Brig. Gen. Jackie Huber has been named the first female deputy adjutant general for the North Dakota National Guard, and Sgt. Maj. Derek Heck will become the next state command sergeant major.
Huber succeeds Brig. Gen. Robert Becklund who is retiring on Oct. 1.
“This is a great day for the North Dakota National Guard,” said Gov. Doug Burgum. “General Huber is a highly qualified military officer with the leadership and military expertise that make her the right person to serve in this position and help lead the Soldiers, Airmen and civilians of the North Dakota National Guard.”
Huber, who is currently assigned as the assistant adjutant general-Army, was promoted to brigadier general in April. As the deputy, she would serve as acting adjutant general in his absence.
“Brig Gen Huber is a proven leader; she is the right person at the right time to serve in this important position,” said Maj. Gen. Al Dohrmann, North Dakota adjutant general. “She has deployed twice, served at every level of command and been a key member of our headquarters’ staff. Her dedication to our organization and passion for serving our Soldiers, Airmen, civilian employees, families and survivors, make her a great addition to our leadership team.”
A native of Bismarck, Huber has served in the North Dakota Army National Guard since enlisting in 1989. Just a year later, in 1990, she deployed in support of Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm with the Mandan-based 191st Military Police Company. Huber earned her commission as a second lieutenant through the University of North Dakota’s Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) program in 1992.
In 2003, she mobilized again for overseas in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, serving as the personnel officer for the 142nd Engineer Battalion. During Huber’s traditional Army National Guard career, she has held many key positions including command of the 129th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment, the 164th Engineer Battalion and the 164th Regional Training Institute.
Most recently, Huber served as the operations officer for the Joint Force Headquarters’ Domestic Operations Section. Besides her commands and other traditional military positions, Huber has worked as a full-time employee for the North Dakota National Guard since 1998. She held positions as a plans and operations specialist, director of the State Family Program and manager of the North Dakota.
As state command sergeant major, Heck will be the principle senior advisor to the Adjutant General and Army commander on enlisted affairs of the North Dakota Army National Guard. He will enforce policies and standards of performance, training, appearance and conduct of enlisted Soldiers.
He also will advise senior leadership on a variety of topics, including recruiting, retention, training, resiliency, family support, community events, education and employment for the state’s Army Guardsmen.
“Command Sgt. Maj. Heck is a soldier’s soldier and is fully prepared for this important position,” said Dohrmann. “His proven leadership and dedication to duty make him the right choice to train and develop our Army National Guard enlisted force. He is a great addition to our Army National Guard Command team.”
Heck, of Hillsboro, enlisted in the North Dakota Army National Guard in 1991 and was assigned as a helicopter mechanic in Detachment 3, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Battalion, 137th Aviation Regiment. In 1997, he began working as a full-time Guardsmen as an OH-58 Kiowa helicopter crew chief. From 1997-2013, Heck served in numerous aviation positions within the North Dakota Army National Guard.
He served as the aviation non-commissioned officer in charge in 2002 when his unit deployed in support of Operational Noble Eagle. In 2009-2010, he deployed as a platoon sergeant with Company C, 2nd Battalion, 285th Assault Regiment, was called to duty for Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation New Dawn. From 2013-2018, Heck worked as an operations sergeant and later chief operations sergeant for the 141st Maneuver Enhancement Brigade.
Heck also served as the 164th Engineer battalion command sergeant major and is currently assigned as the 68th Troop Command’s command sergeant major.