Mike Ilko Promoted to Sergeant Major

L.I. Smith & Associates (LIS) Survey Coordinator, Mike Ilko, has been promoted to the rank of Sergeant Major. As of December 1, 2022, he was assigned to the position of Operations Sergeant Major for the Headquarters Troop (HHT) at the Regimental Engineer Squadron (RES) in the 278th Armored Cavalry Regiment (ACR), belonging to the Tennessee National Guard. His new duty station is located in Lebanon, Tenn. 

“I am excited and honored to join the 1% of personnel in the entire Army who make it to this level,” commented Ilko.  

The Operations Sergeant Major is a senior noncommissioned officer in the unit’s headquarters working in the command post (CP). Ilko will be responsible for managing the performance of the enlisted operations staff. He will also assist the operations officer with relevant processes, including planning, rehearsals, and monitoring and controlling operations in the current operations integrating cell (COIC), or the section of the command post that manages ongoing missions, among other duties.  

In this role, a normal training year for Ilko will consist of two days a month, usually a weekend, and two consecutive weeks for an annual training (AT) event. At times, three-day weekend drills and three-week ATs may be required as deemed necessary. In addition to the time requirements for training, the National Guard can be activated at any time for multiple reasons, such as natural disaster relief, conducting law and order assistance for civil disturbances, and deploying overseas in support of the interests of the Federal Government. If mobilized, on state or federal orders, Ilko could be gone for up to a year.  

“Balancing the time between your family’s requirements, civilian job, and military obligation is a dilemma all military reservists are faced with. Many soldiers have great difficulty with this, several of which cannot reach that balance and, in turn, get out of the military,” said Ilko. “I have been blessed with a wife, who also served 20 years in the Army, that understands the situation and an employer who is a strong supporter of our nation’s military and its personnel.”  

For the past 10 years, Ilko has played a critical role at LIS. Throughout this time, he worked his way through the ranks from rodman to party chief before assuming his current position as survey coordinator. Ilko is responsible for scheduling field crews from both the Nashville and Paris office locations while also acting as a liaison with project managers. In addition, he manages all company vehicles, survey equipment, and materials needed to complete projects and meet deadlines. 

“LIS is proud to support our veterans. Although our military personnel are sometimes required to leave for extended periods of time, we understand the importance of the leadership skills and personal devotion that come along with the many sacrifices they make. They bring unique value to our team,” stated LIS President Patrick Smith.  

Prior to his promotion, Ilko was the First Sergeant for the 212th Engineer Company (EVCC), located in Paris and Camden, which is part of the 230th Engineer Battalion (EN BN) in the 194th Engineer Brigade (EN BDE). 

In addition, Ilko is a licensed Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) pilot. He also belongs to the Henry County High Band Boosters, in which he supports and assists the HCHS band during competitions.