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DSU graduate named ND National Guard public affairs officer

BISMARCK -- Sgt. 1st Class Billie Jo Lorius has been promoted to public affairs officer for the North Dakota National Guard's Joint Force Headquarters.

The Lemmon, S.D., native and Dickinson State University graduate has been the National Guard's deputy public information officer in Bismarck since 2009.

Lorius, who lives in Bismarck, will oversee internal and external communications for a total force of about 4,400 Soldiers and Airmen.

She enlisted in the South Dakota Army National Guard as a heavy equipment operator in 1995 and later transferred to the North Dakota National Guard, where she now serves as the senior enlisted leader for the Bismarck-based 116th Public Affairs Detachment. In 2003, she mobilized with the former 129th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment and later that year served as part of a four-person public affairs team covering North Dakota National Guard members deployed to Iraq.

Lorius earned a bachelor's degree in English and writing from DSU and a master's degree in management from the University of Mary in 2007. After completing her bachelor's degree, she was one of 16 college students nationwide selected to attend the Poynter Institute to learn journalism skills from Pulitzer Prize-winning individuals. She went on to grow a civilian career focusing on journalism, copy editing and communications management before beginning work full time for the National Guard.

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