| 834th ASB receives new leadership
The 834th Aviation Support Battalion (ASB) welcomed a new commander at a Change of Command Ceremony in St Paul, Minn on Nov 15 Lt Col Eric Waage, the outgoing 834th ASB Commander, passed the battalion colors to Lt Col Michael Taff, the incoming commander, signifying the beginning of a new chapter in the battalion story
“I am proud to have been part of such an effective unit, filled with these outstanding people, during an important period in our nation's history,” Lt Col Waage said
Under Lt Col Waage’s leadership, the 834th ASB received the Meritorious Unit Commendation Award following its deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom as part of Task Force 34 from Aug 2008 to May 2009
“I am particularly proud of the reputation that the 834th built in Iraq for tirelessly finding solutions to any strange and difficult logistical problems that impacted those units we supported,” Lt Col Waage continued
Throughout his time in command, Lt Col Waage left a lasting impression on those he worked with
“I learned a lot from Lt Col Waage, he has many qualities that a leader should have,” said Cpt Daniel Dobler, Headquarters Support Company 834th ASB Commander “He was a very good listener and was able to absorb a great deal of information, process it and come out with very logical and sound plans”
Cpt Dobler feels Lt Col Taff will also be a great leader and great fit for the battalion, because he is familiar with the 834th ASB from his previous full time job as the 34th Combat Aviation Brigade (CAB) Officer in Charge, and also from the deployment where he was the 34th CAB Executive Officer
“Lt Col Taff brings strong leadership abilities to the unit, and also his knowledge of the battalion and what it is capable of doing will also make him a strong battalion commander,” Cpt Dobler said
Lt Col Waage also has faith that Lt Col Taff will succeed
“I've known Lt Col Taff for many years and have a great deal of respect for him,” Lt Col Waage said “I know he is really motivated to do some great things during his tenure, so I am very happy that the unit will be in such capable hands He will make a superb battalion commander”
Lt Col Taff is ready to put his stamp on the 834th ASB
“I had been watching this organization for some time and have noted the challenges that organization faced The diverse mission sets of the battalion have always intrigued me,” Lt Col Taff said “My first focus will be to ensure that the right leadership is in the right positions as we now assume a new mission set supporting state active duty demands”
Lt Col Taff is excited to use this command as a stepping stone in his career to eventually move upward in the state and the Army
“This will hopefully pave the way for US Army War College and ultimately a Colonel position,” Lt Col Taff said
Both, incoming and outgoing commanders are proud of where the 834th ASB has been and look forward to what the future holds
Lt Col Waage now works with Joint Force Headquarters as the Director of Joint Doctrine, Training and Force Development, which coincides with his full-time National Guard position
By Sgt Jodi Krause
Minnesota National Guard Public Affairs
15 Nov 2009
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.
Minnesota Guardsman earns recognition through Leads 2 Enlistment program
Posted: 2017-03-23 09:46 AM
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
Posted: 2017-03-10 08:50 AM
LITCHFIELD, Minn. -Bruce Cottington, a Navy veteran of WWII and Korea, donated a bronze bust of Gen. John W. Vessey, Jr. to the Litchfield National Guard unit during the armory's public open house event March 4. Cottington, a Litchfield resident, commands the Minnesota Chapter of the Veterans of Underage Military Service. VUMS members enlisted in the military prior to the minimum age requirement in order to serve their country during WWII. Cottington received the bust from Vessey, a fellow VUMS member. Both enlisted in the military at the age of 16.
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
Posted: 2017-03-08 03:29 PM
CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - The garrison command team of Camp Ripley, family, friends and colleagues from the Minnesota National Guard attended a Change of Responsibility ceremony between Command Sgt. Maj. Mike Worden and Command Sgt. Maj. Matt Erickson, March 5, 2017, at Camp Ripley.
The ceremony was an official "passing of the sword" from one senior noncommissioned officer to the next and assumption of the duties and responsibilities that go along with the position of Garrison Command Sergeant Major.
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.