Maj. Gen. Al Dohrmann, adjutant general, conducted the third of three virtual regional legislative engagements from Fraine Barracks in Bismarck, N.D. on Oct. 21, 2020. These engagements provide an opportunity to inform state legislators and legislative candidates on issues that the N.D. National Guard may address in the 2021 N.D. Legislative session. (U.S. National Guard photos and story by Sgt. 1st Class Charles Highland)
Newly commissioned 2nd Lt. Ethan Zoeller's wife affixes his new rank onto his uniform at the Raymond J. Bohn armory in Bismarck on Oct. 16, 2020.
ESGR Employer Appreciation
Ceremony of Remembrance
Mayville State University (MSU) honored its military alumni during its annual remembrance ceremony at the university's Military Honor Garden on Oct. 17, 2020. This garden located on their campus was dedicated during MSU's homecoming festivities in 2015 and features granite plaques honoring all branches of the U.S. military. (Story and photos by Ms. Beth Swenson, Mayville State University)
North Dakota Marauders
The 5307th Composite Unit (Provisional), better known as Merrill’s Marauders, was a U.S. Army unit organized during World War II that spent months fighting behind enemy lines in the Pacific theater. This past week the Marauders were awarded the Congressional Gold Medal in recognition of their bravery and outstanding service in the jungles of Burma (Myanmar) during World War II.
While on Fiji in 1943 for rest, recovery, and training after the battles on Guadalcanal, twenty-three Soldiers from the N.D. National Guard's 164th Infantry Regiment volunteered for a secret mission with the 5307th Composite Unit, lured by the promise of “just one battle” and then they could go home.
In February 1944, the task force set out to capture a Japanese-held airfield and open an Allied supply route between India and China. Starting with 3,000 soldiers, the Marauders completed their mission five months later with barely 200 men still in the fight. Two 164th soldiers died during the campaign. Only nine Marauders nationwide are alive to celebrate the announcement of Congress’ highest award. The last North Dakota Marauder, Lesley Aldrich from Company I, Wahpeton, passed away in 2016. In a 2012 interview, Aldrich said he started out at "198 pounds and finished the 1000 mile jungle fight at 137 pounds". A listing of the 164th Infantry Regiment's “Marauders” is posted on the 164th Infantry News Facebook site while the entire 5307th unit roster and more information is at Marauders.org. (U.S. National Guard story and photos by Lt. Col. (retired) Shirley J. Olgeirson, N.D. National Guard historian)