A native of La Belle, Mo., has been promoted to colonel in the U.S. Army.
The Army promoted Col. Michael Thomas from lieutenant colonel on Oct. 4 in a ceremony at First Army Headquarters on Rock Island (Ill.) Arsenal. Thomas serves as the 1st Army chaplain, after having been the unit's deputy chaplain for two years.
Lt. Gen. Mick Bednarek, First Army commander, hosted the ceremony. Attendees included Thomas' mother and mother-in-law, and his adult children, Ashley and Curtis Thomas.
Thomas has been in the Army for 21 years. He is married to the former Sandra Martin of Pleasant Hill, Ill.
He graduated from Hannibal-LaGrange College in 1982. He then earned a master's of divinity from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City, Mo., and a master's in leadership and ethics from John Brown University in Siloam Springs, Ark.
Before joining the Army, Thomas served as youth minister at First Presbyterian Church in Hannibal, Mo., as associate pastor at Liberty Manor Church in Liberty, Mo., and as pastor at Oskaloosa Baptist Chapel in Oskaloosa, Iowa.