Dakota Download Governor Burgum's Weekly Update - April 7, 2024

Burgum thanks retiring Dohrmann for leadership of ND National Guard, Department of Emergency Services

Gov. Doug Burgum on Friday announced the retirement of Maj. Gen. Alan Dohrmann, adjutant general of the North Dakota National Guard and director of the North Dakota Department of Emergency Services, effective Sept. 30, thanking him for his steadfast leadership and more than 40 years of military service.

Dohrmann was appointed adjutant general and Emergency Services director starting in December 2015 by then-Gov. Jack Dalrymple and reappointed by Burgum. He had previously served as deputy adjutant general for eight years and as commanding general of the Multinational Task Force East that supported NATO’s mission in Kosovo in 2009-2010. As commanding general, Dohrmann commanded more than 2,200 soldiers from seven nations and served as the senior U.S. officer responsible for security, force protection and life support for all the assigned forces.

As adjutant general, Dohrmann leads the North Dakota National Guard, which currently has approximately 4,200 service members and facilities in 13 communities.

“Maj. Gen. Dohrmann has dedicated more than four decades of his life to protecting our state and nation and defending our freedom, and we owe him a tremendous debt of gratitude,” Burgum said. “Whether it’s Army National Guard soldiers serving at the southern border and protecting our nuclear weapons, our Air National Guard’s Happy Hooligans patrolling the skies at home and overseas, or Guard members safeguarding communities during major floods, Maj. Gen. Dohrmann’s leadership has ensured our National Guard members are well-trained and well-prepared to succeed in their missions. This high-performing organization is distinguished by the hardworking, accountable, strong leadership teams he has developed and leaves behind. His commitment to those under his command is unparalleled, and he has been at the forefront of our efforts to make North Dakota the most military-friendly state in the nation. We are deeply grateful for his incredible service and wish him all the best in retirement.”

Burgum noted that under Dohrmann’s leadership, the North Dakota National Guard and Department of Emergency Services excelled during a number of historic events, including the peaceful resolution of the Dakota Access Pipeline protest in 2017; their lifesaving work during the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which was the Guard’s largest and longest state mobilization in state history; and providing assistance during multiple flooding and wildfire events, including breaking up a major ice jam on the Missouri River threatening homes in Bismarck-Mandan earlier this year and saving the town of Medora from a wildfire in 2021.

Dohrmann also oversaw numerous deployments of Guard units overseas and to the nation’s southwest border and National Capital Region; expansion of training facilities and capabilities at Camp Grafton; and Emergency Services’ development of a Watch Center as a 24-7 hub for public safety information, among other accomplishments.

“It has been a distinct honor to serve as North Dakota’s Adjutant General,” Dohrmann said. “I appreciate the trust Gov. Burgum has placed in me and thank him for his leadership as Commander-in-Chief of the North Dakota National Guard. I am incredibly proud of what our Soldiers, Airmen and civilian employees of the Department of Emergency Services and North Dakota National Guard have achieved, and I will miss working with this incredible team. I also will miss working with Team North Dakota and thank them all for their support of the Guard and Emergency Services.”

Dohrmann’s military service began in 1983, when he accepted his commission as a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Army. He left active duty in 1990, joined the North Dakota National Guard and transferred to the Engineer branch. His assignments included operations officer for the 164th RTI; operations officer and executive officer for the 141st Engineer Battalion; staff judge advocate for the North Dakota National Guard; and chief of staff for the North Dakota Joint Force Headquarters.

Dohrmann submitted his formal resignation letter last week. North Dakota’s next adjutant general and Emergency Services director will be announced before Sept 30.

Governor, agency leaders announce North Dakota effort to become the most financially literate state

Gov. Burgum was joined by leaders of 11 state agencies on Tuesday to kick off Financial Literacy Month in North Dakota and share a new resource available to all North Dakotans, SmartwithMyMoney.nd.gov, to improve financial literacy.

This free website allows residents to create an account, take a research-based financial personality assessment, and learn how their personality affects their money decisions. That information, when paired with their level of financial knowledge on key topics, identifies personalized learning resources on the site to improve financial literacy. Completing challenges on the site enters people in a pool for a chance to win cash prizes.

The goal of the “Smart with My Money” effort is to make North Dakota the most financially literate state by 2027.

“When residents are financially healthy, there are far-reaching positive impacts on their personal well-being and the state’s economy,” Burgum said. “Reducing financial stress improves mental health. Making good financial decisions decreases the number of people with excessive credit card debt. More people are able to purchase homes, start or expand a business, and have increased expendable income. We’re grateful for the agencies that have committed to making North Dakota the most financially literate state and improving the quality of life for our citizens.”

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) completes a study of financial literacy every three years. The last set of data released in 2022 found that only 37% of adults surveyed in North Dakota in 2021 felt confident with their knowledge of finances, compared with 41% in Minnesota and South Dakota and 38% in Montana.

In his State of the State Address in January, Burgum announced the goal of making North Dakota the most financially literate state in America by 2027 through an effort led by State Superintendent Kirsten Baesler and State Treasurer Thomas Beadle in coordination with the Bank of North Dakota (BND), Governor’s Office, Securities Department, Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) and other state agencies.

“In North Dakota, we recognize that empowering people with knowledge is key to their prosperity. Financial literacy isn't just about numbers; it's about helping individuals make informed decisions that impact their lives and our state's economy,” Baesler said. “North Dakota leaders are working together to provide a path forward where every North Dakotan is equipped with the tools and knowledge to navigate their financial journey with confidence.”
“Every single North Dakotan makes decisions that impact their personal finances daily, but not everyone feels equipped to make those choices wisely,” Beadle said. “Whether you are saving for future education, retirement planning, or trying to learn about responsibly using credit cards and managing interest rates, our goal is to ensure that there is something for everyone to help them improve their financial well-being.”

Bank of North Dakota funded the project and will work with state agencies and the business and banking communities to deliver the program through multiple channels. There are 12 state agencies already committed to the effort, with more expected in join in the coming weeks.

“Good financial habits open doors and increase opportunities for our residents,” said BND Senior Vice President for Business Development Kelvin Hullet. “Financial institutions across the state are focusing on financial literacy, and Bank of North Dakota is pleased to play a key role in this effort.”

North Dakota has set the following benchmarks to meet by 2027 as measured by the FINRA study:

  • 66% of residents will receive the higher overall financial knowledge score compared to 37% in the last set of released data.
  • 66% of residents will have emergency funds that last three months compared to 52% in 2021.
  • The percentage of residents who experience financial anxiety will decrease from 56% to 33%.
  • 66% of residents will have a retirement plan through their employer compared to 57% today.
  • Residents who find it difficult to cover expenses and pay all their bills in a typical month will decrease to 33% from 45%.

In addition to Burgum, Baesler, Beadle and Hullet, those attending the event and supporting the effort included Insurance Commissioner Jon Godfread, Securities Commissioner Karen Tyler, DFI Commissioner Lise Kruse, Job Service North Dakota Executive Director Pat Bertagnolli, State Health Officer Dr. Nizar Wehbi, North Dakota University System Chancellor Mark Hagerott, Department of Career and Technical Education Director Wayde Sick, Retirement & Investment Office Executive Director Janilyn Murtha, Public Employees Retirement System Director Rebecca Fricke, and State Library Literacy Specialist Lexi Whitehorn.

Miller highlights efforts to make ND more military friendly at 'Month of the Military Child' event

Lt. Gov. Tammy Miller highlighted recent progress made toward the goal of making North Dakota the most military-friendly state in the nation during an event Wednesday with students at Memorial Middle School on Minot Air Force Base to celebrate April being proclaimed as “Month of the Military Child” in North Dakota.

North Dakota has approximately 7,300 active duty service members with 4,300 children at the Air Force bases in Minot and Grand Forks, along with 5,500 service members in the North Dakota National Guard and Reserve with 4,200 children, for a total of more than 8,500 military children in the state, Miller noted before reading the Month of the Military Child proclamation signed by Gov. Doug Burgum.

“We know that whether they’re serving overseas or here on American soil, when our military members serve, so do their families – and so do their children. That’s why it’s so important for all of us to share our thanks and support them at all times,” said Miller, who chairs the Task Force for Military Issues in North Dakota (TF MIND). “While April is the Month of the Military Child, our administration will keep working all year long to ensure that North Dakota is the most military-friendly state in the nation and that the well-being of our military children and families is always top of mind.”

Also attending the event to honor children of military service members were Maj. Gen. Al Dohrmann, adjutant general of the North Dakota National Guard; State Superintendent Kirsten Baesler; Col. Daniel Hoadley, commander of the 5th Bomb Wing at Minot Air Force Base; Col. George Chapman, deputy commander of the 91st Missile Wing at Minot Air Force Base; and Minot Public Schools Superintendent Mark Vollmer.

“During the Month of the Military Child, let us honor the steadfast courage and unwavering resilience of our youngest heroes, whose sacrifices enrich the very fabric of our community and nation,” Dohrmann said.

North Dakota has been ranked as of the best states for veterans and a Top 10 state for military retirees. The state’s efforts to make North Dakota the most military-friendly state in the nation were bolstered by several pieces of legislation signed by Burgum during the 2023 legislative session, including bills that:

  • Exempt military pay from state income tax for active duty, National Guard and Reserve members, building on legislation signed in 2019 that exempted military retirement pay.
  • Allow North Dakota National Guard members who attend college out-of-state to qualify for State Tuition Assistance.
  • Allow child care providers licensed by the U.S. Department of Defense to operate in North Dakota with their DOD license and without redundantly being licensed with the state.
  • Allow military-connected children the option of starting their education virtually at a North Dakota school prior to arriving in the state, or to complete the semester with a North Dakota school after their parent’s reassignment, to help relieve stress and support educational success.

Burgum highlights progress, investment in Vision Zero at annual conference

Gov. Burgum joined the annual Vision Zero Partner Conference this week to highlight the impactful work being done, including investments in safer roads and the passage of a primary seat belt law last year.

"Thanks to the incredible efforts of our state agencies and partners, we've seen measurable progress in our Vision Zero goal to reduce fatalities and serious injuries on ND roads," Burgum said. "Grateful for our North Dakota Department of Transportation, North Dakota HighwayPatrol, North Dakota Department of Health and Human Services and all others making a difference."

The goal of Vision Zero is to reduce motor vehicle fatalities and serious injuries on North Dakota roads to zero. In 2022, North Dakota recorded 98 fatalities - the lowest number in 20 years - but in 2023 the number increased to 106. Additionally, due to the impactful work of Vision Zero, the number of alcohol-involved motor vehicle crashes has decreased over the last five years.

Tickets now available for the annual Governor's Military Ball

At home and abroad, our military members are dedicated to protecting citizens from threats to national security and in times of natural and humanitarian disaster. For all that they risk to protect the freedoms and safety Americans enjoy, we are incredibly grateful.

The Governor's Military Ball celebrates and shares military traditions, recognizes exceptional service members with awards and honors service members and their guests with a memorable experience.

This event is open to the public. Tickets are available at the link below.

Currently serving military members and veterans enjoy special discounted rates.

Registration is open for the Governor's Summit on Innovative Education on June 17 at Bismarck State College

The eighth annual Governor's Summit on Innovative Education inspires innovation and reimagines learning in schools across North Dakota.

The summit's theme is "Navigating the Future: AI's Role in Education." Artificial intelligence is revolutionizing the world of learning, work and living. Harnessing the potential of AI while recognizing the critical importance of human interaction can provide endless opportunities for personalizing the educational experience.

Join the conversation on June 17 at Bismarck State College and learn how to maximize AI, hear from leading industry experts and identify strategies that empower educators to use this as a tool to transform the classroom.