BETHEL (AP) -- The Alaska National Guard is taking steps to get more enlistment from the state's rural communities.
The state Department of Military and Veterans Affairs is creating a new rural affairs program to recruit and educate Bush residents, Gov. Tony Knowles announced Thursday.
Along with boosting enlistment, the initiative aims at improving the promotion opportunities for rural Alaskans.
The program is being headed by guard Col. Bo Austin, a Native leader who has held several leadership positions.
Knowles also announced a program to to bring retired veterans back into guard service on a part-time basis to perform a role similar to that of village elders.
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