North Dakota State University

Barbra Ann Bachmeier

LTC (Ret) U.S.  Army

Becoming an officer opened up career opportunities in the military that has served me well in the civilian world. NDSU ROTC and my officer career gave me leadership and management skills that I feel surpassed any civilian leadership or management training.  The military opened doors for me that I would not have experienced had it not been for Army life.  LTC Bachmeier graduated from NDSU in May 1988, Distinguished Military Graduate, retiring from the Army National Guard in December 2009 with 29 years of service and two deployments. 

  1. Balkans – July 2004-Oct 2005
  2. Iraq – July 2008-August 2009
  Currently LTC Bachmeier is a nurse practitioner and an attorney. Since retirement she has been pursuing a law practice in the area of mediation and child law. She also works in several emergency departments and an urgent visit center in Indianapolis.  She is also a forensic nurse examiner who cares for the patients of interpersonal violence.

COL Scott V. Anderson

North Dakota State University Army ROTC was a great way for me to be a part of a responsible group of students and committed faculty while at NDSU.  Many of my friends in agriculture had their fraternities - ROTC was my equivalent.  I taught cross country ski courses and really enjoyed the FTX's.  US Army officer basic training was very difficult back in the 1970's. The confidence I obtained in myself assisted me greatly as I was required to lead small groups of soldiers - which gradually became large groups of soldiers.  What I learned about human nature and leadership assisted me greatly in my civilian job as I was required to do things such as put on spray accuracy clinics with aerial applicators (crop dusters). These crops sprayers are tough customers and they want someone who knows how to lead when they show up at a complex event.  NDSU Army ROTC was also a great way to relate to older customers.  I found I actually had their respect just by having the courage to become a commissioned officer.

US Army Reserve - Combat Engineer

Being an officer in the USAR has assisted my career in agricultural chemical sales and research with the Dow Chemical Company.  The leadership experience gained is like no other.  I have been able to use and redevelop skills learned at NDSU and in 5 years of working in construction prior to my commissioning.  I have been in charge of up to 850 soldiers during complex mine clearance operations in Afghanistan as a Combat Engineer Battalion Commander.  I was also able to assist the Civil Affairs BN on site with agricultural assistance knowledge gained from working as an agronomist in the U.S. for Dow Chemical. (Ag degree class of 1980) Clearing roadside bombs, removing minefields and assisting Afghans in basic agricultural development was the most rewarding thing I have done in my adult life.  I also organized and commanded construction expeditions to Panama, Alaska and Germany of US Army Reserve Combat Engineer soldiers.  I served as a company commander, battalion commander (2X), group commander and brigade commander in the USAR.  I was also in command of several active duty soldiers and specialized mine clearance contractors while in Afghanistan.

Kevin G. Thorson

Army ROTC at NDSU taught me to have a proper balance between work and private life. Our PMS, COL Bayless, said that cadets were students first.   He encouraged me to focus on my studies and become involved in student and off-campus activities.   However, when participating in ROTC activities, I was to focus on Soldier and leadership skills.  As I progressed through my military career and into my second career as an Army civilian; I continued to apply that wisdom.

I graduated from North Dakota State University in 1978 and was commissioned as an Ordnance officer in the United States Army.   I served as a company grade officer in missile maintenance units (Hawk, Patriot, and Pershing) within CONUS and Germany.  I also commanded a Recruiting Company and was S3 of the Syracuse Recruiting Battalion.  As I transitioned into field grade assignments, I served in material management centers at the theater army and corps levels. I was also a support operations officer and battalion executive officer.  My culminating assignment was as G4 of Army forces in Somalia. I retired in 1995.  I immediately began work as a contractor for training development for the Armor Center at Fort Knox. In 2006, I was hired as a civil servant, responsible for writing the Army's BCT and combined arms doctrine.  I progressed into managing Combined Arms Training Strategies (CATS) and Standards in Weapons Training (STRAC) for armor, reconnaissance, and cavalry units.  Since the Armor Center is moving to Fort Benning to merge with the Infantry Center, I have moved to another civil service position.  Last fall I took an ORSA position in Accessions Command.  I am married to Pam (Pieper) Thorson who also graduated from NDSU. We have four sons. The oldest, Aaron, graduated from Purdue and was commissioned as an Army Aviation Officer. He has served two assignments in Iraq, and one tour in Afghanistan.