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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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Securing the Bold North: Minnesota National Guard supports Super Bowl LII

Posted: 2018-02-02  10:45 PM
Super Bowl 52 MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. - More than 400 Minnesota National Guardsmen are supporting security efforts in Minneapolis ahead of Super Bowl 52.

"This is what we do," said Maj. Gen. Jon Jensen, Adjutant General of the Minnesota National Guard. "When the local community can't meet the public safety needs, they come to the Guard. We're their normal partner, we're a natural partner, and we're their preferred partner when it comes to filling in the gaps that they can't fill."

At the request of the city, Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton authorized the Minnesota National Guard to provide support to security efforts leading up to and during Super Bowl 52. The Guardsmen are providing direct support to and working alongside law enforcement officers from across the state. Like their civilian law enforcement partners, Minnesota Guardsmen are focused on ensuring a safe experience for the residents and visitors who are attending the Super Bowl festivities.

100 Years Ago, Camp Cody's "Grand Old Man" formed 34th Infantry Division

Posted: 2018-01-18  12:59 PM
Gen. Augustus Blocksom Decorated veteran Augustus Blocksom was a man of his time, but times were changing. He exemplified Progressive Era America prior to the Great War. Blocksom participated in all the major US Army campaigns for nearly a half-century. He fought American Indians, Spaniards, Chinese and Filipinos. He brought that experience to Camp Cody, New Mexico where he assembled units from across the mid-West to form the 34th Infantry Division in 1917.

Iowa Red Bull takes command of 34th Infantry Division

Posted: 2017-12-13  10:11 AM
Minnesota National Guard JOHNSTON, Iowa - Brig. Gen. Benjamin J. Corell, Deputy Adjutant General of the Iowa National Guard, assumed command of the 34th Infantry Division "Red Bulls" during a ceremony in Rosemount, Minnesota, on December 9, 2017.

Headquartered in Minnesota, the division has been commanded almost-exclusively by members of the Minnesota National Guard since 1968.

"Typically there's been very few people who have been allowed to command the 34th Infantry Division that didn't come from the state of Minnesota," Corell said.

Minnesota-based aviation unit honors storied division, enters into new, 'expeditionary' era

Posted: 2017-12-12  11:29 AM
Minnesota National Guard ST. PAUL, Minn. - Soldiers of the Minnesota National Guard's 34th Expeditionary Combat Aviation Brigade (ECAB), who recently celebrated a year full of achievements, have embraced a new name: Red Devils.

The St. Paul-based unit hosted its annual aviation brigade ball Dec. 9, at the Envision Event Center in Oakdale, Minnesota, where the unit's new logo was unveiled.

Soldiers of the 34th ECAB, which falls under and supports the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division, will continue to wear the Red Bull insignia on their uniforms. However, they will now be known and referred to as the Red Devils, a name that pays homage to the division's historical accomplishments and fierce warfighting.

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