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Bridge Builder
Bridge Builder Award

BISMARCK, N.D. – The 2023 North Dakota Governor’s Military Ball was held on Saturday, March 18 at the Radisson Inn in downtown Bismarck. About 220 North Dakota National Guard members, spouses, friends and other civilian guests attended this formal event.

The formal portion of the program included remarks by Gov. Doug Burgum, commander in chief of the North Dakota National Guard, and presentation of awards.

“The incredible work that is being done, both here and abroad, by our North Dakota National Guard doesn’t go unnoticed,” Gov. Doug Burgum said. “We’re grateful that night after night, day after day, the call to duty by this group and our communities across the state who support them has always been met, and met at the highest level.”

The 188th Army Band Brass Quintet provided patriotic music before the formal portion of the event. The Bismarck Mandan Northern Lights Chorus performed the national anthem as well as each military branch’s official service songs. The emcee led traditional military toasts which included a tribute to POW/MIAs and a rendering of Taps. After dinner, awards were presented by Burgum and Maj. Gen. Al Dohrmann, North Dakota National Guard adjutant general, along with recognition of achievements.

“The Governor’s Military Ball is great event allows us to bring our entire team together and celebrate a great year of accomplishments,” said Dohrmann during his remarks. He also mentioned the great support provided by North Dakota state legislature and by members of the military affairs committees. He thanked the Guard’s honorary commanders as well as the support provided by the great employers all across the state.


Awards and Recognition

North Dakota Army National Guard’s 2022 Best Warrior Competition

Noncommissioned Officer (NCO) Category:

Winner: Sgt. Deyton Slama, 817th Engineer Company.

Runner-up:  Sgt. Benjamin Snyder, 818th Engineer Company.

Soldier Category:

Winner: Sgt. Sean Jones, North Dakota Army National Guard Recruiting and Retention Battalion.

Runner-up: Spc. Gannon Miller, 818th Engineer Company


North Dakota Air National Guard’s Outstanding Airmen of the Year.

Airman of the Year: Senior Airman Maria Sornsin, 119th Mission Support Group.

NCO of the Year: Master Sgt. Taylor Wolford, 119th Operations Group.

Senior NCO of the Year: Senior Master Sgt. Erica Carruth, 119th Mission Support Group.


2023 National Guard Association of North Dakota Awards.

Warrant Officer of the Year: Chief Warrant Officer 2 Michael Mahon, 835th Engineer Utilities Detachment.

Air National Guard Company Grade Officer of the Year: 1st Lt. Cody Chick, 119th Mission Support Group.

Army National Guard Company Grade Officer of the Year: Capt. Connor Kelley, 426th Signal Company.

Air National Guard Field Grade Officer of the Year: Maj. Daniel Sly, 119th Mission Support Group.

Army National Guard Field Grade Officer of the Year: Maj. Alan Roerich, 1st Battalion, 188th Air Defense Artillery Regiment.

            Roughrider Award: Sgt. 1st Class Chuck Votava.


North Dakota National Guard Families of the Year

Air National Guard: Master Sgt. Taylor Wolford and Master Sgt. Laura Wolford Family.

Army National Guard: Sgt. Kristy and Ryan Mahoney Family.


Youth Volunteer Award: Hailey McEvers. In addition of serving as the president of the North Dakota National Guard’s Teen Council, logged over 158 volunteer hours assisting military families as a junior camp counselor.

Legendary Award: Josie Stockie. Served as leader of the Family Readiness Group during the 2021-2022 deployment of about 225 Soldiers of the 1st Battalion, 188th Air Defense Artillery Regiment to the National Capital Region.


North Dakota National Guard Bridge Builder Award: Kramer Chevrolet and Subaru.

            Presented in recognition of more than a decade of support to the North Dakota National Guard Foundation’s Emergency Relief Fund which directly benefits Guard Soldiers and Airmen in need.


Always Ready, Always There Award: Mrs. Connie Sprynczynatyk.

            Presented in recognition for her exemplary support to the military to include serving as North Dakota’s Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army from 2011 to 2021.


ESGR (Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve) Freedom Award

A Gate City Bank representative was present with the 2022 ESGR Freedom Award. This is ESGR’s highest honor with only 15 employers nation-wide recognized by this award.

The Governor’s Military Ball concluded with a dance.


The North Dakota National Guard is a trained and highly motivated force of about 4,000 Citizen-Soldiers and Citizen-Airmen.  We are always prepared to provide ready units, individuals and equipment in support of our communities, state and nation.  Always ready, always there.



More high resolution photos at Flickr album “Governor’s Military Ball 2023

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