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BISMARCK, N.D. — To further increase understanding of its state and federal missions, policies and programs to community members, leaders from the North Dakota National Guard introduced their Honorary Commander Program March 23 during the inaugural North Dakota Governor’s Military Ball in Bismarck. The program was established last year to foster supportive partnerships between the North Dakota National Guard and community leaders.


“This program is an excellent opportunity to further enhance our understanding and appreciation of each other’s experiences and to foster comradery,” said Maj. Gen. Al Dohrmann, North Dakota adjutant general. “Communicating the National Guard’s citizen-Soldier and –Airmen missions to our members’ employers and our community leaders is important to strengthening the network of support our Guardsmen rely upon as they serve.” 


Participants in the Honorary Commander Program agree to a two-year commitment in which they will interact with Guardsmen from an assigned unit, usually based on geographic location.


The civic leaders will gain understanding how their support of the National Guard can influence the organization’s readiness and its ability to respond domestically and execute missions around the globe. Honorary commanders will be able to gain this insight by attending unit training events and informational briefings, among many other potential engagements.


The first group of honorary commanders and their affiliated units include: 


  • Shawn Dobberstein, Executive Director, Municipal Airport Authority, Fargo, N.D.
    119th Wing Operations Group, Fargo.
  • Chad Wachter, President and CEO of Investcore, Inc., Bismarck, N.D.
    1st Battalion, 112th Aviation Regiment, Bismarck.
  • Daniel Haugen, Training Director, North Dakota Highway Patrol, Bismarck, N.D.
    136th Combat Support Sustainment Battalion, Devils Lake.
  • Dr. Doug Darling, President, Lake Region State College, Devils Lake, N.D.
    Camp Grafton Training Center/164th Regional Training Institute – North Dakota.
  • Jill DeVries, Athletic Director, Valley City State University, Valley City, N.D.
    231st Brigade Support Battalion, Valley City.
  • Dr. Kelly Peters, Assistant Principal, West Fargo High School, West Fargo, N.D.
    188th Air Defense Artillery Battalion, Grand Forks.
  • Dr. Jim Haussler, Former superintendent, Bismarck Public Schools, Bismarck, N.D.
    North Dakota Army National Guard Recruiting and Retention Battalion, Bismarck.
  • Dr. Mark Vollmer, Superintendent, Minot Public Schools, Minot, N.D.
    164th Engineer Battalion, Minot.


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.


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