BISMARCK, N.D. (KXNET) — “I kinda always wanted to be in the military. It just didn’t click until later in life,” 68th Troop Command Sgt. Chris Duttenhefer said.
The Dickinson native went to school for automotive collision technology and thought about a career in it. He also considered a physical therapy career, but that wasn’t meant to be.
“After September 11th, patriotism, I decided to join the military,” Duttenhefer said.
Those reasons, combined with family history, are why Duttenhefer said it’s an honor to serve. As a supply sergeant, he’s responsible for making sure the guard has the supplies it needs.
“I do their logistics. For drill weekends, we set up meals, lodging, make sure they have any gear, clothing,” Duttenhefer said.
Duttenhefer makes sure the day-to-day supplies are covered as well.
“Every unit’s got a property book and your weapons are on your property book. So, we’re accountable for our weapons, masks, NVG’s, all kinds of equipment. It’s not just pens and pencils,” Duttenhefer noted.
Speaking of books, when Duttenhefer is off duty, he’s reading out of another book: a playbook.
“I was actually working down at Fraine Barracks and Bill Prokopyk, Coach Pro, was like: ‘Hey. Did you ever think about coaching football?’ So, I’m like, sure,” Duttenhefer explained.
At the time, Duttenhefer’s two sons were on the team. While they aren’t on the team now, Duttenhefer said it’s a thrill to watch the boys turn into young men.
“We want to instill the values in them, teach them the game we love. But more so, let’s have fun, whether you win or lose,” Duttenhefer said.
Besides football, Duttenhefer has another outlet for fun and exercise, but this one isn’t as physical as it is mental.
“My kids and I like building Legos and I always buy the big, technical sets. So, it’s kind of an evening project where we’ll pick through parts and build cars together,” Duttenhefer said.
From organizing the small details to making sure the longest supply lists are filled, Sgt. Chris Duttenhefer makes sure he’s able to fulfill the National Guard‘s motto: “Always ready, always there.”