Jorgensen is first female guard general

JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON — Cathy Jorgensen received the biggest promotion of her career Friday, Sept. 13.

It was a pretty big deal for the Alaska Army National Guard, too.

Jorgensen, of Eagle River, became the first female to make the rank of general in Alaska Guard history.

“It’s a great privilege,” she said following a ceremony on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson.

Now a brigadier general, Jorgensen is responsible for preparing each of the Guard’s 4,500 soldiers — be that to protect Alaska or to deploy worldwide.

There’s no one better suited for the job, said Maj. Gen. Thomas Katkus, the Guard’s adjutant general.

“She has absolutely earned this privilege,” he said.

Jorgensen undertakes every assignment with the same gusto, Katkus said, and doesn’t stop until her goal is accomplished. Jorgensen’s hardworking attitude benefits everyone, he said.

“When you get around someone like that, it’s infectious,” Katkus said.

Coming to work every day with that outlook is easy because of her co-workers, Jorgensen said.

“We have some great people,” she said. “I love my job.”

Jorgensen received her commission in 1985 after becoming a distinguished military graduate from the reserve officer training program at the University of Alabama. While on active duty, Jorgensen served in Germany, Indiana, North Carolina, Utah and Alaska.

She left active duty in 1996 and joined the Alaska Army National Guard in 2000. Jorgensen currently serves as the Guard’s director of the joint staff and as chief of staff.

Jorgensen credited her supportive family with helping her get to where she is today.

Her husband, Brad, and father, Bill Griffin, were the reason Jorgensen become a one-star general. Jorgensen watched with a smile as each pinned a star on her uniform at the conclusion of Friday’s ceremony.

What sets his wife apart is her level of personal integrity, said Brad, a retired colonel who served in the Army for 24 years.

“She just wants to do things right,” he said. “She’s been a great person to spend my life with.”

Griffin, who served six and a half years in the Air Force, made the trip all the way from South Carolina.

“This is a big deal,” he said.

Jorgensen has always been driven, Griffin said.

“Cathy is probably one of the most capable people I’ve ever met,” he said. “She’s a remarkable kid.”

More

Anchorage police arrest suspect in train monument vandalism

ANCHORAGE — Anchorage police acting on a tip have arrested a teenager suspected of painting graffiti on a train locomotive that stands as a monument... Read more

Renovations planned for UAS Ketchikan maritime facilities

KETCHIKAN — Construction is expected to start later this year on a nearly $6 million overhaul of University of Alaska Southeast Ketchikan’s Regional Maritime and... Read more

Walker: Up to 45,000 Alaskans could lose coverage with GOP bill

JUNEAU — Gov. Bill Walker says as many as 45,000 Alaskans could lose health care coverage under a Republican bill proposed in the U.S. House.... Read more

Around the Web

 

CONTACT US

  • Switchboard: 907-586-3740
  • Circulation and Delivery: 907-586-3740
  • Newsroom Fax: 907-586-9097
  • Business Fax: 907-586-9097
  • Accounts Receivable: 907-523-2230
  • View the Staff Directory
  • or Send feedback

ADVERTISING

SUBSCRIBER SERVICES

SOCIAL NETWORKING