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Published July 09, 2013, 08:56 PM

Bismarck soldier 1st woman to enlist, advance to ND Guard Colonel

Colonel Giselle Wilz of Bismarck is the first woman in the history of the North Dakota Army National Guard to enter as an enlisted soldier and and advance the way to Colonel.

Colonel Giselle Wilz of Bismarck is the first woman in the history of the North Dakota Army National Guard to enter as an enlisted soldier and and advance the way to Colonel.

She's also the first female Chief of Staff for the Army component of the North Dakota Guard. Colonel Wilz credits her family's tradition of military service, as well as more opportunity within the military itself for women to gain the experience needed to qualify for higher rank.

Wilz: "I just always tell people to be true to themselves. If they want something in life, then chase it, and don't let people stand by the side and say, 'you can't do it,' and when they do say that, prove them wrong. Honestly, there are no limits anymore, whether it's military service or anything in life. Chase your dream."

Colonel Wilz joined the North Dakota National Guard in 1983, as a 17-year-old. She deployed to the Middle East for Operation Desert Storm, and also served in Kosovo.

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