Weather Forecast


Local man earns National Guard brigade promotion

<i>Submitted photo</i> Command Sgt. Maj. Rafael Conde (River Falls), left, and Col. Martin Seifer, 32nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team command sergeant major and commander, prepare to cut the official cake during a change-of-command ceremony at Camp Williams earlier this month.

A River Falls resident assumed the top enlisted leadership post in the Wisconsin Army National Guard's 32nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team. The promotion took place during a change-of-command ceremony July 10 at Camp Williams in west-central Wisconsin.

Command Sgt. Maj. Rafael Conde, River Falls, and Col. Martin Seifer, Seymour, formally assumed leadership of the brigade from Col. Steven Bensend, Prescott, and Command Sgt. Major Edgar Hansen, Manitowoc.

Conde is the top senior enlisted noncommissioned officer. His term at that position will last from 3-5 years.

The new leadership team has more than 58 years of combined military service and is ready for its new positions.

"It's an honor and a privilege to serve the soldiers of the 32nd Brigade," said the Cuban-born Conde who came by sea with other freedom seekers to the United States in 1968. "I'm going to take this opportunity to ensure we become the best soldiers we can. Our families, our friends, our state, our nation are all dependent upon us."

Conde, 47, is a combat veteran of Iraq, and, in late March, he returned from a tour of duty in Afghanistan. He has served in the National Guard for 27 years.

For more on this story, please see the July 22 print edition of the River Falls Journal.