| 11th Annual Government on Display Expo
Information about valuable government resources available to Minnesota residents was presented at the 11th Annual Government on Display Expo, held at the Mall of America in Bloomington on Jan. 30 and 31.
The Federal Executive Board of Minnesota hosts this annual event, coordinating exhibits spread out through the Mall of America first floor courts. Exhibits included such departments as Minnesota National Guard and Reserve military components, Department of Agriculture, Department of Veterans Affairs, and Department of Housing and Urban Development. The departments had a variety of interactive materials as well as pamphlets, magnets and pens for residents to keep.
The largest display was hosted by the Minnesota Army National Guard, which featured two rock climbing walls.
"The purpose of us being there was to show the public that there are opportunities that are available to them,"¯said Sgt. 1st Class Michael Rivera, Minnesota Army National Guard Recruiting and Retention Noncommissioned Officer. "Additionally, we wanted to make ourselves visible and accessible to answer questions and give accurate answers."¯
According to Rivera, the event was a success.
"There was a ton of interest, not only in troops returning from deployments, but as well as people interested in joining the Army National Guard team,"¯ Rivera said. "That kind of exposure and the opportunity the Mall of America gave was incredible."¯
Along with the exhibits, a citizenship ceremony was held, welcoming children and youth as new Americans. Some new citizens were adopted into American families from other countries, and others had relatives who were citizens.
Story and photos by Sgt. Jodi Krause
Minnesota National Guard Public Affairs
30 Jan., 2010
More event photos.
Fort Hood shooting victim's family receives posthumous Purple Heart medal
Posted: 2015-05-22 08:00 AM
ST. PAUL, Minn. - More than five years after Pfc. Kham See Xiong lost his life in a mass shooting at Fort Hood, Texas, the Xiong family received his Purple Heart in a Ceremony during Hmong American Day in St. Paul, Minn.
"Kham was an American Solider, a Hmong-American who raised his right hand and swore to defend the constitution of the United States, a Hero," said keynote speaker Brig. Gen. Kent D. Savre, Fort Leonard Wood commanding general. Savre served as commander of the 36th Engineer Brigade at Fort Hood during the attack.
Four hundred members of the Hmong and St. Paul community crowded into the Harriet Island Pavilion as rain fell, May 14, 2015, to witness the Purple Heart Ceremony.
148th Fighter Wing Excels at Combat Hammer
Posted: 2015-05-21 03:44 PM
HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah - Approximately 180 Airmen and Block 50 F-16's from the 148th Fighter Wing, Duluth, Minn. participated in an exercise known as Combat Hammer while at Hill AFB, Utah in early May 2015. Combat Hammer is a Weapons System Evaluation Program (WSEP) that evaluates weapon systems in their entirety.
While the exercise was about a week long for most 148FW Airmen, it was quite a bit longer for those Airmen actually building the bombs and missiles. "Typically, we are one of the first assets to show up at a deployment," said 2nd Lt. Mylii Pukema, 148FW Munitions Officer. "We show up about a week before most everyone else, so we can build up the weapons and have them ready when the jets arrive."
"It's a common misconception that weapons come already built," said Pukema. "Different weapons have different levels of configuration that have to happen. It can be a lot of detail that goes into configuring a weapon or it can be relatively simple, it just depends on the mission."
148FW Munition's Airmen were evaluated from the time the weapon came out of the box. How they practiced safety and followed tech data during the building of the weapon were key components to the evaluation process.
Red Bulls Welcome New Command Sergeant Major
Posted: 2015-05-17 10:38 AM
ROSEMOUNT, Minn. - Soldiers and family members of the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division gathered at the division headquarters Sunday, May 17, 2015 to witness the change of responsibility of the Division command sergeant major.
"We are here to say thank you and farewell to Command Sgt. Maj. Joel Arnold and welcome Command Sgt. Maj. John Lepowsky as the new command sergeant major of the 34th Infantry Division," said Brig. Gen. Benjamin Corell, assistant division commander of maneuver.
According to General Baron Friedrich von Steuben, inspector general of the Continental Army in 1779, "The choice of non-commissioned officers is an object of greatest importance: The order and discipline of a regiment depends so much on their behavior, that too much care cannot be taken in preferring none to that trust but those who by their merit and good conduct are entitled to it."
Department of Defense Recognizes Metro Region Minnesota Employers
Posted: 2015-05-14 01:10 PM
ST. PAUL, Minn. - - Minnesota Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) State Chair Nick Ostapenko recognized Metro area employers as outstanding employers of Minnesota National Guard and Reserve members, at the Minnesota ESGR Region 7 annual employer support awards banquet, May 11, at the Minneapolis/St. Paul Airport Hilton Hotel in Bloomington, Minn.
"Our Nation has relied heavily on Guard and Reserve Service members since entering continuous operations more than a decade ago. Employer support enhances retention rates in the Armed Forces and in the end, strengthens our national security," said Ostapenko. "Recognizing supportive employers is vital to ESGR's mission. Our ESGR members actively promote awards as a key element in furthering employer support, while strengthening relationships between Service members and employers. We are here today to award and honor the sacrifices made by so many employers year after year."