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Command Group

Squadron Commander

LTC Thomas Smith


LTC Smith was commissioned as an Armor Officer in 1996 following graduation from Virginia Military Institute. His first assignment was with the 1st Battalion, 72nd Armor, 2nd Infantry Division, Camp Casey, Korea from 1997 to 1998 where he served as a Tank Platoon Leader. He then served in the 1st Armor Training Brigade, Fort Knox, Kentucky as a Basic Training Executive Officer and Battalion S1/4 from 1998 to 2000.

Following graduation from the Armor Officer Advance Course, LTC Smith served as the Brigade Planner for 3rd Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division and then Battalion Maintenance Officer, A Company Commander and HHC Commander, 3rd Battalion 8th Cavalry Regiment from 2001-2005. This tour included a deployment to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Upon redeployment, he served as a BOLC II instructor, Battalion Operations Officer (S3), and D Company Commander in 1st Battalion 11th Infantry, Fort Benning Georgia from 2005-2008.

After completing Command and General Staff College at the Naval War College in Newport Rhode Island, LTC Smith served as Brigade Planner for 5th Brigade (Stryker) 2nd Infantry Division during its deployment to Afghanistan. On return from deployment LTC Smith served as the Squadron Executive Officer of 8th Squadron 1st Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade (Stryker), 2nd Infantry Division. He then served as the Brigade S3 of 201st Battlefield Surveillance Brigade from 2010-2013.

His last assignment was with the command group Training and Doctrine Command Ft. Eustis VA.

LTC Smith’s military training and education includes Armor Officer Basic and Advance Courses, the Cavalry Leaders Course, the Combined Arms and Services Staff School, and the Naval War College. His awards and decorations include the Bronze Star medal, Meritorious Service Medal (2 OLC) Army Commendation Medal (Valor) Army Commendation Medal (1 OLC), Army Achievement Medal (1 OLC) and the Combat Action Badge.

LTC Brandon Smith is married to the former Lynda Rose from Dallas, Texas. They have two daughters.

Command Sergeant Major

Command Sergeant Major Mark Heyliger


Command Sergeant Major Heyliger, a native of South Bend, Indiana, graduated from Clay High School before entering the military on March 31, 1992. Command Sergeant Major Heyliger completed basic training and Advanced Individual Training (AIT) at Fort Benning, GA. His first assignment was to the 4th Battalion 22nd Infantry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii. His other assignments include: 2-187th Infantry Fort Campbell, Dayton Recruiting Co, Columbus, Ohio, 3rd Battalion, 504th PIR, 2nd Battalion 504th PIR, 1st Battalion 504th PIR, Fort Bragg, Task Force 1, JRTC, Fort Polk, Louisiana, and 1st Battalion, 187th Infantry, Fort Campbell.

Command Sergeant Major Heyliger’s military and duty positions included: Ammunition Bearer, Gunner, Squad Leader, Fire Direction Center Chief, Section Sergeant, Recruiter, Mortar Platoon Sergeant, First Sergeant, and Operations Sergeant Major.

CSM Heyliger’s military and civilian education include all levels of the Noncommissioned Officers Education System, Airborne School, Jumpmaster School, Air Assault School, Pathfinder School, Infantry Mortar Leaders Course. He is a graduate of the United States Army Sergeant’s Major Academy, class 64 and holds a Bachelor’s of Science in General Studies from Excelsior College.

Command Sergeant Major Heyliger’s awards include the Bronze Star Medal (BSM) (4rd Award), the Meritorious Service Medal (MSM) (3rd Award), the Army Commendation Medal (ARCOM) (7thAward), Army Achievement Medal (AAM)(6th Award) National Defense Service Medal (NDSM), Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (AFEM), the Afghanistan Campaign Medal, the Iraq Campaign Medal (ICM) (2nd Award), Humanitarian Service Medal (HSM)(2nd Award), the Non-Commissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon (NCOPD), the Army Service Ribbon (ASR), the Overseas Service Ribbon (OSR), the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal (GWOT-E), the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal (GWOT-S), NATO Medal, the Meritorious Unit Commendation (MUC) (2nd award), the Valorous Unit Award (VUA), the Army Superior Unit Award (3rd award)(ASUA) the Navy Unit Commendation (NUC), the Expert Infantry Badge (EIB), the Combat Infantry Badge (CIB), the Pathfinder Badge, the Air Assault Badge and the Senior Parachutist Badge, The Gold Recruiter Badge with 3 gold stars and 3 sapphires.

Command Sergeant Major Heyliger has deployed two times in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.(2003 and 2005), Three times in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom (2004, 2007, and 2009) and once in support of Operation Resolute Support (2015).

Command Sergeant Major Heyliger is married to the former Wendi Plank of South Bend, Indiana; they have two Children.