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NEWS | Aug. 28, 2020

42nd Infantry Division has its share of legacies

By Sgt. Andrew Valenza 42nd Infantry Division

UNDISCLOSED LOCATION – Family legacy can run deep in the military, and this is certainly true of the 42nd Infantry Division.

Two Soldiers in the 42nd ID, Capt. Joshua Tosi and Col. Christopher Guilmette, followed in their father's footsteps by serving in the division.

Tosi is the Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear Defense officer and G5 for the 42nd ID and TFS. Both his father and great-grandfather served under the rainbow.

Michael Mitzko, Tosi's great-grandfather, served in the early 1930s at Camp Larson as part of H Company, 113th Infantry Regiment of the 44th Infantry Brigade assigned to the 42nd. He was succeeded by David Tosi, who served from the late 80s to early 90s with the 50th Armor Division.

"It's a great honor for me to look down and have the 42nd Infantry Division patch on knowing that 90 years ago, my great-grandfather wore the same patch," said Tosi.

Tosi has a 1-year old son who will be shown the same patriotic values he was taught while growing up.

"He'll be instilled with the family values of serving our country," said Tosi.

Outside of the 42nd, Tosi's family members serving in the U.S. Army include his brother, five cousins, one aunt and uncle, both grandfathers and another great-grandfather.

The legacy Tosi hopes to leave is one of giving back.

"The legacy is a commitment to our country, for all it's given us. It's our little way of giving back throughout the generations," said Tosi.

Guilmette, the chief protections officer of the 42nd ID and TFS, also followed in the footsteps of his father, retired Maj. Leo Guilmette, who served in the 70s and 80s.

Guilmette grew up in a military environment, following his dad around at military family events or seeing him at work.

"I definitely felt a sense of pride. It was something that I wanted to be a part of myself. We used to go to the parades and the family days with the unit, climbing around in the jeeps," said Guilmette. "Sometimes I'd go with my dad to the armory during the training meetings when they met during the week to do the planning for the month. So, I spent a lot of time around the armory as a child."

When Guilmette joined the Army, it was through the Reserve Officers' Training Corps program. His father had already retired but was able to act as a mentor for his son.

"It was good in that I had a mentor long before I was even in ROTC. I saw my father lead a certain way, be with his unit and the Soldiers of his unit on and off duty," said Guilmette. "I remember Soldiers stopping by for some support on a non-drill weekend and get advice from my dad.

Guilmette also said his father gave him valuable advice as a new lieutenant about the NCO Corps: "the relationship a commander should have with their first sergeant or even the relationship a platoon leader should have with their platoon sergeant and how important that is to work as a team."

Guilmette sees his family's legacy as one that shows the importance of community both in and out of the Army.

"I think it really comes down to service to your community and the unit," said Guilmette. "My father has always been a part of the community through the National Guard, or through being a volunteer fireman."

 

 

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