| 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 p.m. 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 p.m. 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
The Minnesota National Guard hosts its first Joint Female Professional Development Training Symposium
Posted: 2015-04-16 05:26 PM
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 16, 2015
ST. PAUL, Minn.-
More than 300 hundred Minnesota National Guard women will gather together for the first Joint Female Professional Development Training Symposium at Metropolitan State University on April 18, 2015.
"The day is going to be packed full of growth and development opportunities for skills advancement, communication/networking, career mapping, being a leader and competing in the arena," said Lt. Col. Barb Pazdernik, event coordinator.
Approximately 20 percent of Minnesota National Guard soldiers and airmen are women. With more than 13,000 members, it's no secret that more males are in leadership positions - but solutions are in place to change that.
Minnesota 'Purples Up' for Military Children
Posted: 2015-04-15 03:00 PM
Since 1986, the Department of Defense has celebrated April as the "Month of the Military Child", a recognition of the courage of and sacrifices made by children of military parents. More than 1.7 million American children under the age of 18 have at least one parent serving in the military many of whom have deployed several times.
"Month of the Military Child is great here in Minnesota," said the Minnesota National Guard's Family Programs Director Army Capt. Marian Belinski during a recent interview on Minnesota Military Radio. "We have phenomenal support from the government officials to our military leadership and the community in general."
Statewide Joining Community Forces - Minnesota events provide support for communities and military
Posted: 2015-04-14 08:53 AM
ST. PAUL, Minn. - "Each year Joining Community Forces events strengthen the synchronization of effort across the state in sharing resources and building partnerships in support of military-connected residents." said Minnesota National Guard Director of Military Outreach, Annette Kuyper.
Registration closes Wednesday, April 15, for both afternoon and evening meetings that are scheduled for Albert Lea on April 23; Alexandria on April 30; Willmar on May 7; Cloquet on May 14; and Richfield on May 20.
"These meetings are important to the Yellow Ribbon Networks because it allows them to learn about how other communities are connecting with Service members, veterans and military families as well as how to connect with resources they can tap into to support them," said Kuyper.
Minnesota National Guard recognizes April as sexual assault awareness month
Posted: 2015-04-13 03:49 PM
ST. PAUL, Minn. - The Minnesota National Guard Sexual Assault Prevention and Response program is working to increase intervention and ensure leaders at all levels are supportive of victims of sexual assault.
"We all joined the military for a reason and part of that underlying reason," said Chief Warrant Officer 2 Jennifer Diaz, the Minnesota National Guard Sexual Assault Response Coordinator. "I think with a majority of people, you're here to keep people safe and defend people, so why wouldn't you put that into play with the people that you work next to every day?"
Intervention can play a key role in not just stopping sexual assaults as they are happening, but also stopping a situation before it escalates to the point of sexual assault. All Soldiers and Airmen in the Minnesota National Guard are taught to watch out for each other and to intervene when a situation seems to be inappropriate or when a person may be at risk.
"Intervening in something is very hard because we're in a time now where people tend to think, 'Well, just mind your own business, it doesn't concern you'," said Diaz. "So it's really just trying to get that comfort level up with anybody to be able to stop something that they think might not be right."