/*********************************************** * Chrome CSS Drop Down Menu- (c) Dynamic Drive DHTML code library (www.dynamicdrive.com) * This notice MUST stay intact for legal use * Visit Dynamic Drive at http://www.dynamicdrive.com/ for full source code ***********************************************/
Minnesota National Guard
Racing for the Red Bulls

MIAMI, Fla, -- While deployed in Iraq, Spc Brandon Small of Company C, 2nd Combined Arms Battalion, 136th Infantry Regiment, watched as many NASCAR Nextel Cup Series races on TV as he could despite the time change Most of the races started after 10 pm Iraq time

On Nov 17-18, Small of Clouquet, Minn, and several other Minnesota Army National Guard Soldiers and their spouses had the best opportunity in the world to watch a NASCAR race: Live from Homestead-Miami Speedway

And the group numbering more than 15 Soldiers also witnessed NASCAR history This was the last race for the Nextel Cup Series and Busch Series Sprint replaces Nextel Cup and Nationwide Insurance replaces Busch next season It also was the season finale where Jimmie Johnson won his second consecutive Nextel Cup points title

"(The experience) was overwhelming," said Small "It was very exciting and a very fun trip" He said one thing that he will remember is shaking Casey Mears hand Mears, the nephew of four-time Indy 500 winner Rick Mears, drives the Nextel Cup and Busch Series National Guard Chevy

The event is part of the National Guard Bureau NASCAR program The Bureau in conjunction with Hendrick Motorsports and Docupak honored a different National Guard brigade or division that deployed during Operation Iraqi Freedom

For this race, Minnesota Army National Guard's 34th "Red Bull" Infantry Division was honored It was the 22nd brigade or division honored on the car this season The division or brigade's unit crest was painted on the hood and the car's quarter panels

The division's 1st Brigade Combat Team was deployed in Iraq from March 2006 until July 2007 for one of the longest tours of any Army unit The BCT had several missions, including escorting supply convoys across Iraq and civil military operations

For someone who wasn't a race fan like Lt. Col. Jacob Kulzer, commander of the Minnesota Guard's Recruiting and Retention Battalion, he said even after the experience he still was "a (temporary duty) race fan"

For another avid racing fan who has attended NASCAR's "Super Bowl", the Daytona 500 several times, Sgt Maj Curtis Jasper of Oak Grove, this trip was one of his better temporary duties His temporary duty assignments include Hawaii and Norway

Small and the contingent also were able to visit with Mears He also signed his autograph on every one of the group's die cast models of his car given to them This 1/24 scale model also had the Red Bull on its hood and quarter panels

"It's been a lot of fun representing the National Guard," said Mears "It's definitely a little different than your average sponsor

"The amount of support you guys have given us on the backside has been awesome too," he continued

Mears also was presented the 34th Division coin by division commander Maj. Gen. Richard Nash and the 1st 1/34 BCT Command Sergeant Major coin by Command Sgt Maj Doug Julin of Wyoming, Minn

The group also watched the Busch Series race from the Guard's motor home parked near the speedway's turn one and was able to tour the Busch garages and pits Along with their "great seats" they were given radio scanners which enabled them to listen to veteran racer Mark Martin during the race Some of the contingent also was on pit road where they watched Mears' pit crew at work during his pit stops

For the Nextel Cup Series race the next day, several of the Soldiers attended the race free and sat among the 65,000 fans and watched the race

As Sgt Jaimie Edenloff of Osakis said, "It was awesome"

As for next season when NASCAR's most popular driver assumes duties as the Guard racer, it is still undecided if the program will continue

Staff Sgt Jeffrey Bogaards, one of the Guard representatives, said, "We're trying to do it in some capacity"

By Sgt. 1st Class Clinton Wood
1/34 BCT PAO

On Nov. 17-18, Small of Clouquet, Minn., and several other Minnesota Army National Guard Soldiers and their spouses had the best opportunity in the world to watch a NASCAR race: Live from Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Photos Sgt. 1st Class Clinton Wood

Articles archive

In The News archive

Media Advisory archive

Latest News

Forging a path to career success

Posted: 2018-03-16  08:45 AM
Col. Angela Steward-Randle ST. PAUL, Minn. - Col. Angela Steward-Randle grew up in a military family - her father served in the Army on active duty - but it was a chance encounter with a friend at college that led her to want to make the military a career.

"My story is no different than many others," Steward-Randle, the Director of Human Resources, Manpower and Personnel for the Minnesota National Guard said. "I was in college and looking for financial resources to help pay for it."

Her college friend suggested they attend a summer training with the Reserve Officer Training Corps that had no obligation and could earn them some money. The friend never ended up going, but Steward-Randle did. After earning recognition as the top honor graduate and receiving an offer of a scholarship, she was hooked.

Minnesota Guardsman Receives Award for Combating Drugs in his Community

Posted: 2018-03-09  03:13 PM
Counterdrug WOODBURY, Minn. - Staff Sgt. Benjamin Kroll, an analyst with the Minnesota National Guard's Counterdrug Task Force who is assigned to work with the Hennepin County Sherriff's Office was recognized for his achievements as the Analyst of the Year during the 2018 Minnesota Association of Crime and Intelligence Analysts Training Symposium in Woodbury, Minnesota, March 7, 2018.

Through a partnership with Minnesota law enforcement agencies throughout the state, the Minnesota National Guard Counterdrug Task Force (MNCDTF) supports the anti-drug initiatives to counter all primary drug threats and vulnerabilities through the effective application of available assets, said Maj. Jon Dotterer, Counterdrug Coordinator for the State of Minnesota. The goal for the program is to support federal, state, tribal, and local agencies in the detection, disruption, interdiction, and curtailment of illicit drugs.

Kroll is one of sixteen service members on the Counterdrug Task Force that provides this force-multiplying service to our communities against illicit drug-use. With the information that law enforcement provide through their patrols and daily operations, Kroll and his colleagues across the state assist by putting together a figurative picture with all of the gathered information which aids in identifying how to move forward with legal action to deter or prevent the sale or use of illegal narcotic drugs.

Women Opened Doors in Minnesota National Guard

Posted: 2018-03-08  09:05 AM
Minnesota National Guard ST. PAUL, Minn. - "The battlefront is no place for women to be," said Command Sgt. Maj. Earl Kurtzweg, 125th Field Artillery, in an article published in 1976. "There are certain jobs girls say they can do, but they just can't do ... the battlefront is no place for women to be. Other countries in the world use women in combat, but the U.S. has not come around to that way of thinking." Kathy Berg, a New Ulm reporter summarized at the time. "So women in the New Ulm unit take care of personnel files and pay records and leave the fighting to the men."

The Minnesota National Guard has "come around to that way of thinking" since those early days of gender integration. In the last 44 years women have made momentous strides toward inclusion and acceptance. Their accomplishments are testimony to their fortitude and the progressive development of the Minnesota National Guard.

When an accomplished female Soldier is credited with breaking barriers she will often pass that honor to the women that preceded her. Brig. Gen. Johanna Clyborne is such a leader. She acknowledges that she is one of the first females in the Minnesota National Guard who has held key leadership roles, however she sees it differently. "I feel responsible for all women in uniform," said Clyborne. "Women before me opened the door, now I've cleared the room. It's up to the women behind me to hold the room."

Securing the Bold North: Minnesota National Guard supports Super Bowl LII

Posted: 2018-02-02  10:45 PM
Super Bowl 52 MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. - More than 400 Minnesota National Guardsmen are supporting security efforts in Minneapolis ahead of Super Bowl 52.

"This is what we do," said Maj. Gen. Jon Jensen, Adjutant General of the Minnesota National Guard. "When the local community can't meet the public safety needs, they come to the Guard. We're their normal partner, we're a natural partner, and we're their preferred partner when it comes to filling in the gaps that they can't fill."

At the request of the city, Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton authorized the Minnesota National Guard to provide support to security efforts leading up to and during Super Bowl 52. The Guardsmen are providing direct support to and working alongside law enforcement officers from across the state. Like their civilian law enforcement partners, Minnesota Guardsmen are focused on ensuring a safe experience for the residents and visitors who are attending the Super Bowl festivities.

Article archive