Two Chief Petty officers from USS NORTH DAKOTA visited western North Dakota this past week. Information Systems Technician Chief Petty Officer Jason “Jay” Roberts and Machinists Mate Chief Petty Officer Jonathan Noll were the guest of our USS North Dakota Committee. ITSC(SS) Roberts is from Pennsylvania. He enlisted in 1996. NORTH DAKOTA is his third submarine. His job is to make sure all of the computers on board flawlessly operate together. He is married and has two sons.
MMC(SS) Noll is from Indiana. He enlisted in 2001. His job is to take the steam generated by the nuclear reactor and run it through turbines to move the boat. NORTH DAKOTA is his second submarine. He is married and has one son.
They arrived in Bismarck on Wednesday, June 27th, just in time to make an appearance at the Bismarck Rotary where I was finishing a Powerpoint on our boat. That afternoon they were interviewed for most of an hour on “What’s On Your Mind” on KFYR 550 AM Radio, with Steve Bakken and Dolly Dakota. Here are photos of us with Steve and Dolly.
On Thursday they were in Dickinson doing two morning and one afternoon radio interviews as well as an excellent PowerPoint presentation to a luncheon of about 50 people. An interview with a reporter for The Dickinson Free Press resulted in good coverage in the paper on Friday morning. Here is a link to the story and photo:
On Friday they went to Medora, North Dakota’s premier tourist destination, in the heart of the badlands. On a drive through Theodore Roosevelt National Park (South Unit) they saw lots of wild horses and herds of buffalo.
They enjoyed the Pitchfork Fondue before the Medora Musical and enjoyed the scenery.
That evening they attended to Medora Musical where they were introduced to the audience by me just before the show started.
On Saturday they rode in my convertible as the 1st unit in the Dickinson Roughrider Days parade right after the National Guard Color Guard. Unfortunately, my digital camera had slipped into movie mode so instead of a great photo I only could save one still photo.
On Saturday evening our USS North Dakota Committee held a reception/picnic for the Chiefs at the home of North Dakota’s Adjutant General at the quarters of Major General Dave Sprynczynatyk and his wife Connie, who graciously hosted about 35 of us. The catered pizza baked on site in a wood fired oven was excellent as was the salad and ice cream capping off a very successful visit by these fine young men.
The Chiefs and I are both grateful to Paul Bonicelli, my fellow ESGR (Employer Support for the Guard and Reserve) volunteer, who made all of the excellent arrangements for their visit to western North Dakota. They did a great job of getting the word out about NORTH DAKOTA!