a promotion to the rank of Brigadier General.
Celletti was born in Sterling, Illinois, but now resides with his family in Springfield, Illinois.