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CSM Hudson Represents All Enlisted Members of Transformed Guard

By SGT Jim Greenhill, National Guard Bureau, Courtesy of National Guard Bureau Public Affairs
1/9/06, Arlington, VA

…CSM David Ray Hudson … uniquely qualified to be the senior enlisted advisor to the chief of the National Guard Bureau.

He eventually became the ninth state command sergeant major for Alaska… As a civilian, he served with the Alaska Highway Patrol, advancing from trooper to captain.

He observed how the Guard has transformed significantly in the two decades since he joined in ’84.

“When I joined the Alaska Army National Guard, the National Guard in Alaska had never deployed anywhere,” he said. “During World War II, the Alaskan Territorial Guard, which was made up of Eskimo scouts, had basically been forward-deployed by being in Alaska. Once in a while there might be a two-week annual training tour somewhere other than Alaska, but generally speaking even all the annual trainings were right in Alaska, because we were considered Arctic warriors, cold-weather experts. So everybody came to Alaska.”

And today?

“Today,” CSM Hudson said, “Alaska has deployed probably 70 percent of its resources.” [emphasis added]

In 1995, CSM Hudson served as command sergeant major of the 2nd Scout Battalion in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta in west Alaska on the Bering Sea. The majority of the battalion’s Citizen-Soldiers were Yupik Eskimos, hunters who live on walrus, seals, whale, fish, moose and caribou.

“They had never left their villages, where they still have a subsistence lifestyle,” he said. “They primarily live off the game that they catch.

“Approximately 300 of them right now are sitting in Kuwait,” he said. “The Guard of today is nothing like it was 23 years ago. It’s a complete change. It is now an operational, professionally organized institution that does tremendously more than two weeks out of the year and one weekend a month.”….

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