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TAG Line Oct. 23, 2020

The first snow fall of the season graces the N.D. Memorial to the Fallen in the Global War on Terrorism (GWOT) on Oct. 20, 2020. The memorial, located at the front gate of Fraine Barracks, Bismarck, N.D., is joint venture between the city and the N.D. National Guard and was dedicated on Sept. 11, 2009 in honor of North Dakotans who lost their lives in GWOT. Of the 28 North Dakotans honored, 14 are N.D. National Guard Soldiers. (U.S. National Guard photo by Sgt. 1st Class Charles Highland, N.D. National Guard Public Affairs Office)

Meeting the Moment – Adaptations and Force Safety

As the N.D. National Guard (NDNG) continues to respond to the global pandemic of COVID-19, safety of the force remains at the forefront of all our operations. During the past 7 months of the emergency response, the NDNG has employed digital technology and innovation to ensure force safety while conducting day to day activities uninterrupted.

One of the latest examples of leveraging technology that helped ensure social distancing was last week's adjutant general's town hall in Fargo, N.D. Through collaboration and partnership efforts between the 119th Wing Public Affairs Office, and the N.D. National Guard's Visual Information and Public Affairs Offices, a hybrid broadcast was produced reaching full-time Guard employees in more than two dozen sites throughout the state.

Tag Town Hall

Maj. Gen. Al Dohrmann, N.D. adjutant general, conducted a town hall at the National Guard Air Base, Fargo, N.D. on Oct. 16, 2020. The purpose was to provide a strategic update to the full time Army and Air National Guard staff in the eastern portion of the state and to recognize top performing personnel. This was one of a series of three town halls conducted in geographically separate areas across the state. This event was live streamed. (U.S. Air National Guard photos and story by Chief Master Sgt. Dave Lipp, 119th Wing)

Maj. Gen. Al Dohrmann provides an update on the personnel strength of the N.D. National Guard during a town hall briefing at the Air National Guard Base in Fargo on Oct. 16, 2020.

Attendees practiced social distancing and wore masks during the adjutant general's town hall on Oct. 16, 2020.

N.D. National Guard members listen to Maj. Gen. Al Dohrmann's briefing during a town hall at the Air National Guard base in Fargo, N.D. on Oct. 16, 2020.

The adjutant general's town hall was live streamed by the N.D. Guard Visual Information department.
Maj. Gen. Al Dohrmann, N.D. adjutant general, recognized exceptional achievement by presenting coins during his townhall in Fargo, N.D. on Oct. 16, 2020. Top left, Sgt. 1st Class Kristel Amundson, 141st Maneuver Enhancement Brigade. Top right, Sgt. 1st Class Andrew Simonitch, 141st Maneuver Enhancement Brigade. Bottom. Sgt. Nicholas Gladue, 191st Military Police Company.

Legislative Engagements

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)

Maj. Gen. Al Dohrmann, N.D. adjutant general, left, and others participate virtually in a regional legislative engagement in Bismarck on Oct. 21, 2020.

Commissioning Ceremony

A small gathering of family, friends and co-workers witnessed a commissioning ceremony for three Officer Candidate School graduates at the Raymond J. Bohn armory in Bismarck, N.D., on Oct. 16, 2020. Accepting commissions as second lieutenants in the N.D. Army National Guard were Ethan Zoeller, Trevor Kleineschay, and Ryan Kamrowski. Lt. Col. Jodee Audol, commander, N.D. Army National Guard Recruiting and Retention Battalion, presided over the ceremony. (U.S. National Guard photo and story by Sgt. 1st Class Charles Highland, N.D. National Guard Public Affairs Office)

Lt. Col. Jodee Audol administers the oath of office to three new second lieutenants at the Raymond J. Bohn armory in Bismarck, N.D. on Oct. 16, 2020. From left Ethan Zoeller, Trevor Kleineschay, and Ryan Kamrowski.

Newly commissioned 2nd Lt. Trevor Kleineschay is congratulated by his girlfriend at the Raymond J. Bohn armory in Bismarck on Oct. 16, 2020.

Newly commissioned 2nd Lt. Ryan Kamrowski's wife affixes his new rank on his uniform at the Raymond J. Bohn armory in Bismarck on Oct. 16, 2020.

Newly commissioned 2nd Lt. Ryan Kamrowski is congratulated by his wife at the Raymond J. Bohn armory in Bismarck on Oct. 16, 2020.

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)

Sgt. Augustus Tandberg, 188th Army Band, participated in Mayville State University's annual Ceremony of Remembrance in the Military Honor Garden on their campus on Oct. 17, 2020. Tandberg sang America the Beautiful and performed Taps from the upper level of the alumni center that overlooks the garden at the conclusion of the ceremony.

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)

Soldiers from Company I, 164th Infantry Regiment who fought together at Guadalcanal are pictured in a 2012 photo. Lesley Aldrich, right, volunteered for Merrill's Marauders during the China/Burma/India Campaign while Jerry Hipp stayed with the 164th and participated in the unit's Bougainville, Leyte, and Southern Philippines Campaigns. They both arrived home in mid-1945. Right, the 5307th Composite Unit (Provisional) unit patch.

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