FAIRBANKS (AP) -- When Greg Tanner found out last month he was named the new Fairbanks-area commander for the Alaska State Troopers, he asked his father for his captain's bars.
Several fathers and sons, some brother duos and even a father-daughter pair have worked as troopers, but Warren and Greg Tanner are the first father-son pair to have held the position as commander of the Fairbanks-area detachment.
Warren Tanner held the position for two years until his retirement in May 1999. The younger Tanner's career has shadowed his father's by only five years because his father started after a military career.
''It's been a lot to live up to,'' Greg Tanner said. ''He always gave the job 110 percent. I try to give at least 100 percent.''
Both have spent most of their trooper career in rural posts.
The stoic elder Tanner is a helicopter and airplane pilot as well as an Army veteran wounded while flying helicopters during the Vietnam War. He is now semiretired, working as an air traffic adviser on the North Slope.
The younger Tanner has worked most of his career on the ground. ''I like boats,'' he said.
Warren Tanner moved nine times in his 20-year career with troopers, and that was after moving his family around the world during his Army career.
''That's one of his achievements I'm not trying to emulate,'' Greg Tanner said. ''I changed high schools five times.''
Those who have known both say the Tanners have a strong work ethic in common. John Myers, the Fairbanks detachment commander from 1991-97, remembers the elder Tanner when he worked as Fort Wainwright's provost marshal, a position he retired from in 1978. The following year, Warren Tanner signed up to become a trooper.
''We wondered 'Why does he want to start over at the bottom? He won't last six weeks,''' Myers said. Warren Tanner proved them wrong.
Myers' first impression of the younger Tanner was as a ''kind of long-haired kid who used to mow my lawn'' when Warren Tanner and Myers served as troopers together in Soldotna.
Myers and Greg Tanner's paths didn't cross much until after the younger Tanner became a trooper 19 years ago and was stationed in Fairbanks shortly afterward. While there, Myers ran the Special Emergency Reaction Team, which Greg Tanner joined.
''He's a real go-getter, a real sharp kid,'' Myers said. ''He's a good kid, well, a good man.''
Department of Public Safety Commissioner Glenn Godfrey said being a trooper is often handed down as a career because they already know what to expect.
''They're already part of the trooper culture to a certain degree.'' Godfrey said.
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