DEVILS LAKE The commander of the North Dakota National Guard's Camp Grafton Training Center at Devils Lake officially retires on Thursday after 36 years of service.
Col. Dave Rickford and others celebrated his career and subsequent retirement during a ceremony at the camp's Military Service Club on Jan. 4.
Brig. Gen. Dave Anderson, N.D. National Guard land component commander, presided over the ceremony, which was attended by family, friends, former and current coworkers, and members of the Devils Lake Military Affairs Committee. Family in attendance included Rickford's wife Patricia, daughter Heather, son Travis and granddaughter Dylan.
Dave Rickford joined the N.D. Army National Guard in 1976 and started working full time for the Guard in 1985.
Before assuming his duties as the commander at the Camp Grafton Training Center, Rickford served as the director of operations and training, director of manpower and personnel and mobilization readiness officer. He developed mobilization, deployment, redeployment doctrine which is practiced by the state today.
During the retirement ceremony, Rickford was awarded the federal Legion of Merit. He has received many other awards throughout his long career, including the Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal and many other federal and state awards.
Patricia Rickford was also recognized at the ceremony for her support throughout her husband's long career.