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Minnesota National Guard
Your turn: Cities can go beyond yellow ribbons

Beyond the Yellow Ribbon Communities are a partnership and collaboration between cities, communities and the armed services members who live in and around them It is a collaborative, grass-roots effort between concerned patriotic citizens and their military members/citizen Soldiers

In 2008, a local Warrior to Citizen group came together to engage community members in support of service members and their community To date, more than 300 community members representing 40 organizations and many individuals, have worked together to meet this goal As part of the effort, the Warrior to Citizen group worked to get nine area communities to pledge to complete the work to become Yellow Ribbon Communities Each is working to meet the requirements of the Minnesota National Guard

Why are BYRCs important? In cities that have a large active-duty presence due, many of the quality of life issues (Soldier care, counseling, health services, etc) are provided by a fort or base In states like Minnesota - where we have no fort or base and we have an estimated 100,000 military members and families - these services fall upon the community to provide

Why is this important to the military community?

Recruiting: When cities recognize and honor their veterans, it sends a message to the entire community that service in the armed forces is a desirable, honorable and a worthwhile career path This will lead to more young people joining, especially those who have been turned off by corporate greed, corruption and carelessness

Limited resources and increased need: In peace time, there will be a cry in Congress to cut the defense budget This will equate to less money for quality of life issues for Soldiers

Meanwhile, the needs of our Soldiers coming out of the most active war period since Vietnam will have a far-reaching effect Soldiers are dealing with combat stress, post-traumatic stress, substance abuse, adjustment reactions, employment, divorce and depression

The inevitable decreased funding for these issues coupled with an increased need for these programs creates a perfect storm that has the potential to damage the Army's prestige, and standing in the eyes of the public

Why are BYRCs important to communities?

First, communities that offer a support network to military members will attract service members who have demonstrated through their war time service that they are dedicated, patriotic and hard working In short they'll make excellent contributing members to that city or region

Second, it upholds a social contract within our society that says, if you serve our country - we'll make sure you are treated with honor and respect when your service is complete

How do you build a BYRC? It must be a reverse pyramid style of management The key to success here is to seize upon initiatives, encourage their development, and provide guidance and support when and where available

It is a skill set of leading from behind and learning to cooperate and negotiate with governmental organizations and nongovernmental organizations to accomplish the end-state

It is a skill Soldiers use while deployed and conducting capacity building through joint civilian and military operations

It is also a transferable skill set to working with our cities and communities Once a city has become a BYRC, those involved need to seize upon that success, publicize it, build momentum from it and use the synergy created to encourage the next city to do the same

Once we do that we will have a string of Yellow Ribbon Communities stretching from Duluth to St Cloud, and St Cloud to Albert Lea

This is the opinion of Capt John G Donovan, a St Joseph resident serving in Basra, Iraq

Article source: http://www.sctimes.com/



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Governor Mark Dayton installs new Minnesota National Guard Adjutant General

Posted: 2017-11-04  04:16 PM
TAG installation ST. PAUL, Minn. - Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton administered the oath of office to Maj. Gen. Jon A. Jensen, installing him as the Minnesota National Guard's 31st Adjutant General during a ceremony in St. Paul, November 4, 2017.

"General Jensen has been a tremendous leader of the Minnesota National Guard throughout his years of dedicated service," said Governor Dayton. "He has served in two top leadership positions, as the Commanding General of the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division, and also as the Chief of Staff at the Guard's Joint Force Headquarters. I am confident that he will continue to provide the same outstanding leadership as his predecessor, General Rick Nash."

Jensen most recently served as the Commanding General of the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division. He previously held positions as Deputy Commanding General, United States Army Africa and Southern European Task Force, Minnesota National Guard Director of the Joint Staff and Minnesota National Guard Assistant Adjutant General - Army.



Guard Heritage Suffers with Loss of Artillery Unit

Posted: 2017-10-04  11:22 AM
ETAB ANOKA, Minn. - The Minnesota National Guard lost one of its most historically significant units when the 151st Artillery's E Battery, (Target Acquisition) cased its colors in a ceremony at the Anoka High School Aug. 19, 2017.

The Target Acquisition Battery (ETAB), 151st Field Artillery is one of the oldest and most decorated units in the Minnesota National Guard and the 34th Infantry Division. "Both Minnesota and the Division lose the proud lineage that goes back to Civil War days, through WW1 and WW2, and had a significant amount of battle streamers," said 151st Field Artillery Battalion Commander, Lt. Col. Patrick Cornwell.

The 151st Field Artillery draws its lineage from the 1st Regiment, Minnesota Heavy Artillery of 1864 which fought two major campaigns in Tennessee during the Civil War.



In one month: Minnesota Guardsmen support Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria

Posted: 2017-09-29  02:25 PM
Minnesota National Guard ST. PAUL, Minn. - In the span of a few weeks, three major hurricanes hit different parts of the southern United States, causing widespread damage and destruction and requiring the response of agencies around the country. The Minnesota National Guard is one of the many organizations that have responded, sending Soldiers and Airmen to Texas, Florida, the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

"This is the most gratifying deployment of my career," said Capt. Jeremy Maxey with the 133rd Airlift Wing who was called back from his vacation early to go to the Virgin Islands. "It means a lot to be able to actually directly help people. It's why I serve. Throughout my career I've deployed numerous times, but this is the one where you actually see the people you serve."

The start of the month brought the first request for assistance. On Sept. 1, two CH-47 Chinook helicopters and 11 personnel from the St. Cloud-based B Company, 2nd General Support Aviation Battalion, 211th Aviation Regiment left for Texas following Hurricane Harvey to transport personnel and equipment in support of response efforts.



Finding fellowship in the sacred mission

Posted: 2017-09-26  12:02 PM
Minnesota National Guard CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - One of the most difficult, most sacred, honorable duties in the military is one that people don't often think about. It takes compassion, empathy, care, and requires great resilience. It is one that when called upon to train for, they hope to rarely perform because it means another Soldier has been lost. It is the duty of casualty notification officer and casualty assistance officer.

About 45 Minnesota Army National Guard Soldiers came to Camp Ripley, Minnesota, on September 21-22, 2017, for a Reset Seminar to find fellowship in one specific thing they have in common: delivering the worst news in the Army.

When a Soldier dies at home or overseas, CNOs and CAOs must notify and help families through the process, including paperwork, benefits, and funeral arrangements.



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