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Minnesota National Guard
Four Minn. Soldiers inducted into Court of Honor

CAMP RIPLEY, Minn - Four Minnesota National Guard Soldiers were inducted into the Camp Ripley Training Center's Court of Honor in an induction ceremony today

Inducted into the Court of Honor were retired Command Sgt Maj Kelly M Booge, retired Command Sgt Maj Larry W Helsene, retired Master Sgt Michael J Bellos and Staff Sgt Chad A Malmberg The four honorees accounted for 110 years of combined service

Malmberg said he was a little overwhelmed when he first read the names of those inducted in the Court of Honor

"When I first saw my name, along with all those command sergeant majors, it seemed out of place," said Malmberg after the ceremony "It is an incredible feeling to be around that; to be part of something like this is just incredible"

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Malmberg was recognized in the Court of Honor after being awarded the Silver Star in 2007 for actions while serving as a convoy commander during an escort mission in Iraq After his lead vehicle was hit in an ambush from a larger force, he coordinated fires for his convoy team while constantly putting himself in danger of enemy fire Malmberg held off the enemy for nearly an hour without losing a Soldier or truck in his convoy But he said coming home alive and in one piece was enough thanks

"I thought just coming home was enough," he said "To be recognized and to continue to hear the thanks is just incredible It makes me feel like we really make a difference"

Malmberg wasn't the only one who felt he didn't belong

"I was shocked when I first got the letter," said Booge "I understand why Soldiers like Staff Sgt Malmberg are here, but me? You go about doing your job, and that's it I never thought I did that great of a job, or that people were watching me that closely"

Booge was recognized for his years of dedication and mentoring of Soldiers, as well as his dedication to his community He said he had a great feeling being a part of the Court of Honor, but more so because he was able to share the distinction with his brother, 1st Sgt Roger Booge, who was inducted to the Court of Honor posthumously in 1998

"This is an extreme honor," he said "You look at all the thousands and thousands of people who have served in Minnesota; this is a pretty elite group"

Booge also said that he knew others who, in his opinion, should have had their names carved on the stone plaque before his He said he will work to get them recognized in the upcoming years

In addition to the Court of Honor induction, Soldiers from the 175th Field Artillery (FA) received a special recognition during the ceremony The 175th FA had the distinct honor of firing the first American round during World War II Representing the 175th FA were retired Sgt Lloyd M Nelson, retired Cpl Joseph R Piche, retired Private 1st Class Gordon K Bennett, and retired Private 1st Class Victor V Knoph

"When I first heard about this, I thought it was a good idea, and I still do," said Bennett, who served as a forward observer in the 175th FA

Bennett said he remembered calling in the first round on November 19th, 1942

"We were positioned high on the hill overlooking the town and the howitzer was behind and below us," he said "After getting conformation from the commissioned officer with us, I got on the phone and called in that first round"

During the ceremony, the members of the 175th FA received special recognition certificates from Maj. Gen. Larry W Shellito, Minnesota Adjutant General; a coin from 34th Division Commander Maj. Gen. Richard Nash and a signed proclamation from Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, who designated November 19, 2009 as, "175th Field Artillery Day"

The Court of Honor has been recognizing the efforts of Minnesota National Guard Soldiers for 76 years, and has honored 394 Soldiers in all The event, which was previously held biennially, has recognized 394 Soldiers in all The Soldiers were selected for their service to the Minnesota National Guard from nominations received by March this year A board of active and retired Minnesota National Guardsmen and civilian employees review the submissions, and forward recommendations to Maj. Gen. Shellito, for final approval

by Sgt Daryl G Sanford
Minn National Guard Public Affairs
October 4, 2009

Minnesota Guard Member earns a Silver Star for Bravery



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Month of the Military Child recognizes contributions of military kids

Posted: 2018-04-07  01:54 PM
Minnesota National Guard FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 7, 2018

ST. PAUL, Minn.- The month of April is designated as the Month of the Military Child to recognize the contributions and sacrifices military children make so their family members can serve. An estimated 15,000 children in Minnesota have been affected by the deployment of a parent.

"Military children bear a lot while their family members serve," said Maj. Gen. Jon Jensen, Adjutant General of the Minnesota National Guard. "It is up to us to support these resilient kids and help to lessen their burden."

An event to honor military kids in Minnesota will take place April 13, 2018, at the Mall of America rotunda from 2:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Activities will include appearances by the Teddy Bear Band and meet and greets with Nickelodeon characters.



Forging a path to career success

Posted: 2018-03-16  08:45 AM
Col. Angela Steward-Randle ST. PAUL, Minn. - Col. Angela Steward-Randle grew up in a military family - her father served in the Army on active duty - but it was a chance encounter with a friend at college that led her to want to make the military a career.

"My story is no different than many others," Steward-Randle, the Director of Human Resources, Manpower and Personnel for the Minnesota National Guard said. "I was in college and looking for financial resources to help pay for it."

Her college friend suggested they attend a summer training with the Reserve Officer Training Corps that had no obligation and could earn them some money. The friend never ended up going, but Steward-Randle did. After earning recognition as the top honor graduate and receiving an offer of a scholarship, she was hooked.



Minnesota Guardsman Receives Award for Combating Drugs in his Community

Posted: 2018-03-09  03:13 PM
Counterdrug WOODBURY, Minn. - Staff Sgt. Benjamin Kroll, an analyst with the Minnesota National Guard's Counterdrug Task Force who is assigned to work with the Hennepin County Sherriff's Office was recognized for his achievements as the Analyst of the Year during the 2018 Minnesota Association of Crime and Intelligence Analysts Training Symposium in Woodbury, Minnesota, March 7, 2018.

Through a partnership with Minnesota law enforcement agencies throughout the state, the Minnesota National Guard Counterdrug Task Force (MNCDTF) supports the anti-drug initiatives to counter all primary drug threats and vulnerabilities through the effective application of available assets, said Maj. Jon Dotterer, Counterdrug Coordinator for the State of Minnesota. The goal for the program is to support federal, state, tribal, and local agencies in the detection, disruption, interdiction, and curtailment of illicit drugs.

Kroll is one of sixteen service members on the Counterdrug Task Force that provides this force-multiplying service to our communities against illicit drug-use. With the information that law enforcement provide through their patrols and daily operations, Kroll and his colleagues across the state assist by putting together a figurative picture with all of the gathered information which aids in identifying how to move forward with legal action to deter or prevent the sale or use of illegal narcotic drugs.



Women Opened Doors in Minnesota National Guard

Posted: 2018-03-08  09:05 AM
Minnesota National Guard ST. PAUL, Minn. - "The battlefront is no place for women to be," said Command Sgt. Maj. Earl Kurtzweg, 125th Field Artillery, in an article published in 1976. "There are certain jobs girls say they can do, but they just can't do ... the battlefront is no place for women to be. Other countries in the world use women in combat, but the U.S. has not come around to that way of thinking." Kathy Berg, a New Ulm reporter summarized at the time. "So women in the New Ulm unit take care of personnel files and pay records and leave the fighting to the men."

The Minnesota National Guard has "come around to that way of thinking" since those early days of gender integration. In the last 44 years women have made momentous strides toward inclusion and acceptance. Their accomplishments are testimony to their fortitude and the progressive development of the Minnesota National Guard.

When an accomplished female Soldier is credited with breaking barriers she will often pass that honor to the women that preceded her. Brig. Gen. Johanna Clyborne is such a leader. She acknowledges that she is one of the first females in the Minnesota National Guard who has held key leadership roles, however she sees it differently. "I feel responsible for all women in uniform," said Clyborne. "Women before me opened the door, now I've cleared the room. It's up to the women behind me to hold the room."



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