Sprynczynatyk Retiring as North Dakota Guard Commander

By: 
James MacPherson
Associated Press

Maj. Gen. David Sprynczynatyk plans to retire as North Dakota National Guard commander at the end of the year and Brig. Gen. Alan Dohrmann has been tapped to succeed him, Guard officials and the governor said Friday.

Sprynczynatyk, who was appointed as adjutant general in 2006, led the Guard during deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan and massive flood-fighting efforts statewide. Gov. Jack Dalrymple said the commander's "incredible" service "will have a lasting impact on future generations" and that Dohrmann's experience makes him "the compelling choice" for the role.

A change of command ceremony is set for Dec. 13.

Sprynczynatyk, 65, enlisted in the Army National Guard in 1972 and earned a commission as an officer in 1978. His appointment as commander by then-Gov. John Hoeven broke a 22-year streak of having an Air Guard officer as North Dakota's adjutant general.

Sprynczynatyk grew up in Wilton, about 25 miles north of Bismarck. He earned his civil engineering degree from North Dakota State University in 1972 and took a job with the North Dakota Water Commission as a resources planning engineer. He was named state engineer, the Water Commission's top position, in 1989 and became a prominent advocate of North Dakota water development.

He also served as director of the state Department of Transportation from 2000 to 2006.

The North Dakota National Guard includes about 4,200 airmen and soldiers. After the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, North Dakota Guard units were sent on scores of deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, and more than a dozen of its soldiers were killed in those two countries.

In his job, Sprynczynatyk also serves as director of the Department of Emergency Services, which coordinates the state's response to emergencies and natural disasters.

Dalrymple said Sprynczynatyk especially showed "incredible leadership" during devastating flooding that hit Fargo, Valley City, Wahpeton, Bismarck, Mandan and Minot in 2011.

Sprynczynatyk told the governor and others gathered Friday at the state Capitol that it was an honor to lead the Guard on "missions around the state and literally around the world."

Dohrmann, 55, joined the military as an Army officer in 1983 and the North Dakota National Guard in 1991. In 2009, Dohrmann led a force of about 2,200 troops from seven countries as part of a yearlong peacekeeping mission in Kosovo.

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