Thursday, June 20, 2024 - 10:00 am

BISMARCK, N.D. – Gov. Doug Burgum has selected Brig. Gen. Mitchell R. Johnson to serve as the next adjutant general of the North Dakota National Guard and director of the North Dakota Department of Emergency Services, effective Sept. 15. Johnson will succeed Maj. Gen. Alan Dohrmann, who will retire after nearly nine years as adjutant general and more than 40 years of military service.

Johnson most recently served as commander of the Fargo-based 119th Wing of the North Dakota Air National Guard from March 2021 to January 2024, where he led nearly 1,200 personnel whose missions include flying MQ-9 Reaper aircraft, providing intelligence and targeting, accomplishing expeditionary support functions, and ensuring missile field security at Minot Air Force Base. Johnson previously served as vice commander of the wing, nicknamed the “Happy Hooligans,” from August 2018 to March 2021 and in various other command and flying roles in Fargo, Florida, Oklahoma and Arkansas since 1998. 

“Brig. Gen. Mitch Johnson has demonstrated exceptional leadership during his 12 years of active duty in the Air Force and 15 years in the National Guard, and he will serve our state and its citizens incredibly well as the 22nd adjutant general in North Dakota history,” Burgum said. “Throughout his impressive career with the Happy Hooligans and his experience with the latest military technology, he has witnessed firsthand how the National Guard has evolved from a strategic reserve into an operational force with 24/7 missions around the world, while still fulfilling its important missions here at home. Under Brig. Gen. Johnson’s leadership, our National Guard and Department of Emergency Services will continue to play an important role in national security as we strive to empower people, improve lives and inspire success.” 

Johnson was commissioned in May 1997 through the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) at Michigan Tech University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering. He earned a master’s degree in aerospace engineering from the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs and is a graduate of Squadron Officer School, Air Command and Staff College, and the Air War College. He has commanded at the wing, group and squadron levels and has flown tactical airlift, special operations attack and remotely piloted aircraft worldwide, accruing over 5,000 flight hours – including over 1,000 combat hours. He has served overseas on six deployments. 

As adjutant general, Johnson will lead the North Dakota National Guard, which currently has approximately 4,200 service members and facilities in 13 communities, while also continuing to build and maintain strong relationships with the Air Force bases in Grand Forks and Minot. 

“It’s a tremendous honor to be selected to serve as North Dakota’s adjutant general, and I am grateful to Gov. Burgum for this opportunity and for his leadership as commander-in-chief of the North Dakota National Guard,” Johnson said. “I look forward to serving the citizens of North Dakota and building on Maj. Gen. Dohrmann’s outstanding record of leadership, knowing that our National Guard soldiers and airmen and Department of Emergency Services personnel are highly capable, well-trained and well-prepared for any challenge that comes our way.”

Burgum again expressed his deep gratitude for Dohrmann’s more than four decades of dedicated military service to North Dakota and the nation and wished him all the best in retirement.