U.S. Army chief of staff visits Alaska to kick off Indo-Pacific tour

Gen. James C. McConville, U.S. Army chief of staff, honored 11th Airborne Division soldiers Friday during a brief stop at the division’s headquarters on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson.

His stop in Alaska, the first of many during an Indo-Pacific tour, began at Fort Wainwright in Fairbanks on Friday morning.

McConville, who will retire later this year after more than 42 years in the Army, said his time serving has been an incredible journey.

He honored selected service members with his commander coin, a uniquely personal and valuable commemorative medallion given as an award for exceptional work.

“I’m excited about their achievements,” he said of the 20 soldiers who reenlisted during his visit and the six who received commander’s coins for their achievements.

“All of it is special,” said Spc. Destiny Clark. “I get to honor my family and my country. That’s one for the books for sure,” she said about McConville’s visit and coin presentation.

Emily Mesner

Emily Mesner is a multimedia journalist for the Anchorage Daily News. She previously worked for the National Park Service at Denali National Park and Preserve and the Western Arctic National Parklands in Kotzebue, at the Cordova Times and at the Jackson Citizen Patriot in Jackson, Michigan.