By Capt. Peter Drasutis, Louisiana National Guard Public Affairs Office
NEW ORLEANS – Louisiana State Guardsman Col. Carl Thompson was awarded a Certificate of Congressional Commendation in recognition for his decades of military and community service during an official ceremony at the Louisiana Tech Academic Success Center at Bossier Parish Community College in Bossier City, Louisiana, May 3.
The La. State Guard differs from the Louisiana National Guard in that it cannot be federally mobilized; it is regulated by state law.
“Col. Carl Thompson is an important member of the ‘New Way Forward’ for the La. State Guard’s mission and planning,” according to La. State Guard commander, Col. Larry Benton.
He assisted in the establishment of the La. State Guard directorates of cyber defense, medical, judge advocate general and chaplaincy. This new specialized staffing enhancement is designed to build a cadre of subject matter experts who can support and supplement the La. Military Department’s personnel to support all hazards under the concept of the National Incident Management System.
Congressman Mike Johnson, U.S. representative for Louisiana’s 4th congressional district, invited family members, friends, colleagues and elected officials to join him as he recognized Thompson with the Congressional Commendation during this year’s Community Awards Ceremony.
During the presentation of his award, Johnson discussed Col. Thompson’s lifetime of service and achievements. Mentioned were Thompson’s current position as deputy assessor for the Webster Parish Assessor’s Office as well as his decades of military service.
“He is known to all of us as an honorable, kind and faithful man,” said Johnson.
Originally from Claiborne Parish, Thompson’s work with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, beginning in the 1960s, eventually brought him to his current home in Minden. In 1994, Thompson began his career with the La. Military Department serving as the state environmental director at Camp Beauregard, soon to be the La. National Guard Training Center Pineville and, later, facilities manager and forester for all La. military installations. According to Thompson, it was during his tenure as facilities manager that he made some of his greatest professional achievements. Most notable of these accomplishments during this time were engaging in the effort to transition the federally owned Louisiana Army Ammunition Plant to the now state-owned Camp Minden, obtaining funding for the establishment of the Camp Minden Youth Challenge Program, and the establishment of Camp Minden Fire Department. Shortly after retiring from the La. Military Department in 2013, Thomson began his current role as deputy assessor with the Webster Parish Assessor’s Office.
Thompson’s military career began in 1965, when he enlisted with in the U.S. Air Force Reserve. He received a direct commission in 1975 through the U.S. Air Force’s Deserving Airman’s Program. In 1977, Thompson transferred to the La. Army National Guard where he served as a combat engineer officer with A Company, 527th Engineer Battalion, 225th Engineer Group. Thompson achieved the rank of lieutenant colonel before making a late career transition to warrant officer in 1994 so that he could continue serving with the LA ARNG until his eventual retirement in 2001.
In keeping with his personal principles of community and military service, Thompson joined the La. State Guard in 2013 where he achieved the rank of colonel and currently serves as deputy commander.
Col. Thompson thanked his wife, daughters and others for supporting and serving alongside him as well as Congressman Mike Johnson for presenting him with Certificate of Congressional Commendation award.
“I was highly honored and humbled to receive this award from Congressman Johnson. I consider him a good friend who I hold in the highest esteem and regard,” said Thompson.