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Minnesota National Guard
Pentagon has committed to paying bonuses to 2,500 Minnesota National Guard soldiers

The Pentagon has committed to paying bonuses to 2,500 Minnesota National Guard soldiers who are still owed them after a long deployment to Iraq several years ago

Military officials told members of Minnesota's congressional delegation Monday that the Pentagon has closed a loophole that hung up payments of about $10 million in the bonuses to soldiers in Minnesota's "Red Bull" 34 Infantry Brigade Those soldiers began a 22-month deployment in 2005 that kept them in Iraq for 16 months, the longest deployment of any infantry unit since World War II

"We're glad this is done, but I certainly hope there's no one pounding their chest over it," said US Rep Tim Walz, a Democrat from Minnesota who was one of several members of Congress to get involved in the issue "It should have been done a long time ago"

The Pentagon acted Friday to close the loophole, which came about because the military didn't announce bonuses for extra-long deployments until January 2007 That left it unclear whether the bonuses were intended to be retroactive

Though the military now says it is, several members of Congress from Minnesota said they're still waiting to hear when the checks will actually be cut

"Today's news is an indicator that the bureaucracy is moving, but the congressman looks forward to getting a definitive answer on when the Red Bulls are finally going to receive their long overdue bonus pay," said Troy Young, spokesman for US Rep John Kline, R-Minn Young said Kline hoped to get the answer Wednesday from Defense Secretary Robert Gates

Walz said he expected the checks would go out "within the month"

In all, about 22,000 National Guard members nationwide may be eligible for the bonus pay, according to the office of US Sen Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn That will mean about $59 million in bonuses to guard members, with the $10 million chunk to Minnesota's Red Bulls the largest

Capt John Hobot, a spokesman for the Minnesota National Guard, issued a statement Monday night saying the Guard is "very pleased" and will work to "promptly action the payments our Soldiers deserve"

Klobuchar, who also worked on the issue, said it should be "as soon as possible"

"A lot of these soldiers have been waiting and waiting," Klobuchar said "But this is a sign of good will"

15 Feb 2010
Article source: TwinCities.com • Pioneer Press



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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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