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New Commanding General Takes Over US Army Alaska

July 30, 2013|By Adam Pinsker | Channel 2 News

JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON — Major General Michael Shields became the 35th commanding general of U.S. Army operations in Alaska at a Tuesday morning celebration on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson.  He succeeds Major General Michael Garrett, who after 14 months on the job, will serve as Chief of Staff for U.S. Central Command in Florida.

"Alaska will always be precious to the Garrett family, and it is a little tough to stand here today on this floor and relinquish command," said Maj. Gen. Garrett.

Both generals share a history after serving together in Afghanistan and were battalion commanders together at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

"It is a privilege to be able to command at the two star level, the opportunities are fewer and fewer, but for us to be able to come back to Alaska is just a great honor and we're excited to be able to serve with the great soldiers of USARAK," said Maj. Gen. Shields.

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Previously, Shields led the 172nd Stryker Brigade team from 2004 to 2006 at Fort Wainwright during Operation Iraqi Freedom.  Now, he'll lead 11,000 soldiers scattered across Fort Wainwright, Fort Richardson, and Fort Greely.

Contact Adam Pinsker

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