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Army Gen. Daniel Hokanson, chief of the National Guard Bureau, kicks off Thanksgiving week with a visit to soldiers deployed on Camp Bondsteel, Kosovo, on Nov. 24, 2021.
Army Gen. Daniel Hokanson, chief of the National Guard Bureau, kicks off Thanksgiving week with a visit to soldiers deployed on Camp Bondsteel, Kosovo, on Nov. 24, 2021. (Gloria Kamencik/U.S. Army)

The National Guard’s top general has isolated himself after testing positive this week for the coronavirus, the National Guard Bureau announced Friday.

Army Gen. Daniel Hokanson, 58, was working remotely Friday after the positive test, said Wayne Hall, a spokesman for the Guard Bureau. The general, who is a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, is fully vaccinated, Hall said.

“All other members of the National Guard Bureau staff are continuing with their duties under the existing [coronavirus] protocols, and all continue to be tested, as required,” Hall said in a statement.

It was not immediately clear Friday if Hokanson had experienced symptoms related to the positive test, Hall said, but the Guard chief was receiving “proper medical care” while working from home.

Hokanson’s positive test came after he returned to Washington from a USO trip overseas last week that included stops in Poland and Kosovo. Hall said Hokanson was tested several times during the trip with a negative result each time.

The spokesman said all others who participated in the USO Thanksgiving trip had since been tested and “to the best of my knowledge” were negative for the coronavirus.

Hall also said Hokanson had not been in recent direct contact with the other joint chiefs or top Pentagon leaders.

Hokanson, a 1986 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., is a helicopter pilot by training who served on active duty for about a decade before transferring to the Army National Guard.

He became the National Guard’s top general in August 2020 after previously serving as the director of the Army National Guard. From 2013 to 2015, he was the top general for the Oregon National Guard.

Hokanson’s positive test comes as Guard members face upcoming deadlines to be fully vaccinated against the coronavirus. Air Force National Guard members had to be fully vaccinated by Dec. 2. Army National Guard members have until June 30 to be fully vaccinated. To be fully vaccinated means two weeks have passed since one completed his or her vaccine regiment.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, 41,128 members of the National Guard have tested positive for the virus, according to the Pentagon’s most recent data.

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Corey Dickstein covers the military in the U.S. southeast. He joined the Stars and Stripes staff in 2015 and covered the Pentagon for more than five years. He previously covered the military for the Savannah Morning News in Georgia. Dickstein holds a journalism degree from Georgia College & State University and has been recognized with several national and regional awards for his reporting and photography. He is based in Atlanta.
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