Mr. Verdie Bowen

Director, Office of Veterans Affairs

Mr Bowen was appointed as the Director of Veterans Affairs for the State of Alaska May 2009 by Governor Palin and reappointed by Governor Parnell November 2009. In this position his responsibilities include the development and the sustainment of comprehensive statewide Veterans Advocacy program between the veterans of Alaska, the State Legislator, the Governor, and the U.S Department of Veterans Affairs. He also serves as the principal contact for Alaska’s veterans, active duty, national guard/reserve, and their dependants/survivors, seeking assistance in accessing State and Federal benefits

Since his appointment Mr Bowen has traveled to 265 communities around the State of Alaska presenting veteran benefits in each one. He has provided critical testimony to the US Senate on rural healthcare and helped as a member of the 13th working group to facilitate the establishment of a memorandum of agreement between Alaska Tribal Health Agencies and the Federal VA allowing veterans to receive healthcare in villages all across Alaska. He has also provided guidance and testimony to the Alaska State Legislator on several local veterans’ issues. To date he has provided guidance on the following passed legislation: Purple Heart Day and Purple Heart License Plates, free instate tuition for spouses and dependents of fallen service members, establishment of a new Veterans Affairs Office in Anchorage, and the establishment of Veterans Status on state drivers license and identification cards. Currently he is working on the establishment of a new veteran’s cemetery in Fairbanks and the completion of federal discharges for all Alaska Territorial Guard veterans.

Military Background

Mr Bowen entered the active Air Force June 1981. He graduated Basic Military Training Lackland AFB, Texas, in Aug, then completed the Apprentice Graphics Course at Lowry AFB, Colorado, in December 1981.  His first duty station was Mountain Home AFB, Idaho, where he was assigned to the 366 Combat Support Group. Between December 1981 and April 1986, Mr. Bowen worked in Graphics Photography, Audio Visual Maintenance, and Audio Visual Library.  His largest project while assigned there was total briefing support for the EF-111 project. Mr. Bowen cross-trained in April 1986 and completed Communications-Computer Systems Control Technical School at Keesler AFB Mississippi.  He then was assigned to the 1879th Communications Squadron at Falcon AFS, Colorado, as a systems controller.   He supported the research and development of long-range communications pertaining to the Global Positioning System (GPS) and Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI). In May 1989, Mr. Bowen was assigned to Det 7, 2003CG Izmir AS, Turkey.  After arriving, he managed two work centers, Systems Control and Wideband Maintenance. This was in preparation for the deployment of the Defense Mediterranean Improvement Satellite Program. During this period he supported joint service missions in direct support of Operations Desert Shield, Desert Storm, and Provide Comfort. In July 1992, Mr. Bowen was assigned to the 3rd Communication Squadron, Elmendorf AFB, Alaska.  During this assignment, he installed the first Alaskan bandwidth management network, upgraded the Defense Switch Network to a multi-function switch, and deactivated the DSIN satellite facility, directly returning 9.1 million dollars to the DoD.  During this assignment he deployed to Italy, Croatia, and Bosnia supporting a multi-national forces in Operations DELIBERATE GUARD, DELIBERATE FORGE, and DYNAMIC RESPONSE. While in theater he designed and installed telephone systems connecting commercial air traffic control towers allowing commercial air traffic back into the war torn region. In Jun 2001, Mr Bowen was accepted to fill a special assignment with the Defense Information System Agency-Alaska Field Office and after arriving, was assigned the project of statewide bandwidth management. He established all critical telecommunications infrastructures for 11th Air Force Battle Staff and played a pivotal role in establishing contingency communications in support of our nation’s response to the 11 September terrorist attacks. His superb technical knowledge allowed him to hold the position of Commander DISA Alaska filed office for 10 months. During this period he supported Operations ENDURING FREEDOM and NOBLE EAGLE. Mr Bowen’s last position in the field office was Chief, Engineering Support, Alaska Field Office.

Education:

Mr Bowen holds a Bachelors of Science in Business Information Systems and two Associates of Science degrees one in Information Systems Technology and one in Visual Information Systems.

Awards and Decorations:

  • Defense Meritorious Service Medal
  • Meritorious Service Medal
  • Air Force Commendation Medal (with 3 oak leaf clusters)
  • Joint Service Achievement Medal
  • Air Force Achievement Medal (with 1 oak leaf cluster)
  • Joint Meritorious Unit Award (with 2 oak leaf clusters)
  • Air Force Outstanding Unit Award (with 9 oak leaf clusters)
  • Air Force Good Conduct Medal (with 7 oak leaf clusters)
  • National Defense Service Medal (with 1 Bronze Star)
  • Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal
  • Southwest Asia Service Medal (with 2 Bronze Stars)
  • Armed Forces Service Medal (with one oak leaf cluster)
  • Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
  • Humanitarian Service Medal
  • Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal
  • Air Force Overseas Short Tour Ribbon
  • Air Force overseas Long Tour Ribbon (with 2 oak leaf clusters)
  • Air Force Longevity Service Award (with 4 oak leaf clusters)
  • Professional Military Education Ribbon (with 2 oak leaf clusters)
  • Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon
  • Air Force Training Ribbon
  • NATO Medal (Clasp Former Yugoslavia)
  • Kuwait Liberation Medal (Kuwait)
  • National Dean’s List 2004 and 2005
  • Letter of Commendation Defense Security Service; Outstanding Security Program 2005
  • Defense Information Systems Agency Professional of the Year 2001
  • Air Force High Values Suggestion Award 1999
  • Air Force Productivity Service Award 1998
  • Pacific Individual Achievement Award for Innovations in Communications 1997
  • Employee Involvement International Association Contributor of the Year 2nd runner up 1997
  • Outstanding Productivity Contributing Employee 1997
  • Air Force Communications and Information Professional of the Year 1996

Community Activites History

  • Vice-President Shore Wood Homeowners Association Mar 2012 - Present
  • Chiropractic Board, State of Alaska Mar 2010 Mar 2012
  • Veterans Advisory Council, State of Alaska Mar 2007 Aug 2009
  • Wasilla City Councilman (appointed) Jun 2005 Oct 2005
  • Wasilla City Councilman (appointed) Jan 2004 Oct 2004
  • Wasilla Planning and Zoning Commissioner Aug 1998 Jan 2004
  • Chairman Wasilla Parks and Recreation Commission 1997
  • IRS Volunteer Income Tax Advisor 1995 1999
  • EMT Elmore County Ambulance 1981 – 1986
  • EMT Toledo Volunteer Fire Department 1979-1981

Civilian Occupations

Prior to accepting this appointment, Mr Bowen was employed in the following corporate positions: Director of Operations, Chenega Federal Systems LLC 2008-2009. In this position he served as an executive manager providing decision authority over 100 direct employees and numerous sub-contractors. During this period his operating budget was over $100M. Also, his programs supported state and local government, the Joint Staff, National Institute of Justice, and Department of Defense. As the Director Joint Information Technology Center Alaska 2006-2008 he provided decision authority over a $22 million dollar annual budget and 75 employees with 30 contractors. During this period he managed and led cross-functional teams in analysis, development, and deployment of new software and hardware applications. Also, this position monitored all corporate product enhancements for all software projects developed at the center supporting the $700M a year corporation. As a Senior Program Manager/Systems Analyst 2004-2006, he coordinated all local decision authority over a $10M DoD Joint Combat Support Data Initiative contract housed at the Joint Information Technology and Information Center. He provided oversight and direction to a 27-member staff working several funding and project issues. Also, during this period he was the primary security consultant to the National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center – Northwest managing all internal and external security concerns addressed by the National Institute of Justice and the FBI.