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Hooligan State Command Chief Retires

Chief Master Sgt. Duane Kangas stands at a podium and speaks to an audience using a microphone during his retirement ceremony at the North Dakota Air National Guard Base, Fargo, N.D., Dec. 4, 2021.

Chief Master Sgt. Duane Kangas, the North Dakota Air National Guard state command chief, speaks to an audience gathered for his retirement ceremony at the North Dakota Air National Guard Base, Fargo, N.D., Dec. 4, 2021. Kangas joined the U.S. Air Force in 1984, and then joined the North Dakota Air National Guard in 1989 and retires with 36 years of military service. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Chief Master Sgt. David H. Lipp)

Brig. Gen. Darrin Anderson, the North Dakota National Guard assistant adjutant general for Air, stands to one side holding a retirement certificate for Chief Master Sgt. Duane Kangas, the North Dakota Air National Guard state command chief, who is holding the other side of the certificate during his retirement ceremony at the North Dakota Air National Guard Base, Fargo, N.D., Dec. 4, 2021.

Brig. Gen. Darrin Anderson, the North Dakota National Guard assistant adjutant general for Air, left, presents the certificate of retirement to Chief Master Sgt. Duane Kangas, the North Dakota Air National Guard state command chief, during his retirement ceremony at the North Dakota Air National Guard Base, Fargo, N.D., Dec. 4, 2021. Kangas joined the U.S. Air Force in 1984, and then joined the North Dakota Air National Guard in 1989 and retires with 36 years of military service. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Chief Master Sgt. David H. Lipp)

Brig. Gen. Darrin Anderson, the North Dakota National Guard assistant adjutant general for Air, places the Meritorious Service Medal on the jacket of Chief Master Sgt. Duane Kangas, the North Dakota Air National Guard state command chief, during his retirement ceremony at the North Dakota Air National Guard Base, Fargo, N.D., Dec. 4, 2021.

Brig. Gen. Darrin Anderson, the North Dakota National Guard assistant adjutant general for Air, places the Meritorious Service Medal on the jacket of Chief Master Sgt. Duane Kangas, the North Dakota Air National Guard state command chief, during his retirement ceremony at the North Dakota Air National Guard Base, Fargo, N.D., Dec. 4, 2021. Kangas joined the U.S. Air Force in 1984, and then joined the North Dakota Air National Guard in 1989 and retires with 36 years of military service. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Chief Master Sgt. David H. Lipp)

North Dakota Air National Guard Base, N.D> --

The North Dakota Air National Guard, known as the Happy Hooligans, bid farewell to its senior enlisted leader Saturday, Dec. 4, as Chief Master Sgt. Duane “Dewey” Kangas retired during a ceremony at the base in Fargo. Brig. Gen. Darrin Anderson, North Dakota National Guard assistant adjutant general for air, presided over the ceremony.

“A person like Dewey bounces from different jobs always in search of personal and professional growth,” said Anderson during his remarks. “The career path he took was much more than timing, much more than being the right person at the right place and time – you have to work at that – and it really fed into his ability to lead in a senior leadership position with the North Dakota Air National Guard.”

In honor of his service and achievements during his more than 36-year career, Anderson presented the Meritorious Service Medal to Kangas during the ceremony.

As the state command chief master sergeant, Kangas advised senior North Dakota National Guard leaders on matters concerning discipline, morale, welfare, effective utilization, professional development and career progression of the state’s Airmen.

“Representing the 119th as Command Chief was rewarding and humbling, and the great men and women of the wing made the job a lot easier as they kept winning outstanding unit award after outstanding unit award,” said Kangas during his remarks. “It’s been a great ride and I want you to know you are all like a second family to me, and I love you all.”

Kangas, a native of Pine River, Minnesota, began his career upon his enlistment into the U.S. Air Force in September 1984. He completed technical training at Chanute Air Force Base, Ill., in March 1985 and served on active duty as an aerospace ground equipment mechanic until 1988. Kangas joined the North Dakota Air National Guard in 1989. He cross-trained in 2000 to become an F-16 aircraft maintenance phase inspector. In 2002, he was chosen for a quality assurance position, capitalizing on his many years of experience as an aircraft maintenance technician. In 2006, Kangas was selected as the 119th Civil Engineer Squadron first sergeant, a position that saw him deploy to five different countries in four years. In 2010, he was chosen as the 119th Mission Support Group first sergeant, and in 2011, he was selected as the 119th Wing first sergeant. Prior to his role as state command chief, Kangas served as the 119th Wing Command Chief from 2016 until 2020. 

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