WHEREAS, before statehood, the Alaska Territorial Guard (ATG) protected Alaska’s coastline and rural frontier with incredible courage and distinction. After these brave Alaskans contributed their vital expertise to a decisive victory for the U.S. in the difficult Aleutian theater, the ATG disbanded in 1947, and the Alaskan National Guard (AKNG) was formally recognized in 1948; and
WHEREAS, composed of over 4,000 Alaskan citizen-soldiers, the AKNG is a unique and critical element of the U.S. Military, providing domestic and overseas service and defense in times of greatest need; and
WHEREAS, tasked with responding to domestic emergencies, overseas combat missions, counterdrug efforts, reconstruction missions, and more, AKNG members participate in a robust training regiment, enabling them to effectively mobilize and deploy at home or overseas on short notice; and
WHEREAS, the AKNG is a vital element of Alaska’s safety and wellbeing, as guardsmen are uniquely trained and skilled to navigate Alaska’s extreme environments and challenging terrain; and
WHEREAS, the AKNG also contributes to the economic health of Alaska by providing direct jobs and engaging the supportive services of many Alaskan individuals and businesses; and
WHEREAS, our Guardsmen and women stand vigilant, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, every day of the year, making the safety and wellbeing of their fellow citizens as their highest priority; and
WHEREAS, today we stop to recognize and honor the selfless service and incredible contributions of the men and women of the Alaska National Guard, and to extend our deepest gratitude for all they do to protect our nation and state.
NOW THEREFORE, I, Michael J. Dunleavy, GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF ALASKA, do hereby proclaim December 13, 2018 as:
Alaska National Guard Appreciation Day
in Alaska, and urge all Alaskans to recognize and honor the service of all members, past and present, soldiers and airmen, of the Alaska Territorial Guard and the Alaska National Guard, acknowledging the sacrifices of their families, friends, and employers, and keeping them all in our thoughts and prayers.