One of the federal government's first acts after purchasing Alaska was to send the U.S. Army to occupy and administer its new territory.
However, it wasn't until World War II that the military solidified its role as one of Alaska's economic mainstays.
The military's presence in the 1940s was so major that the state was commonly referred to as "Military Alaska."
More than 100 thousand troops poured into the state along with billions of dollars for infrastructure.
With the end of the war, the prospect of a near pull–out by the military prompted concern for Alaska's economic future —a few years later, the Cold War began and Alaska's proximity to the Soviet Union cemented the military's role in Alaska's economy for many decades to come.
State Labor Economist Neal Fried said "It's in the top tier of generator of jobs in Alaska, I mean, its big business, for the state, I mean it has been for a very very long time."
Not all parts of the state enjoy the economic benefits of the military.
Fried said "In the rail belt its dominant, its huge obviously in Fairbanks, its big in anchorage, its big in Kodiak it's big in the Denali borough and a few other places."
When you look at population of the military in Alaska, Fairbanks ranks number one, with about 23 percent of the uniformed and their dependants making up Fairbanks' population.
The Fairbanks economic development corporation says that in some way, about 40 percent of the jobs in Fairbanks, are tied to the military.