31st AIR DEFENSE ARTILLERY - "READY AND VIGILANT"
The mission of the 31st Air Defense Artillery Brigade is to prepare Soldiers and units for combat and take care of Soldiers and their families."
BRIGADE LEADERSHIP / HISTORY
Kevin Ciocca grew up in New Jersey, the seventh and youngest child of a career Noncommissioned Officer. He received his commission through OCS in 1992.
He has held several leadership and staff positions including: Flight Commander, 4th Space Warning Squadron (USAF); Tactical Director and Assistant S3, 2-43 Air Defense Artillery (deployed for Operation Southern Watch); Fire Direction Center OIC, 108th ADA (deployed for Operation Desert Fox); Battery Commander, 2-43 ADA; Air and Missile Defense Officer, Coalition Joint Task Force-Kuwait; Missile Defense Officer, Space and Missile Defense Command (deployed for Operation Iraqi Freedom); Fire Direction Center OIC, 31st ADA; Executive and Operations Officer, 1-1 ADA (initially at Fort Bliss, Texas and then Okinawa, Japan); Leader Division Branch Chief, U.S. Army ADA School, Fort Bliss; and Chief of Current Operations, 32d Army Air and Missile Defense Command.
He later commanded 5-7 ADA, Kaiserslautern, Germany from 2009 until 2011, which included several U.S. European Command Theater Security Cooperation missions in both Israel and Poland. His most recent operational assignment was as Deputy Commander for NATO’s Regional Support Command in Kabul, Afghanistan supporting Operation Enduring Freedom. COL Ciocca was the Air Defense Artillery School’s Assistant Commandant from July of 2013 to June of 2014.
He holds a BS in Engineering (Lehigh University), an MS in Management (Troy State University), and an MA in National Security and Strategic Studies (Naval War College). His military education includes the Air Defense Officer Basic and Advanced Courses, the Air Force Undergraduate Space Training Course, the Command and General Staff College, and the Naval War College.
His military decorations and awards include: the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal, Joint Service Achievement Medal, Army Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary and Service Medals, NATO Medal, Air Force Space and Missile Operations Badge, and Parachutist Badge.
Colonel Ciocca and his wife Becky, an elementary schoolteacher, have two daughters, Emily and Julia.
Command Sgt. Maj. Chad A. McNeish hails from Zanesville, Ohio and joined the Army in November 1991. He attended Basic Training at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo. and Advanced Individual Training at Fort Bliss, Texas as a Patriot Missile crewman.
During his career he has held every leadership position from squad leader to command sergeant major. His assignments include squad leader, C Battery, 6-43 ADA, Ansbach, Germany; squad leader, B Battery, 4-43 ADA, Fort Hood, Texas; squad leader, C Battery, 1-43 ADA, Osan AB, Korea; platoon sergeant, B Battery, 1-1 ADA, Fort Bliss; platoon sergeant, A and C Battery, 3-2 ADA, Fort Bliss; senior career advisor (14E/14T) U.S. Army Human Resource Command, Alexandria, Va.; first sergeant, A Battery and Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 3-2 ADA, Fort Bliss; operations sergeant major, 32d Army Air and Missile Defense Command, Fort Bliss; operations sergeant major, 5-7 ADA in Kaiserslautern, Germany; command sergeant major, 2-43 ADA (Patriot), Fort Bliss; and he is currently serving as the 31st ADA Brigade command sergeant major.
His awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal (with five oak leaf clusters), the Army Commendation Medal (with two OLC), the Army Achievement Medal (with nine OLC), the Air Assault Badge and the Driver’s Badge. McNeish is also a member of the Sgt. Audie Murphy Club as well as being a member of the Honorable Order of Saint Barbara, a FORSCOM MG Aubrey “Red” Newman award winner and a General of the Army Omar Bradley Leadership Award winner.
He is a graduate of all levels of the Army Noncommissioned Officer Education System to include the U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy Class 60, and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in business management from National-Louis University in Chicago, as well as a master’s degree in leadership studies from the University of Texas at El Paso.
He is married to the former Monica Vasquez of San Jose, Ca. and together they have three children; Julian, Olivia and Sofia.
The 31st Air Defense Artillery Brigade was constituted on January 1, 1918, in the National Army as Headquarters, 31st Heavy Artillery Brigade, Coast Artillery Corps at Key West, Fla. but would see numerous name changes over the lifetime of the unit. The unit rapidly transitioned into World War I where the brigade earned four battle streamers for participation in the campaigns Aisne-Marne, Oise-Aisne, Meuse-Argonne, and Champagne 1918.
The unit was demobilized at Fort Lewis, Wash. June 30, 1921. The brigade was reconstituted October 14, 1936 in the regular Army as Headquarters, 31st Coast Artillery Brigade and was later designated as Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 31st Coast Artillery Brigade. In November 1942 the brigade was activated as Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 31st Anti-Aircraft Artillery Brigade as part of the coastal air defense stationed at Camp Haan, Cali. and was later deployed to the European Theater where it participated in and earned three more battle streamers for campaigns in Rome-Arno, Southern France, and the Rhineland. On June 30, 1946, the brigade was deactivated at Laned-Sebold, Germany. This unit would encounter numerous activations and inactivations over the years to come to include a 1946 inactivation in Germany, reactivation in 1948 at Fort Bliss, Tex. and in 1958 was reorganized as Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 31st Artillery Brigade.
The unit would be inactivated in 1960 at McChord Air Force Base, Wash. and then reactivated in 1961 at Lockport Air Force Station, N.Y. In response to the Cuban Missile Crisis, the brigade formed with nine Hercules and Hawk battalions defending southern Florida from attack by Cuba and the Soviet Union. The brigade was designated under its present name on March 15, 1972, and after one final inactivation in 1979 at Homestead Air Force Base in Fla., the brigade would be reactivated again on April 1, 1988, at Fort Hood, Tex. to support III Corps. In February, 1996, the brigade once again received movement orders, this time to Fort Bliss, Tex. 31st ADA underwent a BRAC-directed move from Fort Bliss, Tex. to Fort Sill, Okla. in July of 2008.
In August of 2009, the brigade deployed approximately 50 Soldiers from the Headquarters Battery to Qatar for one year in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and returned its Soldiers home safely in July of 2010. The brigade also deployed a battalion, 3rd Battalion 2nd Air Defense Artillery, to Southwest Asia in March 2010, returning them home safely in 2011. Currently, 31st has two units deployed worldwide in defense of our nation. 4th Battalion, 3rd Air Defense Artillery Regiment is deployed to Kuwait for a year to support our allies abroad, while 3-2 ADA has rewritten ADA history by deploying to Turkey, establishing two Patriot missile batteries to help defend the region from possible air and missile threats that may occur as a result of the ongoing civil war in Syria. The brigade consists of a Headquarters and Headquarters Battery; 3-2 ADA Battalion (Patriot), 4-3 ADA Battalion (Patriot), Fort Sill, Okla. and 5-5 ADA Battalion (AMD), Fort Lewis, Washington. On order, the 31st Air Defense Artillery Brigade deploys to a Theater of Operations in support of the 32nd AAMDC, conducts decisive air and missile defense operations, and redeploys.
Unit Citations Include:
Meritorious Unit Citation Award
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