Brigadier General Bruce C. Frandsen

Retires after 32 Years in Utah Guard

 

By Caleb Warnock, Provo Daily Herald

Published November 4, 2007

 

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At the close of his 32-eyar career, Brig. Gen. Bruce Frandsen thanks friends and colleagues at his retirement Nov. 1 at Draper headquarters.

Photo by Maj. Hank McIntire

At the close of his 32-eyar career, Brig. Gen. Bruce Frandsen thanks friends and colleagues at his retirement Nov. 1 at Draper headquarters.

DRAPER, Utah — At a ceremony on Thursday marking his retirement after 32 years in the Utah National Guard, Brig. Gen. Bruce C. Frandsen was given some advice for his leisure days to come: "Run 'er 'til she seizes."

The ceremony, which lasted about 45 minutes, consisted of a stream of accolades and gifts from colleagues. Frandsen was presented with plaques, books, a jacket, sweatshirt, statues, display boxes of his medals, flags and gift certificates. The ceremony was held at the Utah National Guard's Draper headquarters.

Nearing the end of the event, Utah National Guard Counter Drug Coordinator Col. Neil Hansen said the tributes were going too fast and he was going to tell tales on Frandsen. The two men joined the National Guard together, both sworn in by Frandsen's father, Mel Frandsen, who was also a brigadier general, Hansen said.

Bruce Frandsen became famous for once taking a colleague to task. While overseeing the construction of the Cedar Fort cemetery, a dump truck driver, attempting to leave work early, "concocted a story about having engine problems," Hansen said. "Seeing through the ploy, he (Frandsen) said 'Run 'er 'til she seizes!' ... My advice for your retirement days is 'Run 'er 'til she seizes.' "

Early in his career, Frandsen showed "his tenacity to get a job done" when he hiked to his own home to get tools to fix a broken military vehicle, Hansen said. And once, when a helicopter engine began to fail mid-flight, Frandsen stuck an orange Starburst candy in his mouth, saying he wanted to enjoy his last moments and orange was his favorite flavor.

Brig. Gen. Bruce Frandsen, left, receives the Legion of Merit from Maj. Gen. Brian Tarbet, adjutant general of the Utah National Guard.

Photo by Maj. Hank McIntire

Brig. Gen. Bruce Frandsen, left, receives the Legion of Merit from

Maj. Gen. Brian Tarbet, adjutant general of the Utah National Guard.

"And we hit hard," interrupted Frandsen, speaking of the helicopter landing.

Being more serious, Hansen said Frandsen had taught him by word and example to have a sacred respect for training because "sweat in training means you bleed less in war."

Maj. Gen. Brian Tarbet, adjutant general for the Utah National Guard, called Frandsen's retirement a sad day, saying it would be the first time in generations that one of the Frandsen family would not be in uniform.

Frandsen wrapped up the ceremony by paying tribute to his family and colleagues.

"It was a privilege to have a job that was so fulfilling to me and appreciated by the citizens of this great state and nation," he said.

As a teen, the phone would ring repeatedly every Monday night with commanders calling in reports to his father, he said. His father was not able to attend Thursday's ceremony but every time father and son visit, "he asks me two things: How is the strength (of the military) and how are the enlisted men doing."

Col. Ted Frandsen, left, who is also retiring from the Utah National Guard, pays tribute to his brother Bruce.

Photo by Maj. Hank McIntire

Col. Ted Frandsen, left, who is also retiring from the

Utah National Guard, pays tribute to his brother Bruce.

Calling them "the most important people," Frandsen thanked his family, saying his wife had no idea what she was getting into when she married a national guardsman.

"Thank you all," Frandsen said in closing, addressing the one hundred or so members of the National Guard in the audience. "It's been an honor to serve with you."

A lifelong resident of American Fork, Frandsen had served as assistant adjutant general of the Utah Army National Guard since 2005. Concurrent with his assignment as assistant adjutant general, Frandsen also served as deputy commanding general, U.S. Army Maneuver Support Center, Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., said Utah National Guard spokesman Maj. Hank McIntire, in a statement.

Frandsen's responsibilities at Fort Leonard Wood included overseeing the training and equipping of more than 40,000 engineer, chemical and military police soldiers in the Army National Guard nationwide.

Nyla Frandsen, center, wife of Brig. Gen. Bruce Frandsen, right, receives flowers and certificate of appreciation from Col. Jeff Burton.

Photo by Maj. Hank McIntire

Nyla Frandsen, center, wife of Brig. Gen. Bruce Frandsen, right,

receives flowers and certificate of appreciation from Col. Jeff Burton.

Beginning his military career in 1975, Frandsen attained the rank of staff sergeant before attending the Utah Military Academy Officer Candidate School and receiving his commission in 1980.

Frandsen served in numerous leadership positions in the Utah Guard, including platoon leader; detachment, company and battalion commander; executive officer; training officer; deputy chief of staff for personnel; and joint chief of staff in the Utah National Guard's Joint Forces Headquarters.

Col. Jefferson Burton has been named the new Assistant Adjutant General-Army, having most recently served as deputy chief of staff for personnel of the Utah National Guard. As commander of the 1457th Engineer Battalion, Burton led his 400 soldiers in Iraq in 2003-04 as they fulfilled combat engineer missions in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Article appeared in the Nov. 2 edition of the Provo Daily Herald.

The array of awards, certificates and mementos presented to Brig. Gen. Bruce Frandsen at his retirement ceremony Nov. 1.

Photo by Maj. Hank McIntire

The array of awards, certificates and mementos presented to

Brig. Gen. Bruce Frandsen at his retirement ceremony Nov. 1.

Friends, colleagues, and fellow service members attend Brig. Gen. Bruce Frandsen's retirement ceremony at Draper headquarters Nov. 1.

Photo by Maj. Hank McIntire

Friends, colleagues, and fellow service members attend Brig. Gen.

Bruce Frandsen's retirement ceremony at Draper headquarters Nov. 1.