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Minnesota National Guard
257th MPs earn both Soldier and NCO of the Year

After four long and highly competitive days at Camp Ripley, the Minnesota National Guard's Soldier and Noncommissioned Officer of the Year were announce by Command Sgt Maj Edward "Scott" Mills, Minnesota National Guard State Command Sgt Maj

The 2010 Soldier of the Year is Spc Geoffrey Latsch, 257 Military Police Company, a native of Big Lake, Minn

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The 2010 NCO of the Year is Sgt Jeremy Swanson, 257 Military Police Company, a native of Buffalo, Minn

"The competition was very close and it all came down the appearance board," said Mills  "All of these competitors gave it their all, I am proud of each and every one of them"

On Thursday nine competitors arrived at Camp Ripley, Minn all determined to claim the title of Minnesota National Guard Soldier or NCO of the Year  Before them was four very long days of competition  Each day brought with it a new set of challenges 

Day one started early with the Soldiers completed an Army Physical Fitness Test, a written essay, weapon qualification, and a combatatives class

Day two the Soldiers competed in a combatatives tournament, then moved out to the obstacle course, completed the day land navigation course, tested their knowledge of warrior tasks and closed out the day with a night land navigation course

Day three the Soldiers experienced what most would agree was the event they will remember the most over the next few days  Not because it was the most enjoyable but because it brought with it the most pain  The Soldier packed their ruck sacks with 30 pounds of equipment and went for a twelve mile road march  This event was followed by a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter flight down to St John's University, near St Cloud, Minn  Here the competitors had to complete the Combat Water Survival Test  Then it was another flight back to Camp Ripley so they could study with their sponsors for the appearance board the next morning

Day four the Soldiers put on their Class A uniform and tested their minds in front of the some of the highest ranking Noncommissioned Officers in the Minnesota National Guard  The appearance board evaluated the competitor on general Soldier knowledge as well as the appearance of their uniform

The competition finished off with celebration as The Adjutant General of the Minnesota National Guard, Maj. Gen. Larry Shellito spoke to them at the awards banquet where the winners were announced

"These young people represent the future of our organization and I am very pleased with what I see," said Shellito

The winners of this competition will go on the represent Minnesota at the regional competition at Ft McCoy, Wis

"When people ask me about the Soldiers of the Minnesota National Guard it is Soldiers just like these that I tell them about because I believe that we have the greatest Soldiers around," said Mills

Story and photos by 1st Lt Kenneth Toole
Camp Ripley Public Affairs
April 18, 2010






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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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