News: Aviation unit welcomes new leader
BISMARCK, N.D. - Alan Grinsteinner assumed duties as the top enlisted soldier for the North Dakota National Guard's 1st Battalion, 112th Aviation Regiment during a "change of responsibility" ceremony on Dec. 3. Grinsteinner replaced Command Sgt. Maj. Robert Schuchard who is currently deployed with the Kosovo Forces 15 Task Force Aviation.
Command Sgt. Maj. Harley Schwind represented the deployed Schuchard at the ceremony.
During the ceremony, Grinsteinner was promoted to the rank of command sergeant major.
Grinsteinner, of Bismarck, with 25 years of military service, has held several positions with the North Dakota National Guard including combat engineer, a member of the 81st Civil Support Team, and most recently, as a member of the 191st Military Police Company for the past seven years.
Grinsteinner currently works as a full-time technician in the North Dakota Army National Guard's Force Integration Readiness Office. He was joined by his father Henry, his wife Kay, and his daughters Randi and Leah. His 5-year-old grandson Rowan presented Grinsteinner with his new rank.
"Schuchard has extensive knowledge of training and is very well versed,"
Grinsteinner told the Aviation soldiers and guests during the ceremony. "I have very big shoes to fill."
Grinsteinner said his main vision for during his tenure is to maintain and promote soldier's health and welfare and the successful accomplishments of the unit's missions.
"Transferring to this unit is very humbling - one of the premier aviation units in the entire Army, not just the National Guard," Grinsteinner added.
"Our soldiers are responsible for a great safety record, with no accidents in 53 years."
Several soldiers were promoted at the conclusion of the change of responsibility ceremony.
Russ Sundby of Horace, N.D., was promoted to captain. Sundby has been a member of the Army National Guard for 10 years and serves as the commander of Company A, 1st Battalion, 112th Aviation Regiment. He works full-time for the North Dakota National Guard's counter drug office in Fargo.
Zach Putz of Bismarck, was promoted to chief warrant officer 3. Putz has been a member of the Army National Guard for 10 years. He serves as a helicopter instructor pilot with Company C, 2nd Battalion, 285th Aviation Regiment.
Adam Waldo, of Devils Lake, N.D., was promoted to chief warrant officer 2. Waldo has been a member of the North Dakota Army National Guard for six years and is assigned to Company C, 2nd Battalion, 285th Aviation Regiment where he serves as a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter pilot.
Shelby Nelson, of Jamestown, N.D., was promoted to sergeant. Nelson has been a member of the North Dakota Army National Guard for four years and is assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 112th Aviation Regiment. She serves in flight operations.
Staff Sgt. Eric Heupel, of Ashley, N.D., retired from the North Dakota Army National Guard on Oct. 25. During his 22 years of military, he has served as a flight medic with the 1st Battalion, 112th Aviation Regiment for six years. Previously, Heupel served as an equipment operator with the 141st Engineer Battalion in Wishek, N.D.
Heupel began his career in 1989 when he enlisted into the North Dakota Army National Guard. He participated in numerous overseas training missions during his career to include Panama, Germany and Ghana. Heupel plans to continue working as a full time paramedic and flight medic in his hometown and surrounding communities.
Since the 2001 terrorist attacks on America, the North Dakota National Guard has mobilized more than 3,800 soldiers and more than 1,800 airmen in support of the Global War on Terrorism. Currently, about 225 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.