Col. Ruediger Tillmann Retires from

Utah Guard after 36 Years


Written by Maj. Hank McIntire

Published June 8, 2005


Colonel Ruediger Tillmann salutes Adjutant General Brian Tarbet after he pinned his medals on his chest.

Photo by SFC Gregory Cullis

Col. Ruediger Tillmann salutes Maj. Gen. Brian Tarbet

after receiving the Legion of Merit.

DRAPER, Utah — After 36 years of service in the Army National Guard, Col. Ruediger Tillmann, DDS, commander of 97th Troop Command  marked his official retirement from the military at a ceremony held at the Utah Guard’s Draper headquarters auditorium June 4.


Immediately prior to the retirement ceremony, the 97th Troop Command held a change-of-command ceremony in which Col. Linda P. Higgins assumed command of the unit, taking over for Tillmann who had been at the helm for five years.


Tillmann, a military intelligence officer, enlisted in the Guard in 1969 as a vehicle mechanic. He was commissioned as a second lieutenant in 1975.


Tillmann’s career included command of the following units: 300th Military Intelligence Brigade, 142nd Military Intelligence Battalion; and Company A, 142nd Military Intelligence Battalion.


Utah National Guard Adjutant General Maj. Gen. Brian Tarbet had high praise for Col. Tillmann, a colleague and fellow Soldier for nearly 30 years.


“He is one of the finest officers I have ever met, and he has done much to build the present-day excellence of the Utah National Guard. His career embodies the best in the tradition of the Citizen-Soldier, and he will be greatly missed by this organization,” Tarbet said.


Following the emotional ceremony, Tillmann reflected on his service in the military and the quality of individuals in the Utah Guard.


“It’s great to be an American, fighting for freedom and to live where we can do as we please,” Tillmann said. “If I were to describe the Utah National Guard in single words they would be words like Honor, Integrity, Trust, Loyalty and Family.”


Tillmann’s wife, Wendy, was also very appreciative of what the Guard represents and indicated their plans for the future.


“It’s bittersweet to leave the Utah Army National Guard.  My husband and I have loved this organization and all the people in it.” Mrs. Tillmann said. “We will continue to help in the community and be involved in any way we can.”


Tillmann will continue his civilian career as a dentist in Murray.


Lt. Col. Cockrell stands with his retiring Commander and friend, Colonel Tillman.

Photo by SFC Gregory Cullis

Lt. Col. John Cockrell stands with his retiring

commander and friend Col. Ruediger Tillmann.