The 41st Infantry Brigade Combat Team of the Oregon National Guard honored its outgoing commander, Col. Dan Hokanson of Keizer, and incoming commander, Col. Eric Bush, during a change of command ceremony at the Salem Armory, June 10.

The ceremony was attended by dignitaries, family members, former brigade commanders, Maj. Gen. Raymond F. Rees, the state’s adjutant general, and Governor Ted Kulongoski.

“This event embodies all the values of citizen soldiers and their professionalism. There is a lot of pride and history here and I just like being a part of it,” said Kulongoski.

Col. D. Hokanson

The brigade has a long history including the longest deployment of any division during WWII, and recently returned from a year-long deployment to Iraq.

When addressing the members of 41st Infantry Brigade Combat Team (IBCT), Maj. Gen. Rees stated: “Everyday in every way, you make us proud to be members of the Oregon National Guard.”

Hokanson has been nominated to be brigadier general. If approved, he will be assigned as the Deputy J5, Plans and Policy, for the U.S. Northern Command, which conducts Homeland Defense and Civil Support operations within the assigned Area of Responsibility (AOR).

The AOR includes the continental United States, Alaska, Canada, Mexico and surrounding water out to approximately 500 nautical miles.

This area also includes the Gulf of Mexico, Straits of Florida, portions of the Caribbean region to include The Bahamas, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Hokanson received his commission from the United States Military Academy in May 1986.

He is a graduate of the Senior Service College Fellowship at Harvard University and has two master’s degrees: a Masters of International Security and Civil Military Relations from the Naval Postgraduate School and a Masters of National Security and Strategic Studies from the Naval War College.

He joined the Oregon National Guard in October 1995. He commanded the 641st Aviation Battalion in 2002-03 before taking command of the 41st IBCT from March 2008 through July 2010.

Hokanson has been awarded a Soldier’s Medal, Bronze Star with Oak Leaf Cluster, Combat Action Badge, Master Aviator Badge, Air Assault Badge and a Parachutist Badge.

He is a veteran of three deployments: Panama, 1989-90; Afghanistan, 2006-07 and Iraq, 2009-10, when he was the commander for the 41st IBCT in Iraq.

Hokanson and his family remain in Keizer for the time being

In addition to taking command of the 41st IBCT, Bush is the Prineville Chief of Police.

– Lance Masterson