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.)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.