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TAG Line Sept 13, 2019

Schulte promoted to Brigadier General, Becklund retires after 37 years

Brig. Gen. Robert J. Becklund was honored during a retirement ceremony for his 37 years of military service at the Air National Guard base in Fargo, Sept. 7. He served as the Joint Force Headquarters chief of staff for Air in his traditional role and as the deputy adjutant general in his full-time duty position. Becklund enlisted as a flight simulator technician in 1982 and served in a multitude of key positions to include commander of the 119th Fighter Wing from 2004 to 2009, when the unit experienced an unprecedented shift from manned to remotely piloted aircraft.

Brig. Gen. Robert A. Schulte celebrated his promotion to general officer and assumed duties as the Joint Force Headquarters chief of staff for Air. Schulte earned a direct commission in the U.S. Air Force's Biomedical Science Corps in 1993, serving three years with the 55th Medical Group, Offutt Air Force Base, Omaha, Neb. Following active duty service, he was assigned to the 934th Airlift Wing, U.S. Air Force Reserve, Minneapolis, Minn. In 1999, Schulte transferred to the North Dakota Air National Guard and served as a physical therapist and later commander of the 119th Medical Group, 119th Wing. In his civilian profession, he's an associate professor of Physical Therapy at the University of Mary, Bismarck. (Top photo: Gov. Doug Burgum, left, congratulates Brig. Gen. Robert J. Becklund, center, after his retirement ceremony while newly promoted Brig. Gen. Robert A. Schulte looks on.)

Left: Maj. Gen. Al Dohrmann, N.D. adjutant general, right, presents the Distinguished Service Medal to Brig. Gen. Robert J. Becklund during his retirement ceremony at the North Dakota Air National Guard base on Sept. 7. Right: Robert A. Schulte has the rank of brigadier general pinned on his uniform by his family members during his promotion ceremony Sept. 7.

Huber named Deputy Adjutant General

Maj. Gen. Al Dohrmann announced that Brig. Gen. Jackie Huber will be the N.D. National Guard's next deputy adjutant general. She is the first female to hold this position and succeeds Brig. Gen. Robert Becklund who is retiring from the full-time force on Oct. 1.

A native of Bismarck, Huber, has served in the N.D. Army National Guard since enlisting in 1989. Huber earned her commission through the University of North Dakota’s Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) program in 1992.

During Huber’s traditional Army National Guard career, she has held many key positions including command of the 129th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment, the 164th Engineer Battalion and the 164th Regional Training Institute. Most recently, she served as the operations officer for the Joint Force Headquarters’ Domestic Operations Section. Huber has worked as a full-time employee for the N.D. National Guard since 1998. She held positions as a plans and operations specialist, director of the State Family Program, Director or Human Resources and the Director of Personnel.

Heck named new State Command Sergeant Major

Maj. Gen. Al Dohrmann announced that Command Sgt. Maj. Derek Heck will become the next state command sergeant major. Heck will assume those duties from Command Sgt. Maj. David Lien in a change of responsibility ceremony later this fall.

Heck, of Hillsboro, N.D., enlisted in the N.D. Army National Guard in 1991 and was assigned as a helicopter mechanic. In 1997, he began working as a fulltime Guardsmen as an OH-58 Kiowa helicopter crew chief.

Heck served in numerous aviation positions within the N.D. Army National Guard. From 2013-2018, Heck worked as an operations sergeant and later chief operations sergeant for the 141st Maneuver Enhancement Brigade. Heck also served as the 164th Engineer battalion command sergeant major and is currently assigned as the 68th Troop Command's command sergeant major.

TAG Townhall highlights accomplishments of Guard and DES Employees

Maj. Gen. Al Dohrmann, adjutant general, hosted a townhall for military and civilian members of the N.D. National Guard and N.D. Department of Emergency Services (NDDES) Sept. 11. The townhall was held at Raymond J. Bohn armory in Bismarck and was streamed live for Guard members and employees all across the state. The purpose of the event was to provide an update on the activities and future plans of our organization. Dohrmann also took the opportunity to recognize several individuals for outstanding achievements and to administer the oath of office to several civilian federal technicians and a state employee. Whereas military members take an oath of office to support and defend the constitution of the United States when they join the military and often re-affirm this oath when they are promoted, civilian employees have not previously had this opportunity. Because civilians are important members of our National Guard and NDDES, they may now voluntarily take an oath similar to their military partners. This will strengthen our partnerships and allow them to publically demonstrate their commitment to our nation, state and organization.

Maj. Gen. Al Dohrmann talks with members of the N.D. National Guard and N.D. Department of Emergency Services at a townhall on Sept. 11 in Bismarck.

Maj. Gen. Al Dohrmann administers the oath of office to state employee Tanya Schmidt-Dietz during an adjutant general hosted townhall on Sept. 11.

Maj. Gen. Al Dohrmann administers the oath of office to five civilian federal technician employees during his townhall on Sept. 11.

Maj. Gen. Al Dohrmann awards a Sherie Loeb-Cantlon, financial technician at USPFO, a coin for achievements in ensuring N.D. Guard Soldiers were properly paid during an adjutant general hosted townhall on Sept. 11.

Wyatt Promoted to Colonel, Takes Command of Medical Group

Col. Joseph Wyatt promoted to colonel Sept. 7, in a ceremony held at the Air National Guard Base in Fargo. Following his promotion Wyatt assumed command of the 119th Medical Group from Brig. Gen. Robert Schulte who served as the group commander since 2012. Wyatt will command a dynamic group of Airmen who provide care to sustain the health and wellness of the 119th Wing while training to provide Expeditionary Combat Support when called to deploy.

Top: Joseph Wyatt, left, takes the oath of office from Col. Bryan Delage, Air National Guard State Surgeon. Left: Colonel Wyatt's Children help place his new rank on his flight suit. Right: Wyatt receives the 119th Medical Group guidon from Delage during a change of command ceremony Sept. 7.

Guardsmen, Veterans, Community observe anniversary of Sept. 11, 2001

Maj. Gen. Al Dohrmann, hosted a 9/11 remembrance ceremony at the Memorial to the Fallen in the Global War on Terrorism at Fraine Barracks on Sept. 11. More than 100 Guardsmen and community members gathered to remember those lost in the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 and those who have died because of those attacks. The memorial was dedicated 10 years ago on this date, and honors 28 North Dakota service members who lost their lives in the Global War on Terrorism. The memorial was built to provide a place where families, friends and members of the community could reflect and remember the service of the fallen. The memorial is a joint venture between the City of Bismarck and the N.D. National Guard and is funded through private donations. Prior to the ceremony, the Guard teamed up with Team Red, White and Blue to host a 2-mile "Old Glory" run/walk/bike/blade, which began at Bismarck's Pioneer Park and ended at the memorial just before the ceremony began.

Lt. Gov. Brent Sanford addresses attendees during a Sept. 11 remembrance ceremony at the Memorial to the Fallen in the Global War on Terrorism at Fraine Barracks.

Guard members and members of the community listen to Lt. Gov. Sanford's remarks during the Sept. 11 remembrance ceremony.

Normal Westbrook, left, a member of the N.D. Patriot Guard talks with Majors Waylon Tomac and Matt Voeller (uniform) as they carry flags along the 2-mile "Old Glory" run/walk/bike/blade, which began at Bismarck's Pioneer Park and ended at the GWOT memorial at Fraine Barracks.

Mehrer named Gold Star Mother of the Year

Mrs. Joyce Mehrer was named North Dakota's 'Gold Star Mother of the Year' by the North Dakota Department of American Legion Auxiliary in Minot, Sept 11. Joyce is the mother of Spc. Curtis R. Mehrer, who served with the National Guard's 1st Battalion, 188th Air Defense Artillery Regiment. He died June 6, 2006, at the age of 21 during combat operations in Afghanistan. This is the third year that the American Legion Auxiliary has recognized a Gold Star Mother of the Year. During the ceremony, Lt. Gov. Brent Sanford presented a proclamation declaring Sept. 29 as Gold Star Mothers and Family Day in North Dakota. This is the first year that official designation includes both mothers and families.

Left: Harriet Goodiron, 2018 Gold Star Mother, places the Gold Star crown on 2019 Gold Star Mother Joyce Mehrer at a ceremony in Minot on Sept 11. Right: Gold Star Mothers Joyce Mehrer of Bismarck, 2019; Harriet Goodiron of Mandaree, 2018; and Arlene Berdahl of Minot, 2017, shown left to right, receive cards presented by American Legion Auxiliary President Linda Siewert, far left. Photos courtesy of Jill Schramm, Minot Daily News.

Military, First Responders honored at Annual Brats with the Brave

The Bismarck-Mandan Chamber EDC (Economic, Development and Commission) Military Affairs Committee host the 'Brats with the Brave' lunch at Raymond J. John Armory on Sept. 11. This annual celebration event is sponsored by local businesses. It's an opportunity for businesses and community members to honor and appreciate military members and first responders. More than 400 people attended.

Military members, Veterans and first responders enjoyed a free meal at the Brats with the Brave event at the Raymond J. Bohn Armory in Bismarck, Sept. 11. The Bismarck-Mandan Chamber EDC (Economic, Development and Commission) military affairs committee organized this annual event with support from private businesses.

Annual Retiree Weekend

About 60 Army and Air National Guard Retirees, including former adjutant general, Maj. Gen. (ret) Alexander P. Macdonald, participated the annual retiree reunion, at Camp Grafton Training Center, Sept 6-8. Maj. Gen. Al Dohrmann, North Dakota adjutant general and other senior guard leaders provided formal briefings and met with the retirees informally at the Military Service Club. Retirees recieved briefs throughout the weekend on updates to the N.D. National Guard, retiree benefits and updates to the North Dakota Veterans Cemetery. The weekend also included a memorial service at Tracy Chapel honoring Retirees that passed away since the last reunion, a banquet, and a specially requested military-favorite breakfast of "SOS" to foster fond memories. Retirees who would like to participate in future events or receive informative emails may contact N.D. National Guard Public Affairs at 701-333-2129.

N.D. National Guard Retirees pose during the annual Retirees weekend at Camp Grafton Training Center, Sept 6.

Maj. Gen. Al Dohrmann provides Retirees an update on N. D. National Guard activities.

Guardsmen Recognized Nationally for outstanding performance.

Four N.D. National Guardsmen were recognized for excellence at the National Guard Association (NGAUS) General Conference and Exhibition in Denver Colo. Air Force Maj. Robert Davidson was awarded the Meritorious Service Certificate for exceptionally outstanding service to the United States, to the Armed Forces of the United States or to NGAUS. Air Force Capt. Brett Nelson and Army Capt. John Mazur were awarded the Theodore Roosevelt Leadership Award for Company Grade Officers. This award was established to annually recognize the achievements and dedicated service of Army and Air National Guard junior officers who have demonstrated outstanding leadership and professionalism in their services to country and community. Chief Warrant Officer 3 Arnold Zins was awarded the Eagle Rising Award for Warrant Officers. This award was established to annually recognize the achievements and dedicated service of Army National Guard Warrant Officers who have demonstrated outstanding leadership, technical skills and professionalism in their services to country and community.

Right: Capt. Brett Nelson was awarded the Theodore Roosevelt Leadership Award for Company Grade Officers. Left: Chief Warrant Officer 3 Arnold Zins was awarded the Eagle Rising Award for Warrant Officers. They are pictured with Maj. Gen. Donald Dunbar, the NGAUS chairman (right) and Maj. John Fesler, NGAUS awards committee chairman (left). Photo credit: Garrett Hacking

Hoeven Recognized for Support to National Guard

The National Guard Association of the United States presented Sen. John Hoeven with the Harry S. Truman award in recognition of his leadership supporting National Guard members, Veterans and their Families. The award was presented at the NGAUS General Conference and Exhibition in Denver, Colo., held Aug. 30-Sept 2. Hoeven, a member of the Senate Defense Appropriations Committee, was the co-recipient of this award along with U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia. This is NGAUS's highest award.

Left to Right. Maj. Gen. Donald Dunbar, Wisconsin adjutant general and chairman of the National Guard Association of the United States (NGAUS), Sen. John Hoeven and Maj. Gen. Al Dohrmann, N.D. adjutant general, stand behind NGAUS's Harry S. Truman Award during the opening ceremonies of the 141st NGAUS General Conference and Exhibition, Aug. 31, in Denver, Colo. (photo by Spc. Michael Hunnisett)

Military Retirement Seminar

The N.D. Army National Guard's G-1 (personnel) section conducted its first traditional Soldier retirement seminar in Bismarck Aug. 24. The Seminar focused on the needs of traditional Soldiers and spouses with 18 to 20 years of service. Attendance surged to 136 attendees consisting of 87 Service members and 49 spouses who were supported by 12 staff members. The event was a resounding success with many positive feedback comments that requested additional seminars.

Mr. Tom Rader, retirement services officer, briefs attendees at the Soldier retirement seminar Aug. 24 at the Raymond J. Bohn armory in Bismarck.

Maj. Rachael Berg, G-1 deputy military personnel officer (MILPO), registers attendees at the Soldier retirement seminar Aug. 24 at the Raymond J. Bohn armory in Bismarck.
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