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  • Join us on May 10, 2019 for the next Military Appreciation Banquet

    This year marked the 50th anniversary of the Military Appreciation Banquet, an event that began 50 years ago by Jim and Rosemary Messer*.  What started out as small "dinner-in'the-home" parties in their home for their friends in the military quickly grew and prospered to an banquet event for nearly 600 people.  The evening honors the military personnel from Interior Alaska who have been honored for their excellence, leadership, and commitment in service to our armed forces. The banquet is a great way for our community to show our gratitude and support for our friends in uniform.  The 2018 banquet was held on Friday, May 4th at 6 p.m. at the Carlson Center. 

    The banquet program includes recognition of military members who have exhibited distinguished service to our country and volunteer of the year recipients from each of the installations. A member of the community who best promoted military/community relations over the years is also awarded with the The Jim Messer Award.

    This event would not be possible without the generous support of the business community.  If you are interested in sponsoring next year's event, please call Kielecia Coker at (907) 374-6703.

    *Jim Messer was the Chairman of the Military Affairs Committee for the Fairbanks Chamber for many years and, for decades, he was on the front lines of our community’s efforts to offer the military an environment of friendliness, first-class housing, and a quality of life second to none.

  • General Joseph L. Lengyel serves as the 28th Chief of the National Guard Bureau and as a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. In this capacity, he serves as a military adviser to the President, Secretary of Defense, National Security Council and is the Department of Defense’s official channel of communication to the Governors and State Adjutants General on all matter pertaining to the National Guard. He is responsible for ensuring that the more than 453,000 Army and Air National Guard personnel are accessible, capable and ready to protect the homeland and to provide combat ready resources to the Army and Air Force.

    Prior to his current assignment, General Lengyel served as the Vice Chief, National Guard Bureau.

    General Lengyel was commissioned in 1981 through the Reserve Officer Training Corps program at University of North Texas. He served in various operational and staff assignments, primarily as an F-16 Instructor Pilot and Weapons Officer. His experience in the F-16 includes tours in Air Combat Command, Pacific Air Forces, United States Air Forces in Europe and the Texas Air National Guard.  He has commanded a fighter squadron, operations group, air expeditionary group and the Air National Guard Readiness Center. General Lengyel is a command pilot with more than 3,000 flying hours primarily in the F-16. Additionally, General Lengyel served as the Senior United States Defense Official; Chief, Office of Military Cooperation; and Defense Attaché, Cairo, United States Central Command, Cairo, Egypt.