Biathlon Closes with Great Success for Minnesota National Guard
Posted: March 26, 2015 08:44 AM
JERICHO, Vt. - Maj. Gen. Steven Cray, the Adjutant General of the Vermont National Guard, thanked the more than 120 athletes who had come to Vermont for the 40th Annual Chief National Guard Bureau Biathlon Championships, March 5, 2015. Taking place at the Camp Ethan Allen Training Site in Jericho, Vt., the Biathlon ran for five days of racing and shooting competitions.
Earlier in the week Cray had opened the Biathlon by expressing how pleased he was to see such a strong representation from a variety of Guard units with teams arriving from 24 states. Cray also gave a special greeting to the 30 athletes, military and civilian, who were competing at their first championship.
"It's wonderful to see such a strong sense of community," Cray said. "To see us all come together, to respect and support each other is what it means to be part of the Guard family."
Gold Star Fathers Share Story of Love, Service and Sacrifice
Posted: March 25, 2015 08:45 AM
CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - "A Gold Star family member is a person who has lost a loved one who was serving our nation in the armed forces regardless of the circumstances of the death," said Survivor Outreach Services provider Amy Garber.
Bill Smith, father of Sgt. 1st Class Paul Smith, and Richard Cauley, father of Spc. George Cauley, two Gold Star dads, recently spoke about their sons and what it means to be a Gold Star father.
"Everyone's greatest fear is the thought they'll say something awkward [to a Gold Star family member]. We want to talk about our loved ones. The greatest sadness would be that no one would remember," said Bill Smith.
334th Brigade Engineer Battalion Celebrates Women's History
Posted: March 24, 2015 01:39 PM
BLOOMINGTON, Minn. - Soldiers of Headquarters, Headquarters Company of the 334th Brigade Engineer Battalion took time away from training to celebrate Women's History Month with a look at the history of women in the Minnesota National Guard from someone who lived it.
Invited to speak at the event was Geraldine Longfellow. In 2008, Longfellow retired from the Minnesota Army National Guard at the rank of lieutenant colonel. She has since been brevetted to the rank of colonel.
Camp Ripley Guardsman Recognized as "Big Brother of the Year"
Posted: March 19, 2015 03:40 PM
CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - For many Service members of the Minnesota National Guard, dedication to the community is as high of a priority as any other mission.
"We feel it is our duty, in our own communities, to ensure that our friends and neighbors are taken care of," said Chief Warrant Officer 2 Ryan Ross.
Ross, who has been an active member of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Minnesota for over three years, as well as a member of the Minnesota National Guard, was recently recognized by the agency as "Big Brother of the Year" for the State of Minnesota.
Young Soldiers, Big Plans
Posted: March 17, 2015 01:26 PM
CAMP BUEHRING, Kuwait - Soldiers join the National Guard for many different reasons. Some are seeking the adventure and experience, some are looking for career opportunities and school benefits, and some soldiers simply want to serve their country.
At some point in a soldier's enlistment, he or she will be asked, are you going to re-enlist? Enlistment contracts for the National Guard often are an eight-year obligation with four or six years of active drilling service. Some soldiers leave the Army, and others decide to take the opportunities they've been offered and make a career.
Sgt. Brittany Grams, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 34th Combat Aviation Brigade medical noncommissioned officer, and Spc. Freddie Williams IV, HHC 34th CAB human resource specialist, are making careers, and the transition from enlisted soldier to officer.
State Prepares for Next Disaster with Vigilant Guard
Posted: March 12, 2015 12:48 PM
Whether it's a devastating flood in Duluth or along the Red River Valley, a wildfire threatening Ely, a tornado outbreak bearing down on Minneapolis or the threat of a man-made disaster at the Mall of America, agencies and organizations from across the state are preparing their teams to respond as one.
"We focus on all hazards," said Minnesota Director of Homeland Security and Emergency Management Joe Kelly on a recent episode of Minnesota Military Radio. "What we've learned though is that, when it comes to preparedness, it's not necessarily the specific hazard. It is the planning and the training together and the relationships."
"Nobody had a scenario in an exercise that ever had the 35W bridge collapsing and dropping into the Mississippi River," Kelly continued. "But, because we had trained on other types of disaster scenarios, particularly the local [governments], Minneapolis, St. Paul, Hennepin and Ramsey County and their supporting, surrounding communities, they were ready for that. And that shows the real value of training together and focusing in an all-hazards way."