NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — The Louisiana National Guard is celebrating the induction of retired Army Maj. Gen. John P. Basilica Jr. into the Hall of Fame.

Basilica, a West Point graduate, who retired from active service after 33 years on June 12, 2011, has been seen through the years as an expert in leading large teams like battalions, brigades and higher echelons.

During his time in active force, Basilica commanded engineer and infantry battalions and above for 14 years starting with the 769th Engineer Battalion and ending with Joint Task Force Pelican during Hurricane Katrina. 

During that time he also commanded two battalions and two brigades.

In a ceremony commemorating his work and achievements, Adjutant General of the LANG Maj. Gen. Keith Waddell presented Basilica with a hand-painted portrait of himself that will hang alongside the other 21 Hall of Fame inductees.

“Basilica’s excellence and exceptional leadership within the Louisiana National Guard, the Louisiana Military Department, and National Guard Bureau, as well as his impact at the Department of Transportation and Development are unmatched and have had a transformational impact on our organization and the DOTD. His leadership, legacy, and mentorship live on today through many of the men and women who currently serve in the Louisiana National Guard and work at DOTD,” said Waddell.

His most notable achievements include:

  • His role as an Army Officer he commanded the 256th Infantry Brigade Combat Team in their deployment to Iraq.
  • Leading 4,500 soldiers in Baghdad, commanding full spectrum operations in Western Baghdad for 12 months under the 1st Cavalry Division and then the 3rd Infantry Division.
  • Commanding of Joint Task Force Pelican that included approximately 18,000 National Guard forces from around the Nation during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
  • Becoming the director of logistics at the National Guard Bureau in Washington, D.C. In 2008.
  • Selected as the Commander of Operational Command Post #1 at US Army North (5th US Army), Fort Sam Houston, Texas.

In the days following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, Basilica coordinated DOD resources to support the Coast Guard.

“Serving in the military is the ultimate team vocation,” said Basilica. “While individual accolades are nice, it’s the team victories that are the sweetest.”

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