Sgt. Maj. Jason Magnuson

A Hillsboro High School alumnus who serves as the senior enlisted leader for the North Dakota Army National Guard will be the featured speaker at Monday’s Memorial Day program in Hillsboro.

Sgt. Maj. Jason Magnuson, a 1988 HHS graduate, will address veterans and community members starting at 10:30 a.m. Monday inside the Hillsboro Events Center.

Magnuson, who was named senior enlisted leader by Maj. Gen. Al Dohrmann in 2022, serves as the principal policy adviser for all joint enlisted matters for the North Dakota Army National Guard.

He also enforces policies and standards of performance, training, appearance and conduct of enlisted soldiers and airmen in the Guard.

Magnuson enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps in 1989 and was deployed twice overseas to the Middle East in support of operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm from 1990 to 1991.

He joined the North Dakota Army National Guard in 1994 and later deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom from 2003 to 2004 with the 142nd Engineer Battalion.

Magnuson has served in several key leadership positions, including platoon sergeant, first sergeant and command sergeant major at the battalion and brigade level. 

His current assignment is command sergeant major for the 141st Maneuver Enhancement Brigade in Fargo.

In addition to Magnuson’s speech during Monday’s Memorial Day program, Rich Gehrke, commander of the Hillsboro VFW, will recognize soldiers from the area previously identified as prisoners of war or missing in action during their service to the country.

Duane Haugerud will recognize veterans listed as lost at sea while Trevor Kittelson will sing the national anthem and provide special music during the Memorial Day program.

Special recognition will be given to attendees who have served in the Armed Forces and those who lost loved ones during wartime conflicts.

Lynn Spiering American Legion Post #4 Commander Bob Hebl and Monsignor Dennis Skonseng of St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church in Hillsboro will lead cemetery services at Riverside Cemetery following the conclusion of the program inside the events center.

Lunch will be served after the cemetery service at the Vets Club at 121 W. Caledonia Ave. in Hillsboro.

Farther west, the American Legion posts in Mayville and Portland will hold their second annual joint Memorial Day program at 10:30 a.m. Monday at the Mayville city armory at 332 Center Ave. S.

Members from Leon N. Moshier Post #8 in Mayville and Anderson-Hefta Post #93 in Portland will start the program with the advance of colors.

Jerry Engelman, a retired U.S. Air Force brigadier general and the former assistant adjutant general for the North Dakota Air National Guard, will be the featured speaker for Monday’s program.

Engelman served as a member of the North Dakota Air National Guard from 1964 through 2007 prior to his retirement.