JOEL R. ALEXANDER (Retired)
1SG Alexander completed 31 years 11 months of service with the 1/178
Infantry Battalion. He joined the service on 26 February 1970 and attained the rank
of First Sergeant on 20 December 1986. He began his career as a Wheel Vehicle
Mechanic and later became a Forward Observer and Fire Direction Computer with Combat
Support Company. He became a Squad Leader in 1976 and Platoon Sergeant in 1977.
From 1986 to 1988 he was First Sergeant of C Company and next served as Battalion
Motor Sergeant until 1997. His last assignment was as First Sergeant of HHC
from 1997 until 2002.
The many military schools 1SG Alexander attended included: Wheel
Vehicle Mechanic, Basic and Senior NCO, Infantry Mortar Platoon
Leaders Course, Battalion Training Management, 1SG course, Riot
Control Agent Disperser course, Battle Skills Course, Ground Mishap
OSHA Course, Radioactive Material Handling Safety Course, and Jungle
Warfare Training. His awards and decorations include: Army Service
Ribbon, National Defense Service Medal, Army Achievement Medal (2),
NCO Professional Development Ribbon, Human Service Medal (2),
Illinois Military Medal of Merit, Overseas Training Ribbon Panama
(RC), Illinois MAR (5), Illinois State Active Duty, and Illinois
Long & Honorable Service Ribbon (5).
1SG Alexander took advantage of the Illinois State Scholarship
fund available because of his military service and completed his
Bachelor of Arts Degree at Chicago State University in 1984.
"Because I was an instructor for over 10 years, training soldiers
became a natural and I spent a lot of time as a people pusher. My
career came to an abrupt end when I became sick; if not I would
still be in the 178th today. For all the young soldiers out there
today: train, train and train to protect our United States of
America. Many soldiers said I was the 'Chairman of the Board.' I
just said I was a Living Legend. Stay Hard, Cold Steel . . .
Remember the 8th.
1SG Alexander is married and lives in Chicago. He serves as
Liaison to the Illinois National Guard with the 8th Infantry
Illinois National Guard Association. He was also a member of the
J.T. Graham Guardsman's Bowling League.