Guard Honors Former N.D. Governor Hoeven

BISMARCK, N.D. -The North Dakota National Guard Guard Honors Former N.D. Governor Hoevenhonored former Gov. John Hoeven and his wife Mikey this afternoon at a ceremony at the Guard's Raymond J. Bohn Armory. About 200 Soldiers and Airmen assembled to witness the award presentation.

Hoeven was awarded the North Dakota Distinguished Service Medal, the North Dakota National Guard's highest award for his leadership as its

commander in chief throughout the past 10 years. During his tenure as governor, more than 5,300 Soldiers and Airmen were mobilized for federal duty and more than 3,000 active duty, reserve and Guard personnel were called to serve on state active duty to fight floods and assist communities following ice storms and tornados.

"Senator-elect Hoeven's tenure as governor and commander in chief is one of exceptional and distinguished service," Gov. Jack Dalrymple said. "He provided strong leadership and showed unwavering support to all members of our North Dakota National Guard by attending send-offs and welcome-home events and by leading our flood-fighting efforts in the Red River Valley, along the Missouri River and across the state."

During Hoeven's time as commander in chief, the North Dakota National Guard experienced the highest operational tempo period in its history.

"I've had the privilege of seeing you work in Iraq, Afghanistan and Kosovo, and I wish every North Dakotan had the chance to see you serve our country overseas. Thank you for this great honor, but most of all, I thank you for all you do for our state and nation," Hoeven told the Guardsmen assembled for the event. "Being your commander in chief has truly been one of the greatest honors I've had as governor."

"Senator-elect Hoeven's leadership, dedication and loyalty to the Soldiers, Airmen, Families and employers was critical to the Guard's success during multiple federal mobilizations and responses to state emergencies, Maj. Gen. David Sprynczynatyk, North Dakota adjutant general, told the assembled Guardsmen during the ceremony. He displayed the highest degree of leadership, dedication, and devotion to the Soldiers and Airmen under his charge that others look to emulate. On behalf of all the Soldiers, Airmen and employees of the North Dakota National Guard, we thank him for his selfless service and sacrifice".

Former N.D. First Lady Mikey Hoeven was presented flowers during the ceremony in appreciation of her support for the North Dakota National Guard Families. The North Dakota National Guard's Fargo based 188th Army Band performed music for the event.

Since the 2001 terrorist attacks on America, the North Dakota National Guard has mobilized more than 3,500 Soldiers and more than 1,800 Airmen in support of the Global War on Terrorism. Currently, about a dozen North Dakota Guardsmen are serving overseas while more than 4,000 remain in the state for emergency response and national defense. For every 10,000 citizens in North Dakota, 65 serve in the North Dakota National Guard, a rate that's more than four times the national average.