Chief Master Sgt. Alan VanPate has been appointed as the senior enlisted advisor for the Michigan National Guard. VanPate will now serve as a senior advisor to Maj. Gen. Gregory Vadnais, the adjutant general for the Michigan Army and Air National Guard, a force of more than 10,000 Soldiers and Airmen. He is the first member of the Michigan Air Guard selected for this position.
“I am excited and humbled to be the first Airmen selected for this selection,” VanPate said. “I hope my experience will allow the Michigan Army and Air team to work even closer together. That the leadership of the Michigan Guard would select an Air Guard sergeant as the senior enlisted advisor speaks volumes to their commitment that the Michigan Guard truly is a joint force.”
Prior to being selected for this position, VanPate served as the Chief Enlisted Manager for the Alpena Combat Readiness Training Center in Alpena, Mich., where he provided guidance and supervision of the enlisted personnel and advised the post commander on the health of the force. He has also served as director of the Grayling Air Gunnery Range and was the program manager for the Michigan’s State Partnership for Peace, Latvia, joint terminal attack controller program development where he oversaw the training and evaluation of 150 personnel from NATO nations Latvia, Hungary and U.S. Forces.
“Alan has a long history of demonstrating exemplary support to the Airmen in the Michigan Air Guard,” said Vadnais. “I have every expectation that he will extend this support to Soldiers he now has under his charge.”
VanPate deployed in 2005 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom where he coordinated more than 200 air missions in support of combat operations.
His awards and decorations include Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Achievement Medal and Navy Achievement Medal.
His wife Elizabeth and their two children currently reside in Gaylord, Mich.