Randy Thomas served as a 2nd Lieutenant with the 5th Special Forces Group in the I-Corps sector of South Vietnam from May, 1968 to May of 1969. For the first seven months he was assigned to a Special Forces A-team which supported company sized Vietnamese units as they conducted patrols. He spent the remainder of his tour working on a Special Forces B-team as the unit S-5, Psychological Officer. Upon the completion of his tour he returned to Illinois, earned a teaching certificate, and worked at Hillsboro High School while also serving in the Illinois Army National Guard as an infantry officer. In 2003 he became Illinois's Adjutant General.