Alaska National Guard receives new commanding general
By SGT. MARISA LINDSAY
May 28, 2015
(SitNews) Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska – The Alaska National Guard officially welcomed its new commander during a change of command ceremony held at the Alaska National Guard armory on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson May 26.
The ceremony was presided over by Gov. Bill Walker.
Brig. Gen. (Alaska) Laurie Hummel, adjutant general of the Alaska National Guard and commissioner of the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, ceremoniously accepted the passing of the colors from retired Brig. Gen. Leon “Mike” Bridges, symbolizing the history and loyalty of the servicemen and women and the incoming commander’s commitment and responsibility of the unit.
During the Alaska National Guard’s change of command ceremony, Brig. Gen. (Alaska) Laurie Hummel shakes hands with outgoing adjutant general retired Brig. Gen. Leon “Mike” Bridges, at the Alaska National Guard armory on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson May 26. Gov. Bill Walker (center) presides over the ceremony while officially welcoming Hummel to her position.
Photo by Sgt. Marisa Lindsay
Hummel, a 1982 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, its third class that accepted females, retired from the active-duty Army in 2012, after serving 30 years as a military intelligence officer.
Hummel’s military life predates her attendance to West Point, however. The daughter of a career Soldier, she was born in an Army hospital in Vicenza, Italy.
Brig. Gen. (Alaska) Laurie Hummel speaks during the Alaska National Guard’s change of command ceremony held at the Alaska National Guard armory on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson May 26. Gov. Bill Walker presided over the ceremony in which Hummel replaced outgoing commander retired Brig. Gen. Leon “Mike” Bridges, who served as acting adjutant general through February 2015.
“From the age of seven, I was very intrigued by the Profession of Arms,” Hummel explained. “Although this was in the 1960s era, my family was very open to anything that my sister or I wanted to do.”
Through the duration of her military career, Hummel served in a number of staff and command capacities, both in-garrison and overseas, to include several assignments as a professor at West Point.
“I didn’t start out saying that I was going to stay in the military for 30 years,” Hummel said. “What I said was, ‘I’m going to stay in the Army until I don’t enjoy my job, I don’t enjoy my organization, or I have a bad boss’ – and 30 years later, I retired.”
This past January, Hummel was given an opportunity to don the uniform once again after Gov. Bill Walker named her Alaska’s new, and first female, adjutant general.
“It was not a difficult decision for me to tap her on the shoulder and ask her,” said Walker. “Alaska’s fortunate to have her at the helm of the Alaska National Guard.”
Hummel says that right now, the Guard is extremely resilient and that everyone is becoming more comfortable with the new leadership.
“I looked at it from the very first day as we cannot change what happened in the past, but we can reflect and make sure that similar problems don’t occur in the future,” Hummel said. “We’re looking throughout the organization to see everything that we were doing, why we are doing it, is it legal, is it ethical, is it in doctrine, does it make sense for our forces, for our organization.”
Hummel’s organizational vision focuses on three main areas: implementing a viable Arctic strategy, increasing emergency management capacity and expanding engagement with Alaskan communities.
Members of the Mount St. Elias dance group, a Tlingit dance group from Yakutat, participate in a Blessing and Cleansing ceremony at the National Guard armory on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson May 26. The Blessing and Cleansing ceremony is a complex and symbolic event to reinvigorate the spirit of the National Guard and was conducted prior to the Alaska National Guard change of command ceremony.
Photo by SGT Marisa Lindsay
“They are learning that the new leadership has a vision and we are communicating the vision, we are communicating our core values,” Hummel said. “I will work very hard to ensure the Alaska National Guard is properly resourced, trained, supported and respected. My job is to create conditions for their success.”
Bridges, who was the acting adjutant general of the Alaska National Guard from Sept. 2014 until Feb. 5, 2015, retired May 8.
Edited by Mary Kauffman, SitNews
Source of News:
Alaska Department of Military & Veterans Affairs
Contact the Editor
Publish A Letter in SitNews
Stories In The News
photographs that appear in SitNews may be protected by copyright
and may not be reprinted without written permission from and
payment of any required fees to the proper sources.
E-mail your news &
photos to email@example.com
Photographers choosing to submit photographs for publication to SitNews are in doing so granting their permission for publication and for archiving. SitNews does not sell photographs. All requests for purchasing a photograph will be emailed to the photographer.