Colonel Stefan J. Banach
Commander, 2nd Brigade, 25th Infantry Division (Light)
Colonel Banach was commissioned in the Infantry in 1983. His initialassignment was with the 2d Battalion, 505th (Abn) Infantry, 82d AirborneDivision. During this tour, he qualified as a member of the 1984 All ArmyWrestling Team and was later assigned to the 1st Ranger Battalion, Hunter ArmyAirfield, Savannah, Georgia, from 1985 - 1987.
Colonel Banach attended the U.S. Army Infantry Officer Advanced Course at FortBenning, Georgia, in 1987, and graduated as the Distinguished HonorGraduate. He was then assigned to the 1st Battalion, 18th Infantry, 197thMechanized Brigade (Separate), at Fort Benning where he commanded Company B,1st Battalion, 18th Infantry, from 1989 - 1991. His command tour includeda combat deployment to Iraq with the 24th Infantry Division (Mechanized) insupport of Operations Desert Shield & Desert Storm.
He later served as a Liaison Officer with the 75th Ranger Regiment at FortBenning and as the Battalion Adjutant for 1st Ranger Battalion at Hunter ArmyAirfield from 1991 - 1993. He attended the Command and General StaffCollege at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, and was assigned to 2d Ranger Battalion atFort Lewis, Washington, as the Battalion Liaison Officer, Operations Officerand Executive Officer from 1994-1997. This assignment included adeployment to Haiti in support of "Operation Uphold Democracy".
Colonel Banach was then assigned to the United States Pacific Command inHawaii, where he served from June 1997 - June 1999. He commanded the 3dBattalion, 15th Infantry (Mechanized), 3d Infantry Division, Fort Stewart,Georgia, from July 1999 - June 2001. His battalion command tour includeda peace enforcement deployment to Bosnia in support of SFOR 8, "OperationJoint Forge."
He commanded the 3d Ranger Battalion from June 2001 - June 2003. Thiscommand tour included two deployments to Afghanistan and one deployment to Iraqin support of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. During this assignment, he led his men during the execution of a combatparachute assault into Afghanistan as the spearhead for the Global War onTerrorism and participated in a second parachute assault into Iraq during theinitial phase of Operation Iraqi Freedom in March 2003.
Colonel Banach is a graduate of the Advanced Operational Arts StudiesFellowship at the School of Advanced Military Studies (SAMS) at FortLeavenworth, Kansas and assumed command of the 2d Brigade, 25th InfantryDivision (Stryker) on 25 May 2005 at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii.
His awards and decorations include:
Legion of Merit Medal
Bronze Star with Valor Device
Bronze Star Medal for Service
Defense Meritorious Service Medal
Joint Meritorious Unit Award
Meritorious Service Medal (Five Awards)
Army Commendation Medal (Five Awards)
Joint Achievement Medal
Army Achievement Medal
Humanitarian Service Medal (Two Awards)
Kuwaiti Liberation Medal
Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal & Bronze Star Device
Global War on Terror Service and Expeditionary Medals with Arrowhead
U.S. Army Master Parachutist Badge (With Two Gold Combat Jump Stars)
U.S. Army Ranger Tab and British, Thai, South Korean, & Jordanian JumpWings.
Combat Infantry Badge (Two Awards)
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia -Kuwaiti Liberation Medal
Southwest Asia Service Medal
Colonel Banach was awarded the "Richard McPike Memorial Academic ExcellenceAward", in 1982 as a member of the 1982 Iowa National WrestlingChampionship Team and he received the "Sport of Lincoln Award", in 2002from the International Wrestling Institute and Museum for outstanding serviceto the nation. He has an undergraduate degree from the University of Iowaand a Masters Degree from the Command & General Staff College at FortLeavenworth. He is married to the former Margaret R. Gines and has threechildren.