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Hudson native takes command of Guard Unit

Hudson native Cpt. Jared Bollom has been installed a commander of a North Dakota Army National Guard company.

A Hudson native has moved up in the ranks of citizen soldier to company commander.

Cpt. Jared Bollom, HHS 1996, was installed as commander of an Army National Guard company in North Dakota Oct. 21.

"I recently took command of Headquarters and Headquarters Company of the 141st Maneuver Enhancement Brigade out of Fargo, N.D.," said Bollom, "It's a big honor to be asked to take company command."

"It did vie for the job; brigade command approached me," Bollom said, "It's humbling."

Bollom graduated from North Dakota State University in Fargo in 2000. He joining the Army Reserves in 1999 in Fargo and transferred to the North Dakota National Guard in 2006, he said in an email conversation last week.

"I enlisted as a junior in college," Bollom said. "Both my grandfathers were in the military, one in the Army and one in the Marine Corps, and I had an uncle who was in the Army. The military was a family history that was instilled in me.

"I started out as an enlisted man and worked through the NCO (non-commissioned officer) ranks," he said.

Bollom reached the enlisted rank of staff sergeant (E-6) then took a direct commission into the officer corps," he said.

During 14-year Army career Bollom has had two overseas assignments, to Iraq and Kosovo, Yugoslavia.

"I deployed to Iraq 2004-2005 with the 379th Engineer Battalion of Missoula, Mont., for 15 months and to Kosovo 2009-2010 with A Company of the 231st Maneuver Task Force of Valley City, N.D. for a year," Bollom said.

The separation of overseas assignments is always an issue.

"Deployments are tough and are very hard on families and friends. You try to communicate the best you can by letters, phone, or over the Internet, but it is not always possible," he said.

"Things don't always work out and people change a lot after going through experiences like that. Spending lots of time in the gym and going on as many missions as possible helps the time go by," said Bollom.

He went through a divorce after returning from deployment in Iraq.

Bollom has high praise for the citizen soldiers of the National Guard and Army reserves.

"Guard and reserve soldiers are more functional," he said. "Regular army troops are trained for one job in the army. Guard and reserve soldiers have civilian jobs and bring other skills to their military assignments."

As a soldier, combat is our Super Bowl," he said. "It's the time you use everything you have been trained for."

He said with the Guard and reserves all their training also applies to in state emergencies when they are called to help.

Besides coming up through the ranks, Bollom, 34, said his age helps him lead soldiers. "I'm a little bit older than the ROTC or West Point grads," he said.

Bollom said he plans to serve at least 20 years in the military before he hangs up his uniform.

Currently, his civilian duties are as foreman on the White Butte Ranch near Almont, N.D., west of Bismarck.

In a telephone conversation from the ranch with the incessant North Dakota wind howling in the background, Bollom said his current job is the most satisfying.

"I have worked as a diesel technician for a couple of trucking companies and the Caterpillar dealer in North Dakota. I also worked for the North Dakota National Guard as a Battalion training Officer and was an insurance salesman," he said.

"Working on the ranch has been the best and most rewarding career I could have ever asked for," Bollom said.

"My degree is in sociology, but I attended technical college for diesel technology before I went to NDSU," he said.

"At NDSU I was involved in agriculture through classes and Farm House fraternity which I am a member of, but it took 11 years to end up on working on a ranch for a family friend."

Bollom and his wife, Brooke, are raising four children, Jacqueline 10, Peighton, 8, Isaiah, 6, and one-year-old Matthew. Brooke is from New Salem, N.D., where the family now lives. She is also a veteran of 10 years of military duty. The couple was married in 2009 at Ft. Snelling.

He is the son of Deb and Zane Bollom of Hudson.