| 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
US State Partnership Programme improves regional security
Posted: 2015-03-30 10:37 AM
The US has been aiding countries in the region to improve their defence and military capacities as well as their relations with the NATO. The main tool for this goal is the US State Partnership Programme, in which the US National Guard partners with states from the former Soviet Bloc.
"In the process of upgrading the capabilities of the armed forces of small, transitional countries, co-operation with developed, democratic countries and their military structures [is necessary]," Zvonimir Mahecic, an external expert at the Institute for International Relations in Zagreb and a retired colonel from the Croatian military, told SETimes. "Through joint activities, militaries as well as civilians of small countries are getting a chance to learn from the experiences of military structures that had passed through significant development and adjustment to the needs of combat and non-combat operations of the 21st century. This kind of co-operation represents a great chance to transfer knowledge and achieve implementation. One example of this type of co-operation is between the Minnesota National Guard and Croatian."
Gold Star Fathers Share Story of Love, Service and Sacrifice
Posted: 2015-03-25 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: 2015-03-22 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: 2015-03-18 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.