Sanford hosts groups to discuss ways to make North Dakota more military friendly

Monday, October 15, 2018 - 5:00pm

BISMARCK, N.D. – Lt. Gov. Brent Sanford today hosted members of the North Dakota Commission on Military Promotion and Strategic Sustainment (NDCOMPASS) to discuss ways to make North Dakota a more military-friendly state.

NDCOMPASS is a governor-appointed commission chaired by the lieutenant governor and focused on developing a statewide strategy to retain and promote military presence within North Dakota and identify opportunities for sustainment and growth of relevant missions. The panel promotes policies that enhance military service and explores ways to make North Dakota a more military-friendly state. It serves as a governing body to identify and prioritize military initiatives through various mechanisms, including policy changes and legislative initiatives. Gov. Doug Burgum established NDCOMPASS through an executive order last January.  

Today’s NDCOMPASS meeting at the Capitol was held in conjunction with a meeting of Task Force Military Issues in North Dakota (TF MIND), a group comprised of state agency representatives and civic leaders from across the state. Maj. Gen. Alan Dohrmann, adjutant general of the North Dakota National Guard, brought the groups together to examine military issues and identify initiatives to make North Dakota more welcoming for military members. 

“With two Air Force bases and a strong National Guard presence throughout North Dakota, the military is essential not only to our defense but also to the health and vibrancy of our communities and our state as a whole,” Sanford said. “Bringing together these diverse groups of stakeholders will ensure that North Dakota is as welcoming and attractive as possible to military members and their families who can help address our state’s workforce shortage.”

Some of the initiatives both groups are exploring include exempting military pay and military retirement from state taxation; improving cross-state border licensure portability for professionals; academic credits for military acquired skills; and enhancing access to affordable behavioral health services in North Dakota.