FORT WAINWRIGHT, Alaska - Maj. Gen. Michael Shields, U.S. Army Alaska commanding general, talks with Rep. Doug Isaacson, Interior legislator, as other guests mingle at the general's holiday reception at Fort Wainwright's Last Frontier Community Center Dec. 10. Guests from the military and civilian communities attended the annual event.

The New Year's reception evolved from a tradition that started when Army installations were remote outposts and social events were rare. The commanding officer hosted a reception at his quarters on New Year's Day, and it was the top social event of the year.

The Army has moved away from New Year's Day receptions because of other commitments attendees may have, but nearly every U.S. Army installation worldwide has a special event to wish Happy New Year to the military and their neighboring civilian communities.