Secretary of the Army Francis Harvey invested three civilian aides in a ceremony held today in the Pentagon. The newest Civilian Aides to the Secretary of the Army (CASAs), Keith Bjerke, from Fargo, N.D., Bill LaPrise, from Miamisburg, Ohio, and Harry Sieben, from Minneapolis, Minn., were selected by Harvey to support the Army throughout their state and local communities.

Civilian Aides to the Secretary of the Army were first formally recognized in 1922 and have since become a vital part of the Army. Their mission is to promote good relations between the Army and public by acting as spokespersons for and advisors to the secretary.

"(CASAs) bring to Americans the understanding of the values of the Army, the sacrifices that Soldiers and their families make, and connect the Department of the Army with communities," said Harvey, before he administered the oath of office to each incoming aide.

Civilian aides are appointed for each state, in addition to the U.S. territories of Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands and American Samoa. CASAs are actively involved in their communities and are usually business or civic leaders who bring to their position an interest in the Army.

Once appointed, CASAs serve a two-year term without compensation. To date, more than 500 aides have served the Army.

"The care, training and equipping of America's Soldiers has been a top priority in my life," said Mr. Keith Bjerke. "Serving as the CASA for North Dakota will give me another opportunity to carry this flag."

Bjerke, a former Adjutant General of the North Dakota National Guard from 1993 to 2000, now serves as the Vice President for University Relations, North Dakota State University. He has extensive experience in agriculture as an owner of Spruce Row Farm to Administrator of Agricultural Stabilization and Conservations Service, US Dept. of Agriculture. He also has extensive military service as a Marine Corps officer on active duty and in the reserves, and as a Commander in the North Dakota Air National Guard.

Bjerke is a graduate of the National Defense University, the Air Command and Staff College, North Dakota State University, Fargo, and the Northwest School of Agriculture. He is a member of the National Guard Association of the United States, the Air Force Association, the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, First Lutheran Church of Fargo, Boy Scouts' Northern Lights Council, El Zagel Shrine, Scottish Rite, Blue Lodge Masons, and the Elks Lodge 260.



Bill LaPrise, a resident of Miamisburg, was appointed as the CASA to Ohio (South). "I'm honored by the appointment as Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army," he said. "Thousands of Soldiers and their families are making huge sacrifices on a daily basis to protect our American values and way of life. This appointment affords me the opportunity to keep that story in the front of my fellow citizens in Ohio."

LaPrise served for over 30 years as a school psychologist, elementary principal, pupil services director and deputy superintendent in the Miamisburg, Ohio, City Schools. He continues to work part-time with the Montgomery County Education Service Center as Director of the Service Center's Student Assessment Team.



He is a graduate of the Army War College, Command and General Staff College and the University of Dayton. His military service includes both reserve and active duty service in the U.S. Army to include service in Vietnam. LaPrise is a member of the National Guard Association of the United States, the National Guard Association of Ohio and Alumnae Association of the Army War College, the Association of the United States Army, Phi Delta Kappa, the Ohio Association of Pupil Service Administrators and the Lions Club of Miamisburg, Ohio.

Sieben, a resident of Minneapolis, was appointed as the CASA for Minnesota. "I am very happy to accept the appointment as a Civilian Aid to the Secretary of the Army," said Sieben. "In these times of severe stress on members of the Army and their families it is more important than ever to show support for these troops and their gallant efforts. Regardless of the viewpoint of any citizen on the reasons our country is at war, we all agree that the troops are performing marvelously. I am very happy to be able to advise the Secretary on issues facing Minnesota soldiers, and to help our soldiers with the many issues facing them both in their Army careers and when they arrive back in to civilian life."

Sieben served for over a decade in the Minnesota House of Representatives including the Speaker of the House for four of those years. He enlisted in the U.S. Army Reserves in the late 60's, was commissioned, and transferred to the Minnesota Air National Guard as a Staff Judge Advocate. He received a gubernatorial appointment to the position of the State Judge Advocate in 1990 and served until he reached the rank of Major General.

Sieben is a graduate of the Winona State College, and the University of Minnesota Law School. He is a member of the American Bar Association, Minnesota State Bar Association, American Board of Trial Advocates, Minnesota Trial Lawyers Association, Association of Trial Lawyers of America, Academy of Certified Trial Lawyers of Minnesota, National Board of Trial Advocacy, Board of Directors of the Regina Medical Center; Board of Directors of Civilian Marksmanship Program, and Board of Directors of Starbase Minnesota.



Complete biographies are below. For information about the Civilian Aides to the Secretary of the Army Program, contact: Ms. Judy Smith for CASA related matters at 703-697-2639 or Maj. Amy Hannah for PAO matters at 703-614-2459.



-30-

KEITH D. BJERKE

CIVILIAN AIDE TO THE SECRETARY OF THE ARMY

NORTH DAKOTA

BUSINESS/PROFESSIONAL MEMBERSHIPS:

Mr. Bjerke is Vice President, University Relations, North Dakota State University, Fargo, North Dakota. Responsible for university relations, legislative affairs, community and corporate outreach; 2001 to present. The Adjutant General of the State of North Dakota; 1993-2000. Administrator, Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service and Executive Vice President, Commodity Credit Corporation, US Department of Agriculture; 1989-1993. Owner/Operator, Spruce Row Farm, Northwood, North Dakota; 1964-1989.

EDUCATION:

Graduate, National Defense University, National Security Management, 1989; Graduate, Air University, Air Command and Staff College, 1982; Graduate, Air University, Squadron Officer School, 1976; North Dakota State University, Fargo, North Dakota. B.S. Degree, Animal Husbandry, 1961; Northwest School of Agriculture, Crookston, MN; High School Graduate, 1957.

MILITARY SERVICE:

The Adjutant General, North Dakota National Guard, 1993 to 2000; Assistant Adjutant for Air, North Dakota Air National Guard, 1992-1993; Director, Resource Management, North Dakota Air National Guard, 1990-1992; Director, Aerospace Maintenance, North Dakota Air National Guard, 1987-1990; Commander, 119th Consolidated Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, North Dakota Air National Guard, 1984-1987; Commander, 119th Security Police Flight, North Dakota Air National Guard, 1969-1984; Marine Corps Reserve, 1964-1969; Officer, Active Duty U.S. Marine Corps, 1961-1964.

U.S. GOVERNMENT SERVICE:

Administrator (SES-6), Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service and Executive Vice President, Commodity Credit Corporation, USDA, 1989-1993.

MEMBERSHIPS AND OTHER AFFILIATIONS:

MILITARY: National Guard Association of the United States, Life Member; Air Force Association, Life Member; American Legion, Life Member; Veterans of Foreign Wars, Life Member.

CIVIC/PHILANTHROPIC: Member First Lutheran Church, Fargo, North Dakota, Executive Board Member, Northern Lights Council, Boy Scouts, 1998 to present; Member, El Zagel Shrine, 1975 to present; Member, Scottish Rite, 1975 to present; Master, Blue Lodge Mason, 1973-1974; Membership 1968 to present; Member, Elks Lodge 260, 1966 to present.

MARITAL STATUS:

Mr. Bjerke and his wife Marian have four children and ten grandchildren.

ORIGINAL APPOINTMENT:

August 2006

WILLIAM LAPRISE

CIVILIAN AIDE TO THE SECRETARY OF THE ARMY

OHIO (SOUTH)

BUSINESS/PROFESSIONAL MEMBERSHIPS:

Mr. LaPrise has been a school psychologist, elementary principal, pupil services director and deputy superintendent in the Miamisburg (Ohio) City Schools. Duties during his 30-year career as a school administrator included first line supervision of a 400-student elementary school and responsibility for all student services in a 5000-student school district. Mr. LaPrise retired from the Miamisburg City Schools in September, 2001. He served the last eight years in the District as Deputy Superintendent. His duties included first line supervision of nine schools (K-12) and Human Resources responsibility for more than 450 classified and certificated personnel. Mr. LaPrise managed $30 million of the district's $50 million operating budget. Three of the district's nine schools earned National Schools of Excellence recognition during his tenure as Deputy Superintendent. Since his retirement from the Miamisburg Schools in 2001, Mr. LaPrise has continued to work part-time with the Montgomery County (Ohio) Education Service Center as Director of the Service Center's student assessment team.

EDUCATION:

Mr. LaPrise graduated from Beavercreek High School (Ohio) in 1962 and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in education and a Master of Science degree in school psychology from the University of Dayton (Ohio). Post-Masters degree work resulted in a pupil services director certificate and a superintendent certificate (Ohio). Mr. LaPrise began his military career on 24 April 1966 when he was commissioned a Regular Army second lieutenant. He subsequently completed Armor Officer Basic, Quartermaster Advanced Course, Command and General Staff College and the Army War College.

MILITARY SERVICE:

After completing Armor Officer Basic, then Second Lieutenant LaPrise was assigned to the First Squadron, 14th Armored Cavalry Regiment, Fulda, Germany, where he held a variety of positions including platoon leader, Regimental S-3 Air and reconnaissance troop commander. In January, 1969, Mr. LaPrise began a 12-month tour with the I Corps Advisory Team, Military Assistance Command, Vietnam. Duties included S-3 Air Advisor and Secretary General Staff to the Deputy Senior Advisor, I Corps. Mr. LaPrise was subsequently assigned as an instructor in the Cavalry Operations Branch, U.S. Army Armor School, Fort Knox, Kentucky. Mr. LaPrise's Ohio Army National Guard career began in 1971 when he became a member of the 371st Air Defense Group, Ohio Army National Guard. He held a number of primary staff and command positions including five years as Commander, 112th Transportation Battalion, four and one half years as Commander, 371st Corps Support Group and three years as Assistant Adjutant General for Training, Ohio Army National Guard. During his command tours, Mr. LaPrise served as J-4, Joint Task Force Aleutians and deployed more than 1200 soldiers to Kuwait during Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm. Mr. LaPrise retired from the Ohio National Guard in December, 1994 as a Brigadier General.

MEMBERSHIPS AND OTHER AFFILIATIONS:

Mr. LaPrise is a lifetime member of the National Guard Association of the United States, the National Guard Association of Ohio and Alumnae Association of the Army War College. He is also a member of the Association of the United States Army, Phi Delta Kappa, the Ohio Association of Pupil Service Administrators and the Lions Club of Miamisburg, Ohio.

MARITAL STATUS:

Mr. LaPrise and his wife Ann have three daughters and five grandchildren.

ORIGINAL APPOINTMENT:

August 2006

HARRY A. SIEBEN, JR.

CIVILIAN AIDE TO THE SECRETARY OF THE ARMY

MINNESOTA

BUSINESS/PROFESSIONAL MEMBERSHIPS:

American Bar Association; Minnesota State Bar Association; American Board of Trial Advocates; Minnesota Trial Lawyers Association; Association of Trial Lawyers of America; Academy of Certified Trial Lawyers of Minnesota; Civil Trial Specialist; National Board of Trial Advocacy.

EDUCATION:

1965 Bachelor of Arts Degree in Business Administration, Winona State College, Winona, MN; 1968 Juris Doctorate Degree, University of Minnesota Law School, Minneapolis, MN.

MILITARY SERVICE:

1968 enlisted in the Army Reserve's HQ 523d Army Security Agency Company; 1971 Commissioned as a First Lieutenant; 1975 transferred to the Minnesota Air National Guard as an Assistant Judge Advocate and promoted to Captain; 1979 promoted to Major; 1984 promoted to Lieutenant Colonel; 1989 promoted to Colonel; 1990 received a gubernatorial appointment to the position of State Judge Advocate; 1998 promoted to Brigadier General; 2003 promoted to Major General.

STATE GOVERNMENT SERVICE:

1971-1985 Served in the Minnesota House of Representatives. During his tenure, he was the Speaker of the House from 1981-1985.

MEMBERSHIPS AND OTHER AFFILIATIONS:

Board of Directors of Regina Medical Center; Board of Directors of Civilian Marksmanship Program; Board of Directors of Starbase Minnesota, Former Board of Directors of Vinland National Center; Former Board of Directors of United School Services of America; Former Board of Directors of Kaiser Roll Foundation; Former Chairman of the Board of Directors of Minnesota School of the Arts.

MARITAL STATUS:

Mr. Sieben is single and has two sons.

ORIGINAL APPOINTMENT:

August 2006

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16