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The Wisconsin Army National Guard inducted two retired Soldiers into its Hall of Honor Sunday (May 15), during a ceremony in Witmer Hall at Joint Force Headquarters, Madison, Wisconsin.

Retired Command Sgt. Maj. Edgar J. Hansen of Manitowoc, Wisconsin, and retired Brig. Gen. Dominic A. Cariello of Racine, Wisconsin, were praised for their years of loyal service.

“We choose people of substance and significance who have made a tremendous contribution to this state and to this nation,” said Maj. Gen. Don Dunbar, Wisconsin’s adjutant general and commander of the Wisconsin National Guard.

Hansen enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1968 and served in Vietnam for more than 18 months. He left the Army in 1980 and returned in 1990 joining the Wisconsin Army National Guard’s 32nd “Red Arrow” Infantry Brigade, eventually to become the 32nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team’s command sergeant major.

“The thing that always drove me was the fact that I got to be a Soldier for the finest, freest nation on this planet, and the best people in the world,” Hansen said.

sm160515-Z-IM617-141.jpg“You’ve got to remember what kind of business we’re in,” he said prior to the ceremony. “This is service above self.”

Hansen said there were too many people that influenced his military career to mention.

“I thank all of the Soldiers that served with me, all of the good commanders that gave me direction, and God bless America,” he said.

Cariello enlisted in 1981 in the U.S. Army Reserve and commissioned as a second lieutenant in 1983 in the Wisconsin Army National Guard. He served for 24 years in the 57th Field Artillery Brigade and assumed command of that organization in 2004. He led the unit’s reorganization into the 157th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade and commanded Task Force Wisconsin in New Orleans for the Hurricane Katrina response. He then commanded a training team in Afghanistan between 2005 and 2007 that trained Soldiers in the Afghan National Army.

Upon promotion to brigadier general, Cariello served in two vital roles — as assistant adjutant general for readiness and training, and also as deputy commanding general for First Army’s training support division (west). He retired in 2012 with 31 years of service.

Regarding the most memorable part of his career, Cariello said his goal was “making sure that every Soldier that left the state of Wisconsin was trained, prepared and ready to do the job and come home.”

A unit transitioning from one mission to another is a very difficult and complex task, Dunbar said of Cariello’s success during the 57th’s transition from field artillery to support.

“Such is the talent of this officer,” Dunbar said. “You did an awesome job for us.”

Cariello fondly remembered all of the Soldiers he served with during his long career.

“Having a plaque in the hall is exciting, but the true meaning of this award is knowing that the Soldiers I served are now leaders in the Wisconsin Army National Guard,” Cariello said.

The purpose of the Hall of Honor is to encourage esprit de corps, in remembrance of a Wisconsin Army National Guard heritage that spans nearly 175 years. It is designed to give proper recognition to individuals whom have made lasting and exceptional contributions to the Wisconsin Army National Guard.

Fifty-nine recipients have been inducted into the Hall of Honor since its inception in 2000. The award is one of the most prestigious that a former or currently serving Wisconsin National Guard member can receive.