Three candidates, Officer Candidates Rachel Church, Jonathan Kranz, and Tanner Rafteseth, began their training at Fort Meade in June, completing all three phases over an eight-week period. Officer Candidate David Moll joined them during phase II of the program. All four will officially graduate at their home state, August 21, 2021, at Camp Grafton Training Center, North Dakota, and become second lieutenants in the North Dakota National Guard.
A Soldier in phase III of the Officer Candidate School briefs an operation order during a field training exercise, July 21, 2021. (National Guard photo by Sgt. Tyler Wall, 116th Public Affairs Detachment)
The other fourteen candidates finished phase I over a two-week course that began July 17, 2021. They will conduct phase II over drill weekends at Camp Grafton Training Center. They are set to complete the final phase and graduate from the program next summer.
Officer Candidate Riley Altenburg, North Dakota National Guard, left, performs the duties of first sergeant for Class #21-002 under the instruction of 1st Sgt. Daniel Amoruso, Idaho National Guard. (Photo courtesy of Fort Meade Cadre)
188th Army Band Range Fire
Twenty-five 188th Army Band Soldiers conducted weapons qualification at a Camp Grafton South range, near Devils Lake, N.D. July 19, 2021. (National Guard story and photos by Sgt. Taryn Benton, 188th Army Band)
This was the first time 188th Army Band Soldiers participated in the updated U.S. Army marksmanship standards which features four firing positions.
Soldiers were issued four 10-round magazines to engage 40 pop-up targets from four different shooting positions. Soldiers started in the standing position; followed by prone unsupported and supported; kneeling supported; and finished in a standing supported position. Soldiers use a barricade to change magazines and positions within an 8-10 seconds time limit. All participating band Soldiers qualified with their M-4 Carbines to the new Army standards.
"I think anyone can do something like this. I'm not special. When I started training back in January, I struggled just to run 5 miles," said Miller.
Senior Master Sgt. Brandon Miller, of the 177th Intelligence Squadron, takes a short break as his support and gear (SAG) team members tend to him during his run on the rugged path of the 107.3-mile version of the Maah Daah Hey Trail ultramarathon in the beautiful badlands of North Dakota, July 31, 2021
Miller, who also completed this ultramarathon in 2019, ran to inspire fellow Airmen’s physical fitness and conditioning, and to improve on his previous time of 34 hours, 11 minutes. He also ran to honor his cousin, Maren, who is battling cancer. Watching her courageous fight showed him how much a person can fight and endure.
“Maren inspired me to push my body farther than it’s ever gone, so I decided to run the 2019 100-mile Maah Daah Hey ultramarathon again,” said Miller.
Senior Master Sgt. Brandon Miller, of the 177th Intelligence Squadron, runs on the rugged dirt path of the 107.3-mile version of the Maah Daah Hey Trail ultramarathon in the beautiful badlands of North Dakota, July 31, 2021.
The families were joined by members of the North Dakota National Guard’s leadership team, including Maj. Gen. Alan Dohrmann, N.D. adjutant general, Chaplain (Col.) David Johnson, state chaplain, and the N.D. National Guard's senior enlisted leader, Command Sgt. Maj. Eric Binstock. The Keynote Speaker, Dr. James Coyle, walked the family members through exercises on grief and brought out his guitar a few times. It's Coyle’s second time presenting at this event in his role as a grief care specialist. The retreat provides families a chance to connect and share stories with each other and members of the National Guard. It is one small way that the N.D. National Guard lives up to our promise that “We Will Never Forget.”