ALPENA -An Alpena native, Burton K. Francisco, the commander of the 46th Military Police Command in the Michigan Army National Guard, had been promoted to the rank of Major General.
Francisco graduated from Alpena High School in 1977 and joined the Michigan Army National Guard in 1978 as a traditional guardsman. His interest in the National Guard was peaked by a fellow hockey official, Mike Buck, while he worked with the Alpena Hockey Association.
Francisco told The News in a 2009 interview about what inspired him to join the guard.
"I looked at it two-fold, to offset college costs and to help serve my country," he said.
Since joining in 1978, Francisco has served in the Michigan National Guard for 35 years and has served in numerous staff, operations and command positions from platoon level through brigade commander, and was the Assistant Adjutant General and Commander for the Guard in Lansing. He also served as the Counterdrug Coordinator for Michigan and Commander of the 51st Weapons of Mass Destruction - Civil Support Team.
As commander of the 46th Military Police Command, he is in charge of a specialized response force called Command and Control for Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) Response Elements. This force is the only one of its kind, and is comprised of National Guard forces from around the country.
During his military career, he received awards including the Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and National Defense Service Medal, among many other recognitions and awards.
Among his many recognitions and awards, Francisco also holds a Bachelor of Science Degree from Ferris State University in Big Rapids and is a graduate of the United States Army War College in Carlisle Barracks, Pa.
He is also a family man and along with his wife, Donna, has two children, Chad and Karla, and four grandchildren.
In his 2009 interview with The News, Francisco attributes his work ethic and values to his experiences in his youth.
"Those values I learned while growing up in Alpena have always allowed me to enhance my success throughout my career," he said.
With this new promotion to Major General, Francisco proves his continuous practice of values he learned while growing up in Alpena.
Nicole Grulke can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 358-5687. Follow Nicole on Twitter @ng_alpenanews.