NEWS | Dec. 6, 2011

Alaska, Mongolia State Partnership Program medal designated, retroactively awarded

By Staff Sgt. Karima Turner Alaska National Guard

CAMP DENALI, Alaska - Alaska Guard members are now eligible for the State Partnership Program Ribbon as a result of a successful partnership with the Republic of Mongolia through the National Guard State Partnership Program.

"In order for Soldiers or Airmen of the Alaska National Guard to receive the ribbon, they must have deployed to the Republic of Mongolia or any other country with a Mongolian delegation in support of the SPP for a period of at least seven days including travel," said Army Maj. Wayne Don, the director of the Alaska State Partnership Program.

The Alaska National Guard SPPR is divided into three vertical sections of blue, gold and red, representing the significance of the partnership between Alaska and the Republic of Mongolia by representing the colors of each of their flags.

The blue represents the eternal skies expanding above both nations, the red symbolizes progress and prosperity and the gold signifies wealth.

"Soldiers and Airmen of the Alaska National Guard who meet the criteria to receive a ribbon, may be retroactively awarded," Don said. "We have been authorized to award the ribbon for service all the way back to September 2003, when the State Partnership Program began."

He added that Alaska National Guard members who traveled and participated in exercises in Mongolia are eligible to receive the ribbon because they have played an integral role in developing the relationship between the sister countries.

"To receive the ribbon retroactively, Soldiers and Airmen will need to provide documentation of their mission and trip," Don said.

"Orders, a manifest or roster, an agenda for the event that covers seven days would be the kinds of documentation we need to approve the award," he said. I'm hoping that we are able to award as many eligible Soldiers and Airmen the ribbon as possible. They've done the work and helped to make the State Partnership Program a success and deserve to get the ribbon."