ND National Guard short of authorized numbers

Dec 3, 2018

The North Dakota National Guard is short of its authorized strength levels.

"Right now, we're at about 94 percent full on the Army National Guard, and 92 percent filled on the Air National Guard," said Guard Adjutant Gen. Alan Dohrmann. "We could bring another 200 soldiers into the Army National Guard, and another 100 into the Air National Guard in North Dakota."

Dohrmann saids with the state's good economy, recruiting is getting tougher.  He said there could be consequences for being under-staffed.

"If we can't maintain our in-strength, they'll (the Guard) look at taking a unit away from us," Dohrmann said. "They will move that unit to another state."

Dohrmann said in 2015 and 2016, the Guard left a number of communities where the Guard had armories for a number of years.

"A lot of those moves were due to a loss of force structure," Dohrmann said. "And there just wasn't a lot of new force structure to put into those communities."

Dohrmann said the Guard has a number of benefits to offer. He said he’s encouraging Guard members to tell the story of the National Guard wherever and whenever they can.

"When you see what we do, and the opportunities we provide for young people, you would think there would be a lot of interest out there," Dohrmann said. "But try as we might, it's difficult to touch everyone here in the state."