by Greg Lincoln
Staff Sergeant Joseph A. Sallafie of the Alaska Army National Guard in Bethel was promoted to Sergeant First Class during a ceremony at the National Guard Readiness Center last Tuesday, June 30th, 2020.
The pinning ceremony took place immediately after Staff Sergeants Sallaffie and Randall Andrew received the Alaska Commendation Medal from the Governor of Alaska.
The promotion was a complete surprise to Sallaffie. After the commendation presentation, SSG Andrew was asked to fall out, leaving Sallaffie standing alone at attention. His surprise was further elevated when his wife Mrs. Rachel Sallaffie was asked to take her place next to her husband.
“The Adjutant General of the State of Alaska has placed special trust and confidence in the patriotism, valor and fidelity, professionalism and excellence of Sergeant First Class Joseph Sallafie. In view of these qualities, he demonstrated leadership potential and dedicated service to the Army national guard,” said the Master of Ceremonies.
Rachel proudly pinned the new insignia on the new SFC Sallaffie. He said a few words of appreciation.
“Thank you, it’s been a hard thing coming, very hard. I thought this would never come,” he said placing his hand over his new rank. “Everything I do is really emotional, for my family, for my fellow NCOs. We try to work very hard. This was the ultimate goal right here, before I retire and I thank you. It’s all about dedication and working hard.”
Afterwards, those in attendance greeted the Sallaffie’s including members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 10041.