Legislature(2009 - 2010)BELTZ 211

04/07/2009 09:00 AM STATE AFFAIRS


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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
*+ SB 2 PUBLIC FINANCE WEBSITE TELECONFERENCED
Moved SB 2 Out of Committee
*+ SB 171 PERMANENT FUND DIVIDEND FOR DECEASED TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSSB 171(STA) Out of Committee
*+ SJR 17 DESIGNATING 2009 AS THE YEAR OF ARMY NCO TELECONFERENCED
Moved SJR 17 Out of Committee
*+ SJR 18 SUPPORT SOLDIERS' BURIAL DESIGNATIONS TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSSJR 18(STA) Out of Committee
+ HJR 10 VETERANS' HEALTH CARE TELECONFERENCED
<Pending Referral>
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
        SJR 17-DESIGNATING 2009 AS THE YEAR OF ARMY NCO                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
9:40:04 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR MENARD announced the consideration of SJR 17.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
JOSH TEMPEL,  Staff, Veterans  Caucus, Alaska  State Legislature,                                                               
said SJR 17  enacts a request from the United  States Army Alaska                                                               
Command to declare  2009 the year of  the noncommissioned officer                                                               
(NCO) corps  of the  United States  Army to  honor more  than 200                                                               
years  of  service.  NCOs are  enlisted  soldiers  from  corporal                                                               
through sergeant  major. It is  a broad spectrum of  people. NCOs                                                               
serve as technical  experts, trainers, and guardians  of the army                                                               
standards.  The  NCO  corps  is  the backbone  of  the  army  and                                                               
occupies a  position of respect and  leadership. This declaration                                                               
comes at a  time when the NCOs are invaluably  leading the charge                                                               
on the  battlefields of Iraq,  Afghanistan, the  Philippines, and                                                               
other  locations  around  the  world.  The  army  requested  this                                                               
legislation, and it is a good  way for Alaska to show its support                                                               
for the army in Alaska.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR KOOKESH asked if this is happening in other states.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. TEMPEL said Hawaii was the  first state to pass it. There are                                                               
other states, too.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
9:43:12 AM                                                                                                                    
MAJOR   WILLIAMS,  Communications   Officer,  U.S.   Army  Alaska                                                               
Command,  said  he  doesn't  know   how  many  states  have  done                                                               
proclamations,  but at  least one  command from  every state  was                                                               
asked to make  this request. He is  a former NCO, and  he has two                                                               
NCO combat  cameramen that work  for him. Without the  NCOs there                                                               
wouldn't  be  an army  or  it  wouldn't  be effective.  The  army                                                               
wouldn't be  able to  get things done.  NCOs "provide  the direct                                                               
line leadership that is required. If  you're kicking in a door in                                                               
Iraq to search a house, there's  a non-com in charge." Every line                                                               
in the marching  band has an NCO  in charge. It goes  all the way                                                               
down  to the  corporal  ranks.  He wants  this  to reiterate  the                                                               
relationship between the  community and the army  and show public                                                               
support  for  the  NCO  who  typically  doesn't  get  recognized.                                                               
Everyone  wants  the  general,   but  without  these  people  "we                                                               
wouldn't  have a  nation that's  free  ... we  wouldn't have  the                                                               
greatest military  in the  world." NCOs  provide the  small group                                                               
leadership that is necessary to be effective.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
9:45:52 AM                                                                                                                    
NICHOLAS HENDERSON,  Army Veteran, said  he was at the  bottom of                                                               
the NCO  spectrum as an  E-4 team leader with  direct supervision                                                               
over 4  soldiers, 8  vehicles, 14 weapon  systems, and  all their                                                               
training and  disciplinary action. He  has great respect  for the                                                               
NCOs over  him; they  have been  mentors. His  unit ran  over 300                                                               
combat  missions in  Iraq from  2005 to  2006, and  that included                                                               
patrols and coordinated  raids with rangers. Training  is done by                                                               
the NCOs; they have a wealth  of knowledge. "If [they] weren't as                                                               
functional  as they  are, things  just wouldn't  go the  way they                                                               
did."  He spent  a year  training Iraqi  police and  military and                                                               
U.S.  soldiers in  operations,  vehicle  maintenance, first  aid,                                                               
communication, and using equipment.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR FRENCH thanked the witnesses for their service.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  FRENCH  moved  to  report SJR  17  from  committee  with                                                               
individual  recommendations and  attached  fiscal note(s).  There                                                               
being no objection, the resolution moved out of committee.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                

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