DEVILS LAKE A veteran of Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom recently assumed command of the North Dakota National Guard's Headquarters of the 164th Regional Training Institute.
Lt. Col. Leo Ryan, of Jamestown, took the leadership role during a Nov. 2 ceremony at Camp Grafton Training Center, Devils Lake, where the unit is based.
Ryan enlisted in the Guard in 1985 as a bridge crewmember with the Bismarck-based 957th Engineer Company (Multi-Role Bridge). He deployed to Southwest Asia in 1990 as a squad leader with the Grand Forks-based 132nd Quartermaster Company in support of Operations Desert Shield/Storm. Two years later, he was commissioned as a second lieutenant after completing Officer Candidate School. In 2007, he deployed to Iraq with the Minot-based 164th Engineer Battalion, serving as the executive officer.
He earned a bachelor's degree in 1994 from the University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, and a juris doctor degree in 1997. He's an owner and practicing attorney for Dalstad and Ryan, P.C., in Jamestown and Carrington.
Col. Lee Nordin, of Grand Forks, previously commanded the unit since October 2011. He recently deployed to Kuwait, where he's serving as the assistant chief of staff for 3rd Army National Guard affairs. Nordin is originally from Minot.
The 164th Regional Training Institute provides U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command courses for soldiers around the nation in engineer-focused military occupational specialties, as well as training in food service and water treatment military occupational specialties. The schoolhouse also hosts Officer Candidate School for North Dakota Guardsmen.