BISMARCK, N.D. — For the first time since 2006, the North Dakota National Guard will induct new members into the Marksmanship Hall of Fame during a ceremony at the Raymond J. Bohn Armory Theater on Saturday, April 14 at 10 a.m. The Marksmanship Hall of Fame is reserved for individuals and teams that have excelled in marksmanship through competitions.
Maj. Gen. David Sprynczynatyk, North Dakota adjutant general, as well as the Hall of Fame Advisory Committee will be at the ceremony to induct the new members. The Maj. Gen. Robert E. Schulte NDARNG Marksmanship Hall of Fame was created to recognize the abilities of individuals and teams that have gone above and beyond in marksmanship capabilities.
Those being inducted will be Sgt. 1st Class Gary Varberg, of Cooperstown, is the most acclaimed shooter in the history of the North Dakota National Guard, with 45 international match wins, no Guardsmen has ever matched his achievements. He has competed in more than 100 marksmanship competitions during 30 years of competing.
The entire 2010 National Champion Biathlon Team will also be inducted into the Hall of Fame. The team consists of: Maj. Eric Nordgren, of Pelican Rapids, Minn.; Lt. Blake Hillerson, of Fargo; Master Sgt. Kent Pulst and Spc. Brandon Pulst, both of Penn, N.D.; and coach Sgt. Jordan Becker , of Grand Forks, N.D.
Other members to be inducted include:
Senior Master Sgt. (Ret.) Clayton Brennan, of West Fargo, had a 20 year career as an expert marksman and coach combining marksmanship skill with incredible athleticism and physical fitness. His marksmanship abilities were proven at state, regional and national competitions with championships and first place matches at every level.
Master Sgt. Norman Weber, of Fargo, (Mrs. Pat Weber to receive on his behalf as he is deceased) was a consummate coach and expert armor who will always be remembered for his uncanny ability and skill to build and repair precision marksmanship rifles. From the early 1970s to the mid 1990s, he distinguished himself as an outstanding marksman by participating and winning matches locally, regionally and nationally.
Sgt. 1st Class (Ret.) Lynn Baltrusch, of Fessenden, was a dominate force in the North Dakota National Guard Marksmanship program through the 1980s. His crowning achievement was in 1987 when he place first in the pistol category at NRA Regional Championships.
Sgt. 1st Class (Ret.) Curtis Guenther, of Williston, was western North Dakota’s premier military shooter for 2 decades. He was an all around shooter using the rifle, pistol and machine gun. For 6 straight years, he was a member of the “All Guard” team (top 10% shooters in the National Guard). He was very active with sponsoring and coaching the next generation of shooters in the Dickinson area.
Lt. Col. (Ret.) Don Wingerter, of Bismarck, is the founder of the NDNG Marksmanship Hall of Fame and is being inducted today as the first “Supporter” of marksmanship into the Hall of Fame. For over a decade from 1991 until 2005 LTC Wingerter organized, directed and led the NDNG marksmanship teams (rifle, pistol and biathlon).
Former inductees who have achieved additional recognition will also be honored during the ceremony.
Lt. Jasper Klienjan, of Bismarck, is the first and only member of the North Dakota National Guard Marksmanship Program to make an Olympic Team as a Charter member of the 1960 Shooting team. His 15-year shooting career started the era of dominance in high power service rifle or North Dakota Guardsmen that continues to this day. A winner of the Winston P. Wilson National Guard Championship and recognized as one of the President’s 100 four different times.
Master Sgt. Dan Marquardt, of Bismarck, was the youngest military inductee to the NDNG Marksmanship Hall of Fame 17 years ago. His shooting career has spanned 4 decades. One of three double distinguished shooters ever in the NDNG, he continues to be competitive as witnessed by winning the Hendricks Trophy, being awarded the “President’s One Hundred” for the 10th time, winning the High Reserve 10-Man Team Match, and the Colorado Regional 600 and 1000 yd Service Rifle Team and Individual Champion - all in 2011.
The Marksmanship Hall of Fame honors Maj. Gen. Robert Schulte who was appointed as the NGB Chairmen of the Marksmanship Advisory Council from 1992 to 1994. The Hall of Fame is located on the northeast hallway of the Raymond J. Bohn Armory. It consists of plaques and pictures with descriptions of inductee accomplishments and displays the trophies and medals won in competition.
WHAT: Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony
WHEN: April 14 from 10-11 a.m.
WHERE: Raymond J. Bohn Armory Theater, 4200 E. Divide Ave., Bismarck, N.D.
MEDIA: No pre-coordination is necessary. For assistance, please call Sgt. 1st Class Billie Jo Lorius at 701-426-5205.
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. About 70 percent of all members serving today have joined since that time. Currently, nearly 400 North Dakota Guardsmen are serving overseas while about 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