| 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 U.S. 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
The conflict at home: Substance Abuse Awareness Month
Posted: 2014-10-01 02:51 PM
ST. PAUL, Minn.- Not only a time for jumping into piles of red- and gold-colored leaves, October is also Substance Abuse Awareness Month.
For nearly twenty years, the U.S. has recognized Red Ribbon Week, an event to conduct drug prevention education and advocacy. For several years, Minnesota National Guard members have participated in community events to support the initiative. The campaign runs through the final week of October each year.
"With the Red Ribbon Campaign we're going to take every opportunity that we can to promote what we're trying to do in the National Guard and highlight some of the community resources and partners that we've been working with as well," said Capt. Tara Robertson, substance abuse prevention program manager for the Minnesota National Guard.
Minnesota National Guard Senior Enlisted Advisor position changes hands
Posted: 2014-09-29 02:36 PM
ST. PAUL, Minn.- Command Sgt. Maj. Douglas Wortham took responsibility as the Minnesota National Guard Senior Enlisted Advisor from Command Sgt. Maj. Cynthia Kallberg during a ceremony in St. Paul, September 27, 2014.
Maj. Gen. Richard C. Nash, adjutant general of the Minnesota National Guard, described Kallberg as a leader, technical expert, mentor and trailblazer. Kallberg took on the position of Senior Enlisted Advisor in December of 2011 and is the first female to hold that position in the Minnesota National Guard.
Minnesota National Guard leaders discuss suicide during suicide awareness roundtable
Posted: 2014-09-25 01:09 PM
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn.- According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, about 22 veterans in the U.S. are lost each day to suicide. And while statistics vary from state to state, from age group to age group and from organization to organization, suicide is undoubtedly an issue for those who have served and their families.
Leaders from the Minnesota National Guard talked about the topic of suicide in a recent round table discussion on Minnesota Military Radio during a September show in honor of National Suicide Prevention Month. (To listen to the complete show, visit http://minnesotamilitaryradiohour.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/MMR091414.mp3)