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​Brig. Gen. Robert Fode, outgoing North Dakota National Guard Land Component commander, left, and Col. Leo Ryan, incoming commander. (U.S. Army National Guard photos/Released)

Ceremony to Welcome New Land Component Commander

​BISMARCK, N.D. —A change in leadership within the North Dakota National Guard’s Land Component Command (LCC) will take place this weekend during a change of command ceremony. As the current LCC commander, Brig. Gen. Robert Fode will hand-off the duties of overseeing the state’s nearly 3,000 Army Guardsmen to Col. Leo Ryan at 2 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 16, at the Raymond J. Bohn Armory in Bismarck.

Fode, who will retire in October, will have culminated a four-decade-long military career. A native of Mobridge, South Dakota, he enlisted in the N.D. Army National Guard in 1978 as a motor transport operator. In 1985, he was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the engineer branch after attending Officer Candidate School. He has held myriad key leadership positions throughout his career, including serving as a platoon leader, executive officer and commander within units of the 164th Engineer Battalion. Additionally, he served as the operations officer for the 142nd Engineer Combat Battalion.
From December 2003 – February 2005, Fode commanded the 141st Engineer Combat Battalion during the unit’s deployment to Iraq. He mobilized again for a NATO-led peacekeeping mission in Kosovo in 2009, serving as the deputy commander, Multinational Battle Group East with Kosovo Forces, or KFOR 12. Upon his return, Fode was assigned as the director of the Joint Staff for the N.D. National Guard before assuming duties as the Land Component commander in April 2014.

A traditional Guardsman, Fode is employed by the N.D. Department of Transportation. He has worked for the agency since 1993 and currently is assigned as the director for the Office of Project Development.

Ryan brings more than three decades of experience to his new assignment as land component commander. He enlisted in 1985 as a bridge crewman in the 957th Engineering Company. In 1992, he completed Officer Candidate School and was commissioned as a second lieutenant. He has held a number of leadership positions throughout his military career, to include commanding the 1st Battalion, 188th Air Defense Artillery Regiment; the N.D. Army National Guard’s Officer Candidate School and the 164th Regiment Regional Training Institute.

Ryan twice has served overseas during federal mobilizations. In 1990, he deployed to Southwest Asia in support of Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm as a squad leader in the 132nd Quartermaster Company. He deployed again in 2007 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom as the executive officer for the 164th Engineer Battalion.

In his civilian profession, Ryan is an owner and practicing attorney of Dalsted and Ryan, P.C., which has offices in Jamestown and Carrington, North Dakota.

WHO: Brig. Gen. Robert Fode will relinquish command of the Land Component Command, North Dakota National Guard to Col. Leo Ryan
WHAT: Change of command ceremony
WHEN: 2 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 16, 2018
WHERE: Raymond J. Bohn Armory, 4200 Miriam Ave., Bismarck
MEDIA: The public is welcome. No pre-coordination needed.
Staff Sgt. Eric W. Jensen will be on site to assist.

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The North Dakota National Guard is a trained and highly motivated force of about 4,000 Citizen-Soldiers and Citizen-Airmen. We are always prepared to provide ready units, individuals and equipment in support of our communities, state and nation. Always ready, always there.

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