JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska — The Alaska Army National Guard formally welcomed its new commander in a change of command ceremony at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson on May 8.
Brig. Gen. Joseph Streff relinquished command of the organization to Brig. Gen. (Alaska) Charles Knowles during the ceremony presided over by Brig. Gen. (Alaska) Torrence Saxe, adjutant general for Alaska and commissioner of the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs.
Knowles was born in Alaska, and started his career as an enlisted Soldier with the Alaska Army National Guard in 1987 during his junior year of high school. He went on to graduate from Wasilla High School the following year. After completing the State Officer Candidate Program in 1991, he received his commission as an infantry officer in 1995.
Knowles has a Bachelor of Science and Occupational Education in Business Administration from Wayland Baptist University and a Master’s degree in Strategic Studies from the U.S. Army War College.
He was promoted to the rank of brigadier general in March 2019, while he was the land component commander of the Alaska Army National Guard.
As the assistant adjutant general-Army, Knowles is responsible for the training, administration, operational readiness, logistics, and strategic planning of the organization. He ensures the Alaska Army National Guard is ready to respond to state and federal missions, providing domestic operations and support during times of emergency and natural disasters, and prepared to deploy for contingency operations as tasked.
“I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to maintain the gains made by my command predecessors as I take over the organization,” Knowles said. “I’m just grateful for the opportunity.”