BISMARCK, N.D. — Brig. Gen. Leo Ryan, commander of the Army component of the North Dakota National Guard, will host a change of responsibility ceremony for the State Command Sergeant Major. Command Sgt. Maj. Derek J. Heck will assume the duties of the senior enlisted Soldier for the N.D. Army Guard from Command Sgt. Major. David Lien during a ceremony on Dec. 7 at 1 p.m. at the Raymond J. Bohn armory in Bismarck.
The public and media are invited to the ceremony.
As state command sergeant major, Heck will be the principle senior advisor to the Army commander on enlisted affairs for the 3,000 Soldiers of N.D. Army National Guard. He will enforce policies and standards of performance, training, appearance and conduct of enlisted Soldiers. He also will advise senior leadership on an array of topics, including recruiting, retention, training, resiliency, family support, community events, education and employment for the state’s Army Guardsmen.
Heck enlisted in the N.D. Army National Guard in 1991 and was initially assigned to 2nd Battalion, 137th Aviation Regiment as an aircraft mechanic. Heck continued to serve in numerous positions of increasing responsibility to include crew chief, technical inspector, readiness non-commissioned officer (NCO), platoon sergeant, operations sergeant, and battalion sergeant major. His assignments culminated as the command sergeant major of the N.D. Guard’s 68th Troop Command.
Heck’s mobilizations include a 2002 deployment in support of Operational Noble Eagle and from 2009 to 2010 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation New Dawn.
Heck’s military education includes the advanced non-commissioned officer course and he is a graduate of the U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy. He received an Associate’s Degree in Science and Arts from Bismarck State College in 2007. His military awards and decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal, Army Commendation Medal (Three Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters), Army Good Conduct Medal (Bronze, Four Loops), Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal, (Four Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters), National Defense Service Medal (Bronze Service Star), Iraq Campaign Medal (Two Campaign Stars), Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal (Bronze Service Star), Armed Forces Reserve Medal (with ‘M’ device and Silver Hourglass), Noncommissioned Officers Professional Development Ribbon (numeral 4), Overseas Service Ribbon, Master Aviation Badge, Meritorious Unit Commendation. North Dakota National Guard awards include the Commendation Ribbon, Recruiting Ribbon, Emergency Service Ribbon, Service Ribbon, and the Basic Training Ribbon.
Heck resides with his wife Jenny in Hillsboro, North Dakota.
Lien enlisted in the N.D. Army National Guard in 1986 as a combat engineer with the 164th Engineer Combat Battalion. In 1994, he transferred to the 141st Engineer Combat Battalion and began working full time for the N.D. Guard. From 1994 to 2006, Lien served in numerous positions to include administrative NCO, supply sergeant, section leader, training NCO, squad leader, readiness NCO and operations Sergeant.
He deployed to Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom II with the 141st Engineer Battalion from 2003 to 2005 and to Kosovo with the 141st Maneuver Enhancement Brigade from 2009 to 2010. After returning from Kosovo, he worked full time as a personnel and training and operations sergeant major. Lien served as a command sergeant major at the battalion and brigade levels before assuming duties as the 10th State Command Sergeant Major for the N.D. Army National Guard Dec. 2017.
Lien’s military education includes senior enlisted joint professional military education and the U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy. He received his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Touro University International in 2006. His military awards and decorations include the Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal (Three Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters), Army Commendation Medal (Three Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters), Army Achievement Medal (One Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster), Kosovo Campaign Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal (Two Campaign Stars), Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal, NATO Medal, Valorous Unit Award, Army Superior Unit Award, Army National Guard Basic Recruiter Badge, and the N.D. National Guard Meritorious Service Medal (One Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster). Lien is also a recipient of the U.S. Army Engineer Association’s Bronze Order of the de Fleury Medal.
Lien and his wife Kim reside in Bismarck. He will be honored at a retirement ceremony at 2 p.m.
WHO: N.D. Army National Guard.
WHAT: Change of Responsibly for State Command Sergeant Major.
WHEN: 1 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 7.
WHERE: Raymond J. Bohn armory, 4200 Miriam Ave, Bismarck, N.D.
MEDIA: No pre-coordination required. Amber Balken 701-426-5205 on site to assist.
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.