Alpena CRTC Hosts 30th Annual Military Ball

  • Published
  • By Patricia Luna
  • Alpena CRTC
On 19 October, 2012, the Alpena Combat Readiness Training Center hosted its 30th Annual Military Ball.  A proud tradition steeped in customs, courtesies and camaraderie, the Military Ball served as an opportunity to appreciate the rich history of the Alpena CRTC and celebrate the 375th birthday of the National Guard.

When speaking of the National Guard, Col Bryan J. Teff, commander of the Alpena Combat Readiness Training Center stated, "375 years ago, a militia was formed in the Massachusetts Bay Colony, founding the citizen soldiers who we now know as the National Guard. We have been a standing guard ever since, ready when the nation calls. In small towns and big cities, from farms to apartment blocks everywhere, men and women are ready to deploy when they are called to defend our nation; or called to protect a town after a tornado, or called to staff the state nursing homes when there's a strike of state workers; or called to reinforce the dikes along the Red River. The National Guard is always ready, always there, providing great value for America, in the past, today, and into the future."

From an abundant blueberry patch to flat open areas know as the "Seven Mile Plains", from training pilots for WWII and being charged to defend the Soo Locks, the Alpena CRTC has seen a lot since its dedication in 1931. Although the CRTC has been transformed through time, its core mission has always remained the same; to train Air National Guard units. Today, the CRTC is an integral part of the Alpena Community and plays a vital role in providing training to over 16,000 people each year.

"Our Military Ball is unique due to the tremendous support by our local Alpena community. The Military Ball serves as an opportunity for this community to celebrate its support of the National Guard and to remember the sacrifices made by soldiers, sailors, marines, and airmen throughout history."

Joining in the festivities were several distinguished guests including the former Adjutant General for the state of Michigan and Director for the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, retired Major General Thomas G. Cutler and commander of the Michigan Army National Guard and the evenings guest speaker, Brigadier General Burton K. Francisco.

Highlighting the evenings events was the distinct honor to witness a promotion ceremony.  SMSgt Alan Vanpate was promoted to Chief Master Sergeant, the top rank in the enlisted force, and also became the Chief Enlisted Manager of the Alpena CRTC.

With the focus of the event on the history of both the Alpena Combat Readiness Training Center and the National Guard, guests were educated on the various missions and changes that have occurred through time. Col Teff stressed the importance of understanding the value of the Total Force, from what it once was to where it is now.  "We truly have a remarkable history and understanding our history is very important; however, our ability to position ourselves for success in the future is imperative. I can assure you that our future is bright and this is due to the outstanding men and women, military and civilian, who are part of our incredible team. Our team is dedicated and focused on our mission and committed to excellence in all we do. What a phenomenal team and I'm honored to be able to serve with and work with these outstanding men and women."