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Letter to the Editor: Guard recognizes young leaders at Scouting Centennial

As the Boy Scouts of America mark 100 years of service at the end of this month, it seems only appropriate that we in the National Guard would join in this celebration. There's strong overlap in the values that both services hold true. Boy Scouts promise to "do my duty to God and my country," while guardsmen pledge much the same. The motto of our Chaplain Corps is actually "pro dia et patria" or, "for God and country." Scouts are "trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent," while soldiers honor the military values of "loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity and personal courage."

Given these similarities, there's little doubt why so many Boy Scouts later serve as soldiers and leaders; it's a continuation of the values they hold true. I know this personally, having served as both a Cub Scout and Boy Scout. I was able to hold various scout leadership positions over the years, and I continue to serve as a member of the Board of Directors of the Northern Lights Council, which oversees Boy Scout troops in our state, as well as some in Minnesota, South Dakota and Montana.

The skills, values and leadership I learned first in the Boy Scouts and later in the National Guard have helped me throughout my life, both in and out of uniform. My son, Tom, also has benefitted from his Boy Scout experience, having risen to Eagle Scout. As North Dakota's adjutant general, I see exceptional soldiers and airmen on a daily basis, and a number of them got their start in the Boy Scouts, as well as other avenues of youth leadership. The character, responsibility and fitness we all developed as scouts continues to enhance our lives and careers.

For these reasons, it's only appropriate that we in the North Dakota National Guard collaborate with the scouts to celebrate. Last month, we joined with them at the state Capitol grounds in Bismarck to mark the centennial. As this month comes to a close, 102 scouts and 18 leaders from the Northern Lights Council will travel to the National Jamboree beginning July 26. I had the opportunity to attend about 20 years ago, and it was truly an amazing sight.

We wish them well on their centennial trip and thank them for their service as they grow into the future leaders of America.

Maj. Gen. David Sprynczynatyk

North Dakota Adjutant General