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Minnesota National Guard
This time, it is different

By: Spc Thomas Keeler, Minnesota National Guard Public Affairs
Dec 11, 2008

Minnesota Soldiers and families will be looking ahead as the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division of the Minnesota National Guard announces a deployment today to the south of Iraq for about 1,000 Service members The deployment begins February 13, 2009, and will last for about a year

Details about the deployment were given to reporters at a press conference that was webcast to Soldiers, families, employers and communities at the 34th Red Bull Inf Div headquarters in Rosemount, Minn

The 34th Inf Div's mission will be to command military operations in the southern portion of the country, stretching from the provinces south of Baghdad to Saudi Arabia" and area about the size of Minnesota The Red Bulls will take operational control of the area from the 10th Mountain Division, an active duty Army division based in Ft Drum, N Y

"The scope of this mission is unprecedented," said Maj Gen Nash, the commanding general of the 34th Inf Div who will lead a force of more than 16,000 Service members during the deployment "It is important to know that this historic undertaking is not about conducting offensive military operations, but about enabling the Iraqi people to take responsibility for their own affairs," said Nash

In contrast with the nearly 22-month deployment of the 1st Brigade Combat Team from 2005-2007, this deployment will run for one year, from February 2009 to the following February The first couple months of the deployment will consist of training exercises at Ft Lewis, Wash, an active duty Army base near Seattle, after which time the division will arrive "in country" sometime in April 2009 In total, the division expects to spend about 300 days overseas

The four Minnesota units which will deploy with the 34th Inf Div are: the Rosemount-based 34th Red Bull Inf Div Headquarters; the Inver Grove Heights-based 34th Inf Div Special Troops Battalion; the Rosemount-based 34th Red Bull Infantry Division Band, which will provide a critical ceremonial and morale mission throughout the deployment, and the Stillwater-based 34th Military Police Company About a third of the Soldiers scheduled for this deployment have prior deployment experience





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Soldiers of National Guard units from all over the United States took part in the course designed to educate team leaders in a variety of funeral honor detail tasks, traditions and responsibilities.

"It's a stressful course, but for our job, we have to be prepared to do our job under stress; and we all really benefitted from that," said Class Honor Grad, Sgt. Ryan Valline of the 2nd Combined Arms Battalion, 136th Infantry.



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Chaplain Shabazz ROSEMOUNT, Minn. - The Soldiers of the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division had a unique opportunity to speak with one of the U.S. Army's five Muslim chaplains April 7-10, 2017. U.S. Army Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Khallid Shabazz, I Corps deputy command chaplain, travelled from Fort Lewis, Washington, to Minnesota to provide professional development for the division chaplain section.

"Soldiers perform at a higher level when they are spiritually fit," said Minnesota National Guard Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Buddy Winn, the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division command chaplain. "And, it's our job as chaplains to make sure Soldiers have their spiritual needs met, regardless of faith. Having Chaplain Shabazz here as a Muslim Chaplain provides the diversity in religious background that we can't provide internally."

There are five major religions supported by the chaplaincy: Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu and Buddhist, but over 200 religions are recognized. Chaplains can only perform services for their particular religion, but they can provide support for all Soldiers, regardless of their faith.



Howling with pride - Minnesota Service members honored by MN Timberwolves

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Timberwolves ST. PAUL, Minn. - For the third consecutive year, Minnesota service members were honored with on-court recognition and other VIP treatments as part of the Minnesota Timberwolves Heroes of the Pack Program.

"We are very appreciative for what the military does for us, and we wanted to give something back to honor the military," said Roger McCabe, who along with wife, Nancy, is a driving force behind the recognitions through the FastBreak Foundation and Roger & Nancy McCabe Foundation. "This is our way of doing it."

Having lived through the Vietnam War - and with Roger and Nancy both having parents who served - the two philanthropists decided a few years back to build upon existing recognition efforts already underway by the Timberwolves. And with that, recognitions that were typically happening at Target Center in November expanded to include Minnesota Service members from all branches at every home game - a total of 41 honorees per season.



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Vehicle crewmen from the 2nd Combined Arms Battalion, 136th Infantry based in Moorhead, worked with railroad personnel from BNSF Railway to stage, load and secure their equipment in preparation for movement.

"It was a lot of work and lessons learned, but it was awesome seeing the completed product," said Sgt. 1st Class Brian Reiten, readiness non-commissioned officer for C Co., 2nd Combined Arms Battalion, 136th Infantry.



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