Hoeven Honors NDNG 164th Engineer Battalion, Active Service Earns Valorous Unit Award

MINOT, N.D. – Senator John Hoeven today joined North Dakota National Guard (NDNG) leaders to honor the service of Company A, 164th Engineer Battalion as they received the Valorous Unit Award earned during their deployment to Iraq from 2005-2006. Hoeven congratulated the unit and presented them with a flag flown over the United States Capitol in their honor. In 2006, then Governor Hoeven traveled to Iraq to visit these servicemembers. 

Today’s award, which was presented by Major General Al Dorhmann, this is the second highest military unit decoration awarded to units who display extraordinary heroism against an armed enemy of the United States. While stationed in Iraq, this Battalion of 122 soldiers covered more than 85,000 miles in 934 patrols. These efforts resulted in successfully disposing of more than 450 IEDs. During their deployment, the 164th lost one member, Specialist Michael Hermanson of Fargo.

“When I served as commander-in-chief of the North Dakota National Guard, I had the tremendous honor of seeing this unit in action in Iraq,” said Hoeven. “This unit has helped make the world a safer place for all of us, and we continue to be grateful for their patriotism and sacrifice. They have truly earned the distinction awarded to them today, and they stand as a great reminder of why we continue to work to strengthen the benefits and support given to our Guard members.”

Hoeven serves as a member of the Senate committees that oversee appropriations for defense, military construction and veterans affairs. His efforts to provide Guard members, veterans and their families with the support they deserve include:

  • Advancing the TRICARE Reserve Improvement Act, bipartisan legislation that would extend TRICARE Reserve Select eligibility to all Guardsmen and Reservists, including those who are currently ineligible because they are also federal employees who can enroll in the Federal Employee Health Benefits (FEHB) Program.
  • Introducing the Montgomery GI Bill Parity Act, a bipartisan piece of legislation that would enable members of the Guard and Reserve to concurrently use Federal Tuition Assistance programs and GI Bill benefits to fund their education, similar to active duty servicemembers.
  • Providing funding in the Senate’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 Defense funding legislation to establish an Air National Guard tuition assistance program, similar to the one in place under the Army National Guard.
  • Securing $32 million for a new Readiness Center in Fargo.