Alaska National Guard Sgt. 1st Class Elaine Jackson (left) and Sgt. Maj. Pamela Harrington speed off the starting line at the 2011 Iron Dog race Feb. 20. Harrington and Jackson are the only female team entered in the race and if they finish, will be only the second all-female team to ever finish the race, the first since 2001.
The Iron Dog, of which the Alaska National Guard is a lead sponsor, will award Army Values awards to seven individuals involved in making the 2011 race a success.
Each award represents the seven Army values: loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity and personal courage. Sponsors, board members, racers, community members or volunteers who have demonstrated any of these values during the Iron Dog are eligible for an award, and anyone can nominate them.
This is the second year that the Alaska National Guard has sponsored the grueling 2,000-mile snowmachine race across Alaska. It also sponsors the team of Sgt. 1st Class Elaine Jackson and Sgt. Maj. Pamela Harrington, both National Guardswomen who love to race.
The award presentation is meant to highlight the values of the Guard while recognizing those who exemplify those values. They include:
The Loyalty Award, which goes to an individual who bears true faith and allegiance to the friends, family and organization to which he or she belongs, and is not afraid to show it.
The Duty Award, for someone who has successfully fulfilled his or her obligations.
The Respect Award, given to the person who treats others in ways in which they should be treated.
The Selfless Service Award, for an individual who has been putting the welfare of friends, family and organizations to which he or she belongs before his or her own.
The Honor Award, given to an individual who has an understanding of, and strict conformity to, what is considered morally right.
The Integrity Award, which goes to someone who has a means to do what is right legally and morally.
The Personal Courage Award, for an individual who has faced fear, danger or adversity, physically or morally.
"I believe that the Army Values Awards are a great way for the community, individuals and surrounding people of the Iron Dog to recognize the people who really make it a great event," said Kevin Kastner, executive director of the Iron Dog.
The awards are little minuteman statues that represent the Alaska National Guard. They will be presented to the winners at the finishing banquet.
Nominations for the Army Values awards can be taken online at www.irondograce.org/army-values-awards/.
This article published in The Alaska Star on Wednesday, February 23, 2011.