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Military Science


Bison Battalion Hall of Valor

Serving the Nation and Exemplifying Leasership Since 1893

COL Edward L. Arntson

          Colonel Edward L. Arntson was born in Fargo, ND.  He graduated from North Dakota State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Education.  He also holds a Master’s Degree in Management form Troy State University.  He began his military career in 1977 as a ROTC Distinguished Military Graduate from North Dakota State University.  He served on active duty until 1989 in various assignments as a Platoon Leader with the 29th Transportation Battalion (Ft. Campbell, KY) & 8th Combat Aviation Battalion (Mainz, FRG) as well as staff assignments as S-2/S-3 & S-4 in the 302nd Transportation Battalion (Aircraft Maintenance) and 3rd Battalion/158th Aviation Regiment as the Naval Air Station, Glenview, IL.  Upon leaving active duty, COL Arntson has had assignments as Commander, A Co., 2nd Battalion/502nd Aviation Regiment within the USAR.  His service also includes recent assignments as Assistant G-3 (Operations), 85th Division, Aviation Branch Chief, 1st Simulation Group, 1st Brigade of the 85th Division, as well as his most current assignment as Commander, Battle Projection Group, 1st Brigade 85th Division.

                Colonel Arntson has completed the Transportation Basic and Advanced Courses, Aviation Logistics Management and Maintenance Test Pilot Courses, Command and General Staff College, and has recently completed Army War College.  His decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal with 1 Oak Leaf Cluster, the Army Commendation Medal with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters, the Army Achievement Medal, The Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Armed Force Reserve Medal, Overseas Service Ribbon, Army Reserve Overseas Deployment Training Ribbon with 5 device, Army Service Ribbon, Senior Army Aviator Badge, and the Air Assault Badge.

                In his civilian life, Colonel Arntson is a Facilities Manager with Hewitt Associate LLC, a human resource consulting and benefits administration firm in Lincolnshire, IL.  He and his wife of 25 years, Donna, live in Buffalo Grove, IL and have four children, Ed (22), Allison (20), Aaron (18), & Martha Jo (11).

COL Arntson was inducted into the Hall of Valor in 2003.

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RADM Fred G. Paavola

                Rear Admiral (Ret.) Fred G. Paavola, RPh, DSc, FAPhA, was appointed as the chief Pharmacist Officer and Assistant Surgeon General for the U.S. Public Health Services (PHS) on June 1, 1996.  He also held collateral duties as Chief of Peer Review during this time.  He retired with over 30 years of service.  In these positions, he led over 1,100 pharmacists in 12 federal operating divisions and programs including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Federal Bureau of Prisons, Food and Drug Administration, Health and Resources and Services Administration, Indian Health Service, National Institutes for Health, and the United States Coast Guard.  In addition, he managed the competitive grant review process for programs that provided over $300 million in annual grant distributions.

                Among his initiatives was the development of the first formal affiliation agreements between the PHS and colleges of pharmacy through which students have gained options not previously possible.  RADM Paavola provided the leadership for development of the Federal Credentialing Program for pharmacists in all federal services.  He led efforts, which resulted in legislation to address pay disparities between the private and federal sector and gaining voting status and dues reduction for federal pharmacists in the professional associations representing pharmacists.

                RADM Paavola earned his Pharmacy degree in 1970 from North Dakota State University.  He was also a Distinguished Military Graduate from the Army ROTC program.  He is the recipient of numerous awards including the PHS Meritorious Service Medal, 3 Surgeon General’s Exemplary Service Awards, 4 PHS Commendation Medals, Army Commendation Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, NDSU Honorary Doctorate, NDSU Alumni Achievement Award, Phi Lambda Sigma National Leadership Award, Linwood F. Tice Award, Drug Topics Pharmacist of the Year, Julius Stermer Lecturer Award, Fellow of the American Pharmaceutical Association, Association of Schools of Allied Health Professionals Distinguished Service Award, and the Andrew Craigie Award.

RADM Paavola was inducted into the Hall of Valor in 2003.

LTG Claud V. Christianson

                Lieutenant General Claude V. (Chris) Christianson, a Distinguished Military Graduate of the NDSU Army ROTC program, was commissioned as an Ordnance Officer in 1971.  From 1971-1998, General Christianson served in positions of increasing authority including Weapons Platoon Leader, Executive Officer, Shop Officer, S2/3 (Operations Officer), Chief of Shop Operations with the United Stated Army Support Group in Samae San, Thailand, Customs Officer in Bangkok, Maintenance Company Commander, Division Support Commander Operations Officer, Assistant Professor of Military Science, Army Guard Maintenance Programs and Policy Officer, Area Support Group Director of Logistics, Main Support Battalion Commander, Division Assistant Chief of Staff G4, Chief, Office of Defense Cooperation at the American Embassy in Rome, Italy, Commander of two Division Support Commands, and Corps G4.

                 In 1998, after his selection to Brigadier General, General Christianson served as the Deputy Commanding General for the 21st Theater Support Command.  He then served as the Assistant Chief of Staff, Deputy Commanding General (Support), Eighth United States Army, Republic of Korea.  From August 2002 to July 2003 he served as Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff, G-4, Headquarters Department of the Army with duty as Chief, Logistics, Coalition forces Land Component Command, in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.  In 2003, General Christianson assumed the duties of Deputy Chief of Staff, G4, Department of the Army.

                General Christianson has a Bachelor’s Degree in Industrial Engineering from North Dakota State University.  His military education includes the Infantry Officer’s Basic Course, Ordnance Officer’s Advanced Course, the Armed Forces Staff College, and the Army War College.  His awards include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit with Oak Leaf Cluster, Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal with Silber Oak Lear, Ranger Tab, Expert infantryman’s Badge, Parachutist Badge, Air Assault Badge, and Army General Staff Identification Badge.

LTG Christianson was inducted into the Hall of Valor in 2004.

BG David B. Anderson

                Brigadier General David B. Anderson graduated from North Dakota State University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Science and Math and commissioned as an Engineer Officer in 1980. He has served as a Platoon Leader, Executive Officer, S-1, S-2, and Commander within units of the 141st Engineer Combat Battalion, the Operations Officer for the 231st Engineer Battalion and the 164th Engineer Battalion, Logistics Officer for the 164the Engineer Group, Executive Officer for the 164th Engineer Battalion, Environmental Chief, HQ North Dakota Army National Guard, Director of Facilities and Engineering, and Commander for the 142nd Engineer Combat Battalion. The highlight of his Battalion Command was deploying the 142nd ECB to Iraq from April 2003 to April 2004. Upon his return he served as Director, Joint Force Headquarters, Commander, 68th Troop Command, Vice Chief of Staff-Operations, Joint Force Headquarters, and Chief of Staff, Army Component. He retired as the Army Commander of the North Dakota Army National Guard.

                His Military Awards and Decorations include: the Federal Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star Medal, the meritorious Service Medal with 2 Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters, the Army Commendation Medal with 2 Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters, the Army Achievement Medal, the Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal with 1 Silver Oak Leaf Cluster and 3 Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters, the National Defense Service Medal with 1 Bronze Service Star, the Iraq Campaign Medal with 2 Bronze Service Stars, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Humanitarian Service Medal, the Armed Forces Reserve Medal with Gold Hourglass Device and M Device, the Army Service Ribbon, the Army Reserve Components Overseas Training Ribbon with Numeral 2.

                North Dakota Army National Guard Awards include: The North Dakota Distinguished Service Medal, the North Dakota Legion of Merit Medal, the North Dakota State Meritorious Service Medal, the North Dakota National Guard State Commendation Ribbon, the North Dakota National Guard State Emergency Service Ribbon, and the North Dakota National Guard Service Ribbon with Gold Hourglass Device.

BG Anderson was inducted into the Hall of Valor in 2011.

MG Keith D. Bjerke

     Major General Keith D. Bjerke was appointed as the adjutant general of North Dakota on July 31, 1993.  He attended high school at Northwest School of Agriculture, Crookston, Minn., graduating in 1957.  He then attended North Dakota State University, Fargo, N.D., obtaining a Bachelor of Science degree in animal husbandry in 1961.  His military education includes Squadron Officer School, 1976; Air Command and Staff College, 1982; and National Security Management, 1989.

     General Bjerke served in the U.S. Marine Corps from June 1961 to June 1964 as an infantry officer.  He was assigned to the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve from June 1964 until July 1969, when he joined the North Dakota Air National Guard.  He served in various troop leading assignments and he was then assigned to the position of assistant adjutant general, and served in that position until July 1993.  He was appointed the adjutant general of North Dakota on July 31, 1993.

     His military awards and decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal, Air Force Achievement Medal, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with three bronze oak leaf clusters, Air Force Organizational Excellence Award, National Defense Service Medal with one bronze star, Air Force Longevity Service Award Ribbon with one silver and one bronze oak leaf cluster, Armed Forces Reserve Medal with two oak leaf clusters, Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon, Air Force Training Ribbon, North Dakota Service Ribbon with two devices, and the North Dakota National Guard Basic Training Ribbon.

     He joined the NDSU faculty January 1, 2001.  He was responsible for University Relations, Legislative Affairs and Community Outreach.  He retired January 2011.

MG Bjerke was inducted into the Hall of Valor in 2011.

COL Orville E. Bloch

     1st Lt. Bloch undertook the task of wiping out 5 enemy machinegun nests that had held up the advance of Allied Forces.  Gathering 3 volunteers from his platoon, the patrol snaked their way to a big rock, behind which a group of 3 buildings and 5 machinegun nests were located.  He attacked the first machinegun nest alone charging into furious automatic fire, kicking over the machinegun, and capturing the machinegun crew of 5.

     Pulling the pin from a grenade, he held it ready in his hand and dashed into the face of withering automatic fire toward this second enemy machinegun nest located at the corner of an adjacent building 15 yards distant.  When within 20 feet of the machinegun he hurled the grenade, wounding the machine gunner, the other 2 members of the crew fleeing into a door of the house.  Calling one of his volunteer group to accompany him, they advanced to the opposite end of the house, there contacting a machinegun crew of 5 running toward this house.   1st Lt Bloch and his men opened fire on the enemy crew, forcing them to abandon this machinegun and ammunition and flee into the same house.

     Without a moment's hesitation, 1st Lt. Bloch, unassisted, rushed through the door into a hail of small-arms fire, firing his carbine from the hip, and captured the 7 occupants, wounding 3 of them.  The crew of 6 spotted 1st Lt. Bloch the instant he saw them. Without a moment's hesitation he dashed toward them.  1st Lt. Bloch following them through the door, firing his carbine from the hip, wounding 2 of the enemy and capturing 6.  Altogether 1st Lt. Bloch had single-handedly captured 19 prisoners, wounding 6 of them and eliminating a total of 5 enemy machinegun nests.

COL Bloch was inducted into the Hall of Valor in 2011.

1LT Loren D. Hagen

     In the early morning 7 August 1971, 1LT Hagen’s team came under a fierce assault by a superior-sized enemy force.  1LT Hagen immediately successfully led his team in repelling the first enemy onslaught.  1st Lt. Hagen repeatedly exposed himself to- the enemy fire while directed at him as he constantly moved about the team's perimeter, directing fire, rallying the members, and resupplying the team with ammunition in an attempt to repel the advancing enemy force. 

     After observing an enemy rocket make a direct hit on and destroy 1 of the team's bunkers, 1st Lt. Hagen moved toward the wrecked bunker in search for team members despite the fact that the enemy force now controlled the bunker area.  Undaunted by the enemy rockets and grenades impacting all around him, 1st Lt. Hagen desperately advanced upon the destroyed bunker until he was fatally wounded by enemy small arms and automatic weapons fire.

     With complete disregard for his personal safety, 1st Lt. Hagen's courageous gallantry, extraordinary heroism, and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty, at the cost of his own life, were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon him and the U.S. Army.

1LT Hagen was inducted into the Hall of Valor in 2011.

1LT Beryl Newman

     While preparing to attack the strongly held German Anzio-Nettuno defense line near Cisterna, Italy on 26 May 1944, 1st Lt. Newman was fired upon by 2 enemy machineguns located on the crest of a hill about 100 yards to his front.  1st Lt. Newman called back to his platoon and ordered 1 squad to advance to him and the other to flank the enemy to the right.  From this range, his fire was not effective in covering the advance of his squads, and 1 squad was pinned down by the enemy fire. 

     Seeing that his squad was unable to advance, 1st Lt. Newman, in full view of the enemy gunners and in the face of their continuous fire, advanced alone on the enemy nests. He returned their fire with his tommygun and succeeded in wounding a German in each of the nests.  The remaining 2 Germans fled from the position into a nearby house. Three more enemy soldiers then came out of the house and ran toward a third machinegun.

     1st Lt. Newman, still relentlessly advancing toward them, killed 1 before he reached the gun, the second before he could fire it. The third fled for his life back into the house.  Covering his assault by firing into the doors and windows of the house, 1st Lt. Newman, boldly attacking by himself, called for the occupants to surrender to him. Gaining the house, he kicked in the door and went inside.  Although armed with rifles and machine pistols, the 11 Germans there, apparently intimidated, surrendered to the lieutenant without further resistance, 1st Lt. Newman, single-handed, had silenced 3 enemy machineguns, wounded 2 Germans, killed 2 more, and took 11 prisoners.

1LT Newman was inducted into the Hall of Valor in 2011.

1LT Robert G. Schmitt

     First Lieutenant Schmitt distinguished himself by extraordinary heroism in action against enemy aggressor forces in the vicinity of the Changjin (Chosin) Reservoir in North Korea, on 1 December 1950.  Lieutenant Schmitt's regiment was assigned to mission of effecting a withdrawal and attempting a juncture with the FIRST Marine Division at Hagaru-ri. Following assembly of a motor Company committed to provide security for the right flank, Lieutenant Schmitt, having sustained a severe leg injury in a previous encounter, was ordered to ride in a vehicle with other wounded. 

     After proceeding several miles, the column was halted by a roadblock, and devastating fire rained down from strongly fortified positions on three surrounding hills.  With mounting casualties and fast dwindling ammunition, the morale of the men was badly shaken.  Although suffering greatly from his wound, he voluntarily left his transportation to rally, organize, and lead an assault against the enemy positions.

     Giving his carbine to an unarmed man and improvising a stick for a crutch, he struggled forward, and the men, rising to the challenge of their valiant leader, followed him in a determined attack against the fanatical fore.  Progressing with extreme difficulty on his makeshift crutch, he continued to lead the attack through withering fire until he was struck by a machine-gun bullet and fell mortally wounded.  Refusing medical treatment, he urged the men to press the assault. Inspired by his incredible display of valor, his resolute soldiers charged with such ferocity that the hostile positions were overrun and the enemy was routed from the hill.

1LT Schmitt was inducted into the Hall of Valor in 2011.

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