"It's a big job. This is once-in-a-lifetime for me," said Colonel Bilo, 48, who has 28 years of service in the Army and the National Guard.
At the Pentagon, he will help oversee Army National Guard operations in 50 states and four U.S. territories. That's a force of more than 420,000, Colonel Bilo said.
Born and reared in Washington, he began his military career in 1965 when he was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Army. His experience there included a combat tour as an artillery officer in Vietnam.
Colonel Bilo joined the Maryland National Guard in 1974 and has served in several full-time positions, including chief of staff of the 29th Infantry Division (Light).
He was chief of staff for the Maryland National Guard from 1987 until 1990.
He commands the 29th Infantry's Support Command, which has its headquarters in Towson.