| Hall of Fame U of M coach trains, thanks troops in COB Basra
COB BASRA, Iraq " Who is Coach J Robinson?
Robinson has had an illustrious career as an Army Ranger during the Vietnam War, an Olympic wrestler and as one of the greatest coaches in University of Minnesota (U of M) history
Robinson demonstrated his bravery by telling a roomful of military policemen how he listens to Britney Spears and Lady Gaga to get motivated
Robinson is also caring He flew to Iraq recently to motivate the troops and when he learned the government wasn't going to pay his way, he was perfectly willing to fly halfway around world on his own dime
All to offer a simple "Thank you"
"When the chaplain called and asked if I could come, I thought it was the least I could do," said Robinson, who was inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2005 "I was sitting at home, and you know what that's like It's pretty good Sometimes you don't realize that until you leave"
Robinson visited troops all over Contingency Operating Base Basra, Iraq, at each stop encouraging Soldiers and telling them to embrace their deployment as a learning experience
"The lessons you learn in Iraq will follow you for the rest of your lives," said Robinson, who attended Airborne, Jungle Warfare and Ranger school before deploying to Vietnam "I'm more proud to be a Ranger than I am being an Olympian, because the lessons I learned there I've used for the rest of life"
Robinson, a member of the 1972 Olympic wrestling team, addressed Soldiers on the importance of perspective, concentration, and the power of choice and striving for excellence in everything they do
In addition, Robinson told the Soldiers that someday they would be able to look back at their time in Iraq and be proud of the people they had helped, even those they had not known they helped
"One thing you learn as a coach, you do a lot of stuff and you touch a lot of people, and you might never see it," Robinson said "You're not always going to get that pat on the back"
Robinson's busy schedule included wrestling classes with the 34th Military Police (MP) Company The coach of three team national titles instructed the MP's on hand placement and balance; "the fundamentals," said the seven-time Big Ten Coach of the Year
"It's part of his striving for excellence," said Lt Col Jeffery Johnson, Inspector General for the 34th "Red Bull" Infantry Division (34th ID) and an alumnus of the U of M "A, giving thanks from the state of Minnesota, and B, helping the MP's strive for excellence"
While Robinson could only visit for a few days, his visit was appreciated up to the highest levels
"Soldiers want to know three things: to know that their folks back home are alright, that life back home is going normally, and that folks back home are thinking of them," said Brig Gen David Elicerio, deputy commanding general of the 34th ID, and U of M Class of 1980 "I think this accomplishes that"
So who is Coach J Robinson? A Ranger? An Olympian? A Hall of Fame wrestling coach?
For a while in COB Basra, the answer was simple: a legend, an old Soldier, a man willing to come back out to the front to show his gratitude to the Soldiers personally
"For me, I have to come out here to say thanks," Robinson said
By Pvt 1st Class J Princeville Lawrence
Multi-National Division - South Public Affairs
26 Oct, 2009
In The News
Camp Ripley strikes first before wildfire season
Posted: 2017-03-24 10:19 AM
CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - Every spring Camp Ripley begins its annual controlled burn program to help reduce the risk of wildfire during training.
"Usually the burns are completed every spring before the summer annual training season begins," said Tim Notch, training area coordinator on Camp Ripley. "However, the warmer weather conditions provide a nice opportunity for preventative burns earlier this season."
As in years past Camp Ripley will conduct controlled burns on approximately 13,000 acres of the 53,000-acre military reservation. The burns are done in coordination with the staffs of the Camp Ripley Department of Public Works and the Camp Ripley Environmental Department along with support from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.
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DULUTH, Minn. - Pfc. Trevor Nelson received the Minnesota Distinguished Recruiting Ribbon and a Minnesota Recruiting and Retention Battalion medallion for excellence from Command Sgt. Maj. Curtis Serbus, March 18, 2017, at the Duluth Armory. Nelson earned these awards as part of the online referral system, Leads 2 Enlistment for referring four friends who have joined the Minnesota National Guard.
"I talked to some buddies in my school about the Guard. They liked the benefits, so I put their info in the app and let my recruiter take over." said Nelson. "I thought it would be fun to serve with friends and help them figure out their path in life."
Nelson is currently a senior at Cloquet Senior High School and assigned to the Recruit Sustainment Program in Duluth. He attended basic training at Fort Benning in the summer of 2016 with follow-on training in the summer of 2017 to become an infantryman.
Litchfield and Local Veteran Honor Gen. John Vessey at Armory Open House
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The highlight of the 334th Brigade Engineer Battalion open house was the unveiling of the sculpture. The unit was very supportive when Cottington proposed donating the sculpture. The Litchfield community has always been very supportive of the National Guard over the years, so the open house was a chance to say 'thanks' to their neighbors. "This was a great opportunity to honor Bruce and to honor Gen. Vessey," said B Co., 334th Brigade Engineer Battalion Commander, Capt. Seth Goreham. Bravo Company also has a tight relationship with the local American Legion and VFW. Many Litchfield citizens are former members of Bravo Company, or the unit's predecessors A Co, 682nd Engineer Battalion, and the 849th Mobility Augmentation Company.
Camp Ripley welcomes new command sergeant major
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As with many military ceremonies those in attendance welcomed Erickson as a new member of the team and bid farewell, recognized and thanked Worden for his service.