Established on July 1, 1971 by SB 2089 of the North Dakota 42nd Legislative Assembly the Administrative Committee on Veterans Affairs (ACOVA) is responsible for the organization, policy, and general administration of all veterans' affairs in North Dakota. NDCC 37-18.1-03 It is comprised of 15 voting members, each appointed by the Governor, nominated by the five major veteran organizations in the state. Each year, the Governor is to appoint one member from a list of two names submitted by the following veteran organizations: American LegionVeterans of Foreign WarsDisabled American VeteransAMVETS, and Vietnam Veterans of America. The Committee is also comprised of three nonvoting members who are to serve in an advisory capacity - the North Dakota Adjutant General, the Center Director of the federal Veterans Affairs, and the Executive Director Job Service North Dakota. NDCC 37-18.1 The president of the ND Association of County and Tribal Veteran Service Officers (NDACTVSO) and the Director of ND Cares also serve on the ACOVA.

The Governor appoints a chairman and secretary of the Administrative Committee. NDCC 37-18.1-02

Commissioner appointment
The ACOVA appoints the Commissioner of the Department of Veterans' Affairs. The Commissioner must be a bona fide resident of the state, and must qualify as a veteran as defined in section 37-01-40. The commissioner serves at the pleasure of the ACOVA. The ACOVA determines the salary paid to the commissioner of the department of veterans' affairs within the limits of legislative appropriation. The commissioner of veterans' affairs serves as the executive secretary for the ACOVA subcommittee on NDDVA. The commissioner has no vote in the affairs of the subcommittee. NDCC 37-18.1-03(3)

ACOVA Meetings are scheduled for the third Thursday and Friday of February, May, August and November. Subject to change depending on member availability.

If you are interested in serving on the ACOVA complete online application.

Check out the calendar for the latest ACOVA events!

Administrative Guidelines

North Dakota Century Code 37-18.1 denotes the powers and duties of the Administrative Committee on Veterans Affairs. These guidelines are designed to implement the powers and duties described therein.

  1. Immediately following appointment or reappointment by the Governor, the Chairman and Secretary will select members to the Veterans Affairs subcommittee and will notify members of their subcommittee assignments prior to the reorganizational meeting.
  2. The Chairman and Secretary will appoint a seven-member governing board for administration of the veterans’ home. The appointment is subject to ratification by a majority vote of the committee.
  3. The Chair and Secretary determine the length of service on the governing board.
  4. The Committee Chairman will select time and place of the first meeting, which must be held during the month of July. This meeting will also be designated as the reorganizational meeting. The Chairman and Secretary will be responsible for an orientation of all new members to the committee which will be held in conjunction with the reorganization meeting.
  5. A permanent record of all minutes for the committee, subcommittee, and governing board will be maintained in the office of the Commissioner of Veterans Affairs. Minutes for the subcommittee for Veterans Affairs members will be prepared by the Commissioner to be distributed to all voting members and ex-officio members with the Committee.
  6. The Chairman may call quarterly committee meetings and shall notify all members. The Chairman shall insure that the subcommittee chairman call a meeting in conjunction with each Administrative Committee meeting to transact necessary business and bring pertinent matters needing over-all committee action to the meeting for committee consideration.
  7. Special committee meetings called by the Chairman regarding an appeal of a resident or applicant of the Veterans Home will require the Chairman and Vice Chairman or their designees from the subcommittee of the Department of Veterans Affairs along with the members of the governing board of the Veterans Home to be present to constitute a quorum of the Administrative Committee.
  8. Annually, the subcommittee and governing board will conduct a performance evaluation on the Commissioner and Administrator respectively and prepare a written report for consideration of the Administrative Committee.
  9. The governing board of the North Dakota Veterans Home and subcommittee of the Department of Veterans Affairs will insure that a draft of their budgets will be completed by the July reorganizational meeting on even numbered years.
  10. The Chairman will prepare and present all recommendations of the committee relative to budget and legislative matters to the North Dakota Veterans Coordinating Council for their consideration.
  11. The Chairman shall arrange for the preparation and transmittal to the North Dakota Veterans Coordinating Council of any matter which the Administrative Committee wishes to have brought to the attention of the Council.
  12. The Chairman shall, in May of each year, submit a confidential report to the Commander and Adjutant of each veterans' organization represented on the Administrative Committee on Veterans Affairs on the attendance and participation of their members on the committee for the preceding committee year. Attendance will be reported either present or absent.
  13. Members of the Administrative Committee shall not serve concurrently as an appointed member to the North Dakota Veterans Coordinating Council.
  14. When the Administrator of the Veterans Home and the Commissioner of Veterans Affairs appear and present their respective biennial budgets to the Legislative Appropriations Committees, the Administrative Committee members shall be encouraged to attend the hearings in support of the Administrator and the Commissioner.
  15. Robert's Rules of Order will be followed in conducting the meetings.
  16. The Secretary of the Administrative Committee will insure that minutes of all meetings are kept.
  17. The Administrative Committee shall adopt a format for keeping minutes.
  18. A portfolio shall be made available to new members of the Administrative Committee and shall contain the minutes of the last fiscal year of the Administrative Committee, the Veterans Affairs subcommittee, and governing board. The portfolios shall be prepared by the Administrator and the Commissioner .
  19. The veterans affairs subcommittee will elect a chairman and vice chairman at the annual reorganizational meeting.
  20. Members will not get involved in the day to day operations of the Veterans Home or Department of Veterans Affairs. Complaints or grievances received will be handled through the appropriate forum. (Staff complaints through the State Grievance procedure and resident complaints as outlined in the Rules and Regulations.)
  21. The Administrative Committee Chairman and Chairman of the Veterans Affairs subcommittee and Veterans Home governing board will meet and review the Commissioner's and Administrator's salaries and make recommendations to the full Committee prior to budget approval.
  22. The salaries of the Commissioner, the Administrator, and all employees are to be made available to all committee members prior to the presentation of the budgets.

Duties of Full Committee

  1. (NDCC 37-18.1-03) Responsible for organization, policy, and general administration of all veterans’ affairs in North Dakota.
  2. (NDCC 37-18.1-03-1) Ratify, by majority vote, appointments to the governing board.
  3. (NDCC 37-18.1-03-3) Appoint the Commissioner of the Department of Veterans Affairs who must meet criteria established by the Century Code.
  4. (NDCC 37-18.1-03-3) Determine the salary paid to the Commissioner of the Department of Veterans Affairs within the limits of legislative appropriation.
  5. (NDCC 37-18.1-03-4) Shall, under recommendation from each of its subcommittee or the board, present any matters needing attention and action to the appropriate board, commission, agency, or department of state, and the North Dakota Veterans Coordinating Council.
  6. (NDCC 37-18.1-03-5) Assure compliance with applicable federal and state laws in administration of both the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Veterans Home.
  7. (NDCC 37-18.1-03-5) Exercise its responsibilities in all things necessary to carry out the provisions of Chapter 37-18.1 of the NDCC in regard to organization, policy, and general administration of the agencies served and involved in the conduct of veterans’ affairs.
  8. (NDCC 37-18.1-03-5) Report annually to the governor the status of the strategic plans of the Veterans Home and Veterans Affairs
  9. (NDCC 37-15-14.1-1) May establish a membership contribution to be paid by members of the Home; set the formula used to determine the charge; and may reconsider its action to amend or rescind or reinstate the charge.
  10. (NDCC 28-32-01-2t) Act as an Administrative Agency with respect to rules relating to the supervision and government of the Veterans Home and implementation of programs or services provided by the Veterans Home.
  11. (NDCC 37-15-10-3) Require proof of applicants who make application to the Home that they meet the criteria for admission to the Home.
  12. (NDCC 37-15-3) Designate a Board of Admissions for the Veterans Home.
  13. (NDCC 37-14-10) Make and promulgate reasonable rules and regulations to administer the veterans’ aid fund.
  14. (NDCC 37-14-12) Establish an appeal process. The department’s decisions are appealable to a committee appointed by the chairman.
  15. (NDCC 37-14-14) Expend income from the postwar trust fund for programs of benefit and service to veterans or their dependents.

Duties and Responsibilities Chairman and Secretary

Chairman and secretary are appointed by the Governor annually, beginning July 1.

Their duties are:

  1. (NDCC 37-18.1-03-1) The chairman and secretary acting jointly shall appoint, from within or outside the committee, a governing board to be responsible for administration of the Veterans Home.
  2. (NDCC 37-18.1-03-1) The chairman and secretary acting jointly shall appoint a subcommittee to be responsible for supervision and government of the Department of Veterans Affairs. Each nominating organization must have at least one voting member serving on the subcommittee.
  3. (NDCC 37-14-12) The chairman appoints members to the appeals committee.


  1. (NDCC 37-18.1-02) Called by the chairman at such times and places as the chairman may select.
  2. (NDCC 37-18.1-02) Called by the chairman upon written notice of any four voting members of the committee.
  3. (NDCC 37-18.1-02) A majority of the members of the committee shall be required for a quorum and a majority of those present voting in favor thereof shall be required for any action.

Appointment to the Committee (NDCC 37-18.1-01)

  1. On or before the first day of July, The American Legion, VFW, DAV, Amvets and VVA will submit a list containing two names, who qualify as veterans under section 37-01-40, to the governor.
  2. The governor shall select one nominee from each list to fill expiring terms. Each appointment or reappointment is to be for three years or until a successor is appointed and qualified.
  3. Terms run from July 1 to June 30.
  4. In case of inability or failure of a voting member to serve,
    1. The Governor appoints another member from a list of two names submitted to him from the respective organization.
    2. The appointee serves for the remainder of the unexpired term.

Procedures of Election Year Appointments (NDCC 54-07-01.2)

  1. The committee is considered to have resigned effective January 1 of the first year of each four-year term of the Governor.
  2. The Governor's options are:
    1. Reappoint any member to complete the term to which appointed.
    2. Appoint a simple majority of the committee to complete the terms of the resigned members who are not reappointed.
  3. The Governor shall reappoint for the completion of their original terms no fewer than one less than a simple majority of the former committee members.
  4. If the Governor does not acknowledge in writing the resignation of the members prior to July 1st of the first year of his term, the member shall be considered reappointed to complete the term.
  5. Members continue to serve until they are notified of the acceptance of the resignation by the Governor, and in all cases they shall continue to serve until their successors have been named and qualified.
  6. The Governor shall notify members and their organizations of his acceptance of their resignation.
  7. The organization shall furnish the Governor with the number of required nominations to fill the vacancies within 60 days after the notice.

Murray Strom - Chairman - AMVETS
Term ends: 2026
Jim Verwey - Secretary -VFW
Term ends: 2025
Vacant - AL
Term ends: 2025
Joseph "Dutch" Bialke - DAV
Term ends: 2024
Steve Anderson - AL
Term ends: 2026
Joe Best - VFW
Term ends: 2026
Vernon Laning - AL
Term ends: 2024
Dave Rice - VFW
Term ends: 2024
Gary Maddock - AMVETS
Term ends: 2025
Trish Hodny - VVA
Term ends: 2025
Brian Bartlett - AMVETS
Term ends: 2024
Dave Hilleren - VVA
Term ends: 2026
Lamar Kruckenberg - DAV
Term ends: 2025
Hal Weninger - VVA
Term ends: 2024
Ed Ennis - DAV
Term ends: 2026

Ex-Officio Members

Lonnie Wangen - NDDVA - CommissionerChris Deery - NDACTVSO - President
Dr. Breton M. Weintraub - VAHCS - DirectorPat Bertagnolli - JSND - Executive Director
MG Alan Dohrmann - NDNG - Adjutant General 


ACOVA Legislative & Strategic Planning Committee
Chair: Brian Bartlett
Members: Lamar KruckenbergVernon Laning, Ed Ennis 

Department of Veterans Affairs and Budget Subcommittee
Chair: Joseph Bialke
Members: Hal Weninger, Glenn WahusGary Maddock

Post War Trust Fund & Appeals Committee
Chair: Jim Verwey
Members: Trish Hodny, Dave Hilleren, Dave Rice, Steven Anderson

North Dakota Veterans Home Governing Board
Chair: Vernon Laning 
Members:  Curt Twete, Dean Overby, Steve Frojen, Cathy Keogh, Tom RyanGary Skarphol