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Minnesota National Guard
Minnesota National Guard Soldiers Killed In Iraq

The Department of Defense announced today the deaths of two Minnesota National Guard Soldiers who were supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom

Sergeant Corey J Rystad, Age 20, of Red Lake Falls; and Sergeant Bryan T McDonough, Age 22, of Maplewood were both killed in combat Both Soldiers were assigned to B Company, 2nd Combined Arms Battalion, 136th Infantry, based in Crookston While traveling on a patrol mission near Fallujah, Iraq an Improvised Explosive Device detonated near their vehicle on Saturday, December 2nd at approximately 4 pm Iraq time

"We mourn the loss of these two Soldiers; they were truly part of our National Guard family," said Maj Gen Larry Shellito, the Adjutant General of Minnesota, "Please take a moment to reflect on the ultimate sacrifice made by these two brave men We will never forget their dedication, loyalty and bravery to the United States of America and the state of Minnesota I ask that you keep their families and loved ones in your thoughts and prayers as they enter the holiday season with heavy hearts"

Members of the media are invited to a press conference at 3 pm on Monday, Dec 4 at the Crookston National Guard Armory, 1801 University Avenue North, Crookston, Minn Lt Col Kevin Gutknecht, the Rear Detachment Commander of the 1st of the 34th Brigade Combat Team will make a statement to the media

The Minnesota National Guard will operate a media information center at the Crookston National Guard Armory, 1801 University Avenue North, Crookston, Minn on Monday, Dec 4 The media is invited to generate remote broadcasts from the Detroit Lakes Armory on Monday, Dec 4

NOTICE TO NEWS EDITORS:

-The families have requested that further media inquiries be directed to the Minnesota National Guard Public Affairs Office at 651-268-8949 The family does not wish to be contacted by the media

- Details of funeral service will be provided as they become available

- visit: www.MinnesotaNationalGuard.org
Sgt. Bryan McDonough
Sgt. Corey Rystad



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Camp Ripley strikes first before wildfire season

Posted: 2017-03-24  10:19 AM
Controlled burn CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - Every spring Camp Ripley begins its annual controlled burn program to help reduce the risk of wildfire during training.

"Usually the burns are completed every spring before the summer annual training season begins," said Tim Notch, training area coordinator on Camp Ripley. "However, the warmer weather conditions provide a nice opportunity for preventative burns earlier this season."

As in years past Camp Ripley will conduct controlled burns on approximately 13,000 acres of the 53,000-acre military reservation. The burns are done in coordination with the staffs of the Camp Ripley Department of Public Works and the Camp Ripley Environmental Department along with support from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.



Minnesota Guardsman earns recognition through Leads 2 Enlistment program

Posted: 2017-03-23  09:46 AM
Pfc Trevor Nelson DULUTH, Minn. - Pfc. Trevor Nelson received the Minnesota Distinguished Recruiting Ribbon and a Minnesota Recruiting and Retention Battalion medallion for excellence from Command Sgt. Maj. Curtis Serbus, March 18, 2017, at the Duluth Armory. Nelson earned these awards as part of the online referral system, Leads 2 Enlistment for referring four friends who have joined the Minnesota National Guard.

"I talked to some buddies in my school about the Guard. They liked the benefits, so I put their info in the app and let my recruiter take over." said Nelson. "I thought it would be fun to serve with friends and help them figure out their path in life."

Nelson is currently a senior at Cloquet Senior High School and assigned to the Recruit Sustainment Program in Duluth. He attended basic training at Fort Benning in the summer of 2016 with follow-on training in the summer of 2017 to become an infantryman.



Litchfield and Local Veteran Honor Gen. John Vessey at Armory Open House

Posted: 2017-03-10  08:50 AM
Vessey Bust LITCHFIELD, Minn. -Bruce Cottington, a Navy veteran of WWII and Korea, donated a bronze bust of Gen. John W. Vessey, Jr. to the Litchfield National Guard unit during the armory's public open house event March 4. Cottington, a Litchfield resident, commands the Minnesota Chapter of the Veterans of Underage Military Service. VUMS members enlisted in the military prior to the minimum age requirement in order to serve their country during WWII. Cottington received the bust from Vessey, a fellow VUMS member. Both enlisted in the military at the age of 16.

The highlight of the 334th Brigade Engineer Battalion open house was the unveiling of the sculpture. The unit was very supportive when Cottington proposed donating the sculpture. The Litchfield community has always been very supportive of the National Guard over the years, so the open house was a chance to say 'thanks' to their neighbors. "This was a great opportunity to honor Bruce and to honor Gen. Vessey," said B Co., 334th Brigade Engineer Battalion Commander, Capt. Seth Goreham. Bravo Company also has a tight relationship with the local American Legion and VFW. Many Litchfield citizens are former members of Bravo Company, or the unit's predecessors A Co, 682nd Engineer Battalion, and the 849th Mobility Augmentation Company.



Camp Ripley welcomes new command sergeant major

Posted: 2017-03-08  03:29 PM
CSM Erickson CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - The garrison command team of Camp Ripley, family, friends and colleagues from the Minnesota National Guard attended a Change of Responsibility ceremony between Command Sgt. Maj. Mike Worden and Command Sgt. Maj. Matt Erickson, March 5, 2017, at Camp Ripley.

The ceremony was an official "passing of the sword" from one senior noncommissioned officer to the next and assumption of the duties and responsibilities that go along with the position of Garrison Command Sergeant Major.

As with many military ceremonies those in attendance welcomed Erickson as a new member of the team and bid farewell, recognized and thanked Worden for his service.



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