One of the North Dakota National Guard’s longest serving soldiers was honored at a retirement ceremony Sept. 16 at the Army Aviation Support Facility in Bismarck. Col. Gordon “Gordy” Leingang, D.O.’91, served for more than 41 years in the National Guard after initially enlisting in the United States Marine Corps in 1974 when he was 17 years old.
Leingang’s retirement ceremony drew several hundred people, including current and past members of the North Dakota Guard, friends and professional colleagues. He has served as the North Dakota Army National Guard’s state flight surgeon for the last 16 years as a traditional guardsman.
Maj. Gen. Al Dohrmann, North Dakota adjutant general, presented Leingang with the Legion of Merit and a North Dakota Distinguished Service Medal during the ceremony.
“Col. Gordy Leingang has served his state and nation with honor and distinction for four and half decades,” Dohrmann said, after presenting Leingang with awards and retirement mementos from various staff sections and co-workers. “He is exceptionally accomplished and has a long list of achievements within the Army aviation medicine field. But he also has made his mark with law enforcement, firefighters, first responders, paramedics, medical school students and so many others during his extremely active military and civilian careers.”
A graduate of St. Mary’s High School in Bismarck, he joined the Marine Corps in 1973 on a delayed enlistment and left for basic training in 1974. After four years as a Marine, he joined the North Dakota Army National Guard, serving as a flight medic aboard UH-1H “Huey” helicopters. While in medical school and residency, Leingang served with helicopter gunship units of the Iowa and Michigan Army National Guards, returning to North Dakota in the early 1990s. He assumed duties as the North Dakota Army National Guard’s state flight surgeon in 2002.
Leingang is credited with two deployments in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2005 and 2006, and to Kosovo with the NATO Multinational Battle Group East from December 2011 to March 2012. He also served as the medical director of the Wounded Warrior Transition Unit at Virginia Beach, VA, from December 2009 to March 2010, where he was responsible for the medical care of more than 650 wounded military members on the East Coast.
“It was an honor to serve in the defense of this great nation,” Leingang said to the ceremony’s attendees. “But today is not about me; it’s about the honor and service of all of the great young men and women standing in formation here before you.”
Leingang referenced the soldiers of his unit. He praised their commitment to the state and nation and their willingness to serve others.
“Some of the nation’s finest people have served and are serving in the National Guard – and I am proud to be a small part of this great organization for so many years,” he said.
Leingang graduated from the Michigan State University medical internship in 1992 and, in 1995, from the Ohio University Consortium residency in emergency and trauma medicine. He attended the School of Army Aviation Medicine and is an honor graduate of the Army Aviation Flight Surgeons course.
A traditional guardsman, Leingang is employed by Mid Dakota Clinic’s Urgent Care Clinic. His wife, Jackie, is employed as a physician assistant with the Veterans Administration clinic in Bismarck. His brothers Bill and Joe, sister Roseanne, son Jesse and daughter Tara all were at Leingang’s side at the ceremony.
Source: North Dakota National Guard