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TAG Line December 23, 2021

Graves at the N.D. Veterans Cemetery south of Mandan, N.D. were adorned during the Wreaths Across America (WAA) event on Dec. 18, 2021. This annual event is organized by the Bismarck Composite Squadron of the N.D. Civil Air Patrol. (National Guard photo by Sgt. 1st Class Charles Highland, N.D. National Guard Public Affairs Office)

Senior Leaders' Holiday Message

Major General Al Dohrmann, Adjutant General

Command Sgt. Maj. Eric Binstock, Senior Enlisted Leader

As we look back on 2021, please take a moment to reflect on all that we have accomplished as we observe the holiday season by relaxing and celebrating with our family and friends. The men and women of our National Guard, Homeland Security, and State Radio have gone above and beyond to make a positive difference in the lives of our fellow North Dakotans. Your hard work has been a shining light throughout 2021.

We have served the citizens of our state well, and we owe it to one another to support and care for our friends and colleagues. Please remember to keep the nearly 500 Soldiers and Airmen serving away from home in your thoughts and prayers and reach out to those that may be struggling or just need a friend during this holiday season. As we look forward to a new year, I also encourage you to reach out to those who have made a positive impact in your life and let them know how much you appreciate their support.

It is our honor to be a part of this great organization and to serve alongside all of you. We wish you all the best in health and happiness in 2022.

Top Recruiting Enlisted Soldier Promoted

Jeffrey Sayler, N.D. Army National Guard Recruiting and Retention Battalion, was promoted to command sergeant major at Raymond J. Bohn armory, Bismarck, N.D., Dec. 16, 2021. (National Guard story and photos by Sgt. 1st Class Ashley Johlfs, N.D. National Guard Visual Information)

Sayler, who has over 28 years of military experience, serves as the command sergeant major for the N.D. Army National Guard's Recruiting and Retention Battalion. He leads about 55 full-time recruiters and staff and an average of 300 new enlistees of the Recruit and Sustainment Program.

Clockwise from left: Jeffrey Sayler, N.D. National Guard Recruiting and Retention Battalion, watches his daughter Kayla affix command sergeant major rank to his uniform at his promotion ceremony, Bismarck, Dec. 16, 2021. Top center: Sayler recites the oath of enlistment during his promotion ceremony. Top right: Sayler salutes Maj. Nicolette Daschendorf, commander of the N.D. National Guard Recruiting and Retention Battalion, during his promotion ceremony. Bottom right: Sayler hugs his daughter Kayla at his promotion ceremony.

Wreaths Across America

The Bismarck Composite Squadron of the N.D. Civil Air Patrol (CAP) hosted the annual Wreaths Across America (WAA) event at the N.D. Veterans Cemetery, Mandan, N.D. on Dec. 18, 2021. (Photos and story by Sgt. 1st Class Charles Highland, N.D. National Guard Public Affairs Office)

Graves at the N.D. Veterans Cemetery are decorated with wreaths, Dec. 18, 2021.

Temperatures bottomed out at minus 6 degrees Fahrenheit, as an estimated 1,500 volunteers placed wreaths on each of the more 7,700 graves at the cemetery by noon. This annual holiday event is one of more than 2,700 wreath­-laying ceremonies across the United States. The mission of WAA is to remember our fallen U.S. Veterans, honor those who serve, and teach our children the value of freedom.

Sean Johnson, Bismarck Composite Squadron of the N.D. Civil Air Patrol addresses volunteers at the Wreaths Across America event at the N.D. Veterans Cemetery, Mandan, N.D. on Dec. 18, 2021.

Sean Johnson, Bismarck Composite Squadron of the N.D. Civil Air Patrol addresses volunteers at the Wreaths Across America event at the N.D. Veterans Cemetery, Mandan, N.D. on Dec. 18, 2021.

Members of the Bismarck Composite Squadron of the N.D. Civil Air Patrol distribute wreaths to volunteers at the Wreaths Across America event at the N.D. Veterans Cemetery, Mandan, N.D. on Dec. 18, 2021.

Volunteers wait in line to receive a wreath during the Wreaths Across America event at the N.D. Veterans Cemetery, Mandan, N.D., Dec. 18.

Josie Bohl looks over her grandfather's grave during the Wreaths Across America event at the N.D. Veterans Cemetery, Mandan, N.D on Dec. 18, 2021.

Family members pray over a loved one's grave during the Wreaths Across America (WAA) event at the N.D. Veterans Cemetery, Mandan, N.D on Dec. 18, 2021.

Kevin Iverson, right, N.D. Civil Air Patrol, thanks Command Sgt. Maj. Scott Obigewitch, 164th Engineer Battalion, for a donation to Wreaths Across America, N.D. Veterans Cemetery, Dec. 18, 2021. Obigewitch, a teacher at Dickinson Middle School, presented the check on behalf of students who raised the funds.

Volunteers place wreaths during the Wreaths Across America event at the N.D. Veterans Cemetery, Mandan, N.D. on Dec. 18, 2021.
Graves at the N.D. Veterans Cemetery are decorated with wreaths, Dec. 18, 2021.

New Officers

The ROTC programs of North Dakota State University and the University of North Dakota recently commissioned cadets during ceremonies at their respective schools, Dec. 17, 2021. (National Guard story by Bill Prokopyk, N.D. National Guard Public Affairs)

Bison Battalion

Brig. Gen. Jackie Huber, N.D. National Guard's deputy adjutant general, was invited to deliver the key note address at North Dakota State University ROTC program's Fall commissioning. The only cadet commissioned in the Bison Battalion was 2nd. Lt. Dominic E. Heazlett. Originally an enlisted N.D. National Guard Soldier, Heazlett accepted his commission as a Field Artillery officer in the Michigan Army National Guard.

Left: Brig. Gen. Jackie Huber, N.D. National Guard's deputy adjutant general, delivers the key note address at North Dakota State University (NDSU) ROTC program's fall commissioning, Fargo, Dec. 17, 2021. To her right is Capt. David Stockdill, N.D. National Guard's ROTC liaison, who served as the emcee for the ceremony. Right: Lt. Col. Jared Ferguson, NDSU's professor of military science, left, administers the oath of office to newly commissioned officer 2nd. Lt. Dominic E. Heazlett.

Fighting Hawks Battalion

Two cadets assigned to the University of North Dakota ROTC Fighting Hawks Battalion became second lieutenants in the N.D. Army National Guard during the program's Winter Commissioning ceremony. 2nd Lt. Jaydon Grafsgaard, 3662nd Support Maintenance Company, was commissioned in the Ordnance Corps while 2nd Lt. Hanna Sampel, 1st Battalion, 112th Aviation Regiment, joined the Army's Aviation branch.

Top left: Newly commissioned officers 2nd Lt. Jaydon Grafsgaard and 2nd Lt. Hanna Sampel at their commissioning ceremony flank Warrant Officer 1 Richard Blumler, officer strength manager for the N.D. Army National Guard, at the University of North Dakota (UND), Grand Forks, N.D., Dec. 17, 2021. Right: 2nd Lt. Cody Wren, left, administers the oath of office to newly commissioned 2nd Lt. Jayson Grafsgaard, Grand Forks, Dec. 17. Left: Wren administers the oath of office for the N.D. National Guard to newly commissioned 2nd Lt. Hanna Sampel, Grand Forks, Dec. 17. (Photos courtesy of Aly Apuzzo, UND ROTC)

164 Run Challenge

As a nod to the importance of good fitness, Command Sgt. Maj. Scott Obrigewitch, 164th Engineer Battalion, challenged his Soldiers to run 164 miles within a calendar year. (Story by Command Sgt. Maj. Scott Obrigewitch)

Designated the "164 Challenge", Soldiers who met the challenge were presented a t-shirt and a certificate of appreciation. More than 20 Soldiers were recognized for meeting the challenge the past two years.

Two of the more than twenty Soldiers who met the 164 Challenge flank Command Sgt. Maj. Scott Obrigewitch, at the Raymond J. Bohn armory, Bismarck, Dec. 5, 2021. From left, Staff Sergeant Jason Kalvoda and Spc. Brandon Cook hold their challenge t-shirts. Both Soldiers are assigned to the 957th Engineer Company (Multi-role Bridge). (National Guard photo by Sgt. Maj. August Honeyman, 141st Maneuver Enhancement Brigade)

Milestone to Chaplaincy Met

Second Lieutenant Micah Johnson, 1st Battalion, 112th Aviation Regiment, graduated from the U.S. Army Chaplain Corps Basic Officer Leaders Course (CHBOLC), Fort Jackson, S.C., Dec. 16, 2021. (National Guard story by Col. Chaplain David Johnson, N.D. National Guard state chaplain)

This course is a requirement for all Army chaplains, however, Johnson will remain a Chaplain Candidate until he completes his seminary studies in 2023. After graduation, he will become a chaplain with the N.D. National Guard.

Screen shot of projected image displayed during the graduation ceremony at U.S. Army Chaplain Corps Basic Officer Leaders Course, Fort Jackson, S.C., Dec. 16, 2021.

Second Lieutenant Micah Johnson, 1st Battalion, 112th Aviation Regiment, graduated from the U.S. Army Chaplain Corps Basic Officer Leaders Course (CHBOLC), Fort Jackson, S.C., Dec. 16, 2021. Chaplain (Col.) David Johnson, N.D. National Guard state chaplain, attended his son's graduation. (Courtesy photo)

Home for the Holidays

Two Airmen of the 119th Wing returned home on Dec. 22, 2021 to Fargo's Hector International Airport after serving six months in southwest Asia. (National Guard story and photos by Chief Master Sgt. David H. Lipp)

Senior Airman Jenny Brazile, 119th Wing, is greeted by her dog as she returns to Hector International Airport, Fargo, N.D., upon completing a six-month deployment to southwest Asia, Dec. 22, 2021.
Tech. Sgt. Ashley Seitz, 119th Support Group, is greeted by her mother, retired Senior Master Sgt. Melissa Seitz, as she returns to Hector International Airport, Fargo, N.D., upon completing a six-month deployment to southwest Asia Dec. 22, 2021.

She Said Yes!

A dining-out hosted by the 816th Military Police Company in Dickinson, N.D., on Dec. 4, 2021, featured an unexpected but extremely special moment. (National Guard story by Sgt. 1st Class Charles Highland, N.D. National Guard Public Affairs Office)

Specialist Savon Flansburg took advantage of the formal occasion to ask his girlfriend, Carissa Marble, to marry him. The couple met in Bottineau and have been dating for 11 months. 

Specialist Savon Flansburg, 816th Military Police Company, asked Carissa Marble to marry him at a dining out in Dickinson, N.D., Dec. 4, 2021. (National Guard photo by Kiel Skager, N.D. National Guard)

Flansburg, "When you know, you just know".
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