From March 2008 until March 2012 I put my money where my mouth was by volunteering with the Alaska State Defense Force.
Sadly, I'm packing up my house right now and leaving the Great State of Alaska.
As far as the internal problems within ASDF, I'd likely have remained onboard and tried to help unscrew the mess much as I have remained with 3rd Battalion the entire time through the various issues that have popped up since 2008 when I enlisted in the first place. I certainly hope that our Brigade cleans up some of the mess that remains, and gets a good Public Affairs Officer and starts letting the public know whats really going on. It shouldn't take me moving away and posting on a blog for information that would have been critical to know about why problems existed in the first place to flow. Some of which should have been public no matter how painful it might have been to the former officers involved.
Uniforms are changed back to BDU's, and we can thank a uniform board for this; largely due to a failure to consult NGR 10-4 when ACU's were picked up as a uniform years ago. With most SDF units going to ACU through proper channels, its frustrating to the line and file, especially those of us who have worn the ACU on Active Duty and thats about all we really have left for uniforms, when proper channels weren't consulted and they are forced back to an un-supported uniform.
Honestly, I can't say all the changes are bad. As rough as they are, I think the weeding out process has been good, and still needs to continue. We have many good soldiers and NCOs and quite a few good officers who frankly need to be promoted when the chaff is finally removed. Proper growth is indeed painful, but one thing I've found from my time in the active duty is also the motto of the USAF TACP School House:
"The Strong Shall Stand, and the Weak Will Fall by the Wayside"
I served with some incredible people in 3rd Battalion, and I'm glad to say one of the best is sitting at Brigade and kindly sat down and sent me a long email explaining exactly whats going on. Honestly, for as angry as I was, I'm more embarrassed now, and frankly I'm really pissed at a lot of the 'old guard' senior leadership who were justly removed or plain old quit in a fit (more like tantrum).
With the training opportunities coming up, and the involvement of our personnel in many of Alaska's various agencies as they're 'day jobs'; I look forward to looking at the news from Alaska and seeing my fellow soldiers out and about doing great things for Alaska, and in turn for the United States.
I certainly hope Alaska doesn't squander this valuable asset that just needs the right care and guidance, and needs the proper amount of acknowledgement as well.