Alaska Military Youth Academy graduates 72 cadets

The Alaska Military Youth Academy celebrated its 60th class of cadets and more than 29 years of service to the State of Alaska as Class 2023-1 graduated 72 youth leaders from its ChalleNGe program on Thursday, June 15, 2023.

The 10 a.m. graduation ceremony was open to the public and took place at the Alaska Airlines Center in Anchorage. The event was live streamed for families, friends, supporters, mentors, and the public who are unable to attend. The link is available at

During their 22-week residential phase at the AMYA ChalleNGe program, the corps of cadets focused on academic excellence, leadership and followership, physical fitness, life-coping techniques, job skills, responsible citizenship, health and hygiene, and service to the community.

Class 2023-1 provided more than 3,270 hours of service to the community; 40 cadets earned their high school credentials; others earned 7.0+ transferrable credits each. Twenty-six cadets received vocational training in culinary arts, supply/logistics, building maintenance, and OSHA 10-hour training. All cadets received American Traffic Safety Services Association flagger certification and guidance on future training opportunities in the trades.

The 72 cadets who graduated come from communities throughout Alaska, including Anchorage, JBER, Eagle River, Eielson, Chugiak, Fairbanks, Juneau, Kasigluk, Ketchikan, Kodiak, Noorvik, North Pole, Palmer, Salcha, and Wasilla. They join more than 6,480 previous graduates since 1994.

The program is co-sponsored under a cooperative agreement between the National Guard Bureau and the State of Alaska and is offered no cost to cadets and their families.

After graduating, all cadets take part in the year-long, post-residential phase back in their communities. There they practice the life skills and principles learned while they continue their education (high school, college or vocational schools), enter the workplace, or join the military. The goal of this phase is for graduates to sustain and build on the progress made during the residential phase while serving as productive members of society.

The next class begins on July 19, 2023, where they will continue to fulfill its mission: to help intervene in and reclaim the lives of youth and produce program graduates with the values, skills, education and self-discipline necessary to succeed as adults.