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    Ada resident, Galena native helps protect the force in the Middle East

    Ada resident, Galena native helps protect the force in the Middle East

    Photo By Master Sgt. Jeff Lowry | Ohio National Guard Lt. Col. Matt Crawford, currently deployed as the protection chief...... read more read more

    (UNDISCLOSED LOCATION)

    02.14.2020

    Story by Master Sgt. Jeff Lowry 

    38th Infantry Division

    An Ohio National Guardsman of Ada and from Galena plays an integral part in protecting approximately 10,000 troops supporting Task Force Spartan throughout the Middle East.

    Lt. Col. Matt Crawford, the 38th Infantry Division's protection chief, oversees and coordinates protection measures from chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive attacks, engineer survivability and personnel recovery efforts.

    “The protection warfighting function is about economy of force and ensuring forces are available to the commander when needed, which is why we have our rapid reaction forces and quick reaction force,” said Crawford.

    While deployed to the Middle East supporting Task Force Spartan, which helps strengthen U.S. defense relationships and build partner capacity, Crawford has worked alongside forces from U.S. partnered nations.

    “They are very interested in learning how the United States conducts military operations and would like to be more like us,” said Crawford.

    Crawford draws on a wealth of military experience to help guide him.

    “Over the years I have had opportunities to attend leadership meetings where I was able to interact with senior leaders at the state and national level,” said Crawford. “It has also taught me to always remember the service members on the front line. It does not matter what level anyone ascends to, we are all in it for those service members on the front line.”

    As Crawford sees it, his service and the lessons he's learned helped himself and his family as well.

    “The National Guard has benefited me because it has allowed me to grow as a person and as a soldier,” said Crawford. “It has taught my family to be both Independent and resilient—whether for a state active-duty mission, a humanitarian mission or an overseas deployment.”

    Crawford, an Afghanistan combat veteran, joined the National Guard in January 1990 while he attended John Carroll University where he earned a bachelor degree in communications. He commissioned as a second lieutenant in 1994 from Ohio's officer candidate school.

    While deployed to the Middle East Crawford hasn’t forgotten about his civilian job where he is a federal technician as an administration officer for the Ohio National Guard’s facilities management office, nor his duties as a veterans service commissioner in Hardin County. He recently retook an oath for that position to help provide assistance to veterans, active-duty service members, their spouses or dependents.

    “I consider this taking care of the person, whereas in my technician position I deal with the National Guard facilities around the state of Ohio, taking care of places where military members conduct their training,” said Crawford.

    In all of Crawford’s duties he sees a synergy of his two civilian roles and military role.

    “Both relate to my military service because as a veteran of the National Guard having served 30 years I have seen a lot at many different levels and have dealt with soldiers at all levels so have a greater idea of what veterans coming in for assistance have been through,” said Crawford.

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 02.14.2020
    Date Posted: 02.14.2020 07:01
    Story ID: 363127
    Location: (UNDISCLOSED LOCATION)
    Hometown: ADA, OH, US
    Hometown: GALENA, OH, US

    Web Views: 132
    Downloads: 0
    Podcast Hits: 0

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