Commander of Alaska Army National Guard earns general’s star

Sept. 23, 2016
By Sgt. David Bedard

JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska - Joseph Streff, who serves as the commander of the Alaska Army National Guard and the assistant adjutant general - Army, was promoted from colonel to brigadier general during a ceremony at the Alaska National Guard Armory here Sept. 21.

As the commander, Streff ensures the training and equipping of more than 1,700 Alaska citizen Soldiers here and at readiness centers across the state.

“It is a privilege to now wear this new rank as I serve as the Army commander,” Streff said. “From this day forward, we will continue to endeavor to make this a top-notch organization.”

Brig. Gen. Laurie Hummel, Alaska adjutant general, placed the magnitude of Streff’s promotion in context.

“This ceremony marks a momentous occasion in a military career, as there are fewer than 200 officers in the entire United States Army across all components that hold the rank of brigadier general,” Hummel said. “Those of us here today bear witness to a relatively rare ceremony.”

Streff said he looks forward to the continuation of his command.

“I have never been more excited for this organization than I am right now,” he said. “We are a capable, agile and motivated force that is combat tested and proven to be on par with the best. We have never been better manned, equipped, trained or prepared to do our state and federal missions.”

Streff’s February 2015 assumption of command of the Alaska Army National Guard represented the culmination of a 29-year career in Army aviation, all with the Alaska Army National Guard.

Streff began his career when he enlisted as an air traffic controller in 1987. He graduated flight school for the UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter in 1990 and was appointed a warrant officer, attending Officer Candidate School the same year and earning a commission as a second lieutenant.

Streff’s early assignments included aviation liaison officer, operations officer and company section leader in the 1st Battalion, 207th Aviation Regiment. On promotion to captain, he commanded an aviation maintenance company, attended the Aviation Maintenance Course and UH-60 Test Pilot Course, and earned his senior aviator wings.

Streff attended the fixed-wing C-12 Huron course in 2001 and continued his service in 1-207th Aviation as operations officer and executive officer. After attending the Command and General Staff College in 2005, he served at the National Guard Bureau in Arlington, Virginia, as the Aviation Program manager.

In 2006, Streff deployed to Iraq, where he served as the Multi-National Corps Air Operations Section leader during the troop surge. Upon return to Alaska in 2007, he served as the State Army Aviation officer, 1-207th Aviation commander, and deputy United States Property and Fiscal officer. He was promoted to colonel in 2013 and held senior Joint Force Headquarters staff assignments before taking command of the Alaska Army National Guard in March 2015.

He has earned numerous awards and decorations, including the Defense Meritorious Service Medal and three awards of the Meritorious Service Medal.

Streff is married to wife, Lynn. They have five children, Ben, Katy, Caroline, Josiah, an Alaska Army National Guard warrant officer 1 and UH-60 pilot, and Jonathan.

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