/*********************************************** * Chrome CSS Drop Down Menu- (c) Dynamic Drive DHTML code library (www.dynamicdrive.com) * This notice MUST stay intact for legal use * Visit Dynamic Drive at http://www.dynamicdrive.com/ for full source code ***********************************************/
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

Download photos
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

Articles archive

In The News archive

Media Advisory archive

Latest News

Minnesota Guardsmen learn survival skills, train with Norwegian counterparts

Posted: 2018-07-03  01:36 PM
NOREX 45 Over the course of 10 days, 100 Soldiers and Airmen from the Minnesota National Guard who traveled to Norway June 17-26, 2018, for the 45th Norwegian Reciprocal Troop Exchange learned valuable survival skills and shared their knowledge with members of the Norwegian Home Guard. This year's exchange was the second to take place during the summer months in the history of the longest-running military partnership between two nations.

"It was a great experience for both the Minnesota National Guard and the Norwegian Home Guard," said Capt. 'Kiwi' HorgA�ien, the senior Norwegian instructor. "A cultural exchange, a social exchange and military exchange all packed into one."

The 45th exchange got off to a late start, with flight delays causing the trip to be shortened from its normal length of two weeks. The delay meant that the Minnesota Guardsmen jumped right into training, heading out to the field after just a few hours of sleep.

133rd Airlift Wing Emphasizes Combat Readiness Training

Posted: 2018-06-29  10:48 AM
Alpena ALPENA, Michigan - Approximately 300 U.S. Air Force Airmen from the 133rd Airlift Wing participated in a readiness exercise at the Alpena Combat Readiness Training Center, Alpena, Mich.

The exercise, tagged as Iron Ore, was designed test the Airmen abilities to set up operations at an unfamiliar location and receive in depth training on Ability-To-Survive and Operate (ATSO) principles while supporting airlift and aeromedical flight operations.

To ensure mission success and readiness, Airmen had to complete training at home station prior to leaving for Alpena. Some of this training included weapons qualification, gas mask fit testing, Mission Oriented Protective Posture (MOPP) familiarization, self-aid and buddy care and career field training.

Red Bulls Kickoff Division Warfighter

Posted: 2018-06-13  01:38 PM
DIV WFX CAMP ATTERBURY, Ind. - "A Warfighter is an exercise that allows the Division to evaluate their ability to maneuver assets in a battle," said Master Sgt. Greg Weaver, the Operations Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge for the Division Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion. "It is designed to focus on particular areas and specific objectives to be evaluated or tested."

The Division has geared its' planning and training efforts in preparation for Warfighter since July 2017. Coordinating transportation for Soldiers and equipment was often on the mind of Maj. David Johansson, the logistics officer for the 34th ID. With the coordination of Johansson and his team, troops and equipment all converged on Camp Atterbury, enlisting the help of 89 railcars, 280 tractor-trailers, and nearly 50 buses for the movement.

"I like to say my job is to 'quiet the noise'". Johansson continued, "The noise being a real life logistical problem that could impede the exercise."

Minnesota-based aviation unit takes part in Warfighter Exercise

Posted: 2018-06-08  11:59 AM
34ECAB WFX CAMP ATTERBURY, Ind. - More than 150 Soldiers of the Minnesota National Guard's 34th Expeditionary Combat Aviation Brigade are here participating in a multi-echelon training event, Warfighter Exercise 18-5, May 30 to June 15.

The exercise, which is part live and part virtual, is testing the St. Paul, Minnesota-based aviation unit's ability to conduct operations and mission command in a high-intensity, complex operating environment. Soldiers are being challenged to take decisive action as they focus on air-ground operations -- or synchronizing and integrating aviation operations into the scheme of maneuver planned and conducted by forces on the ground.

In this case, the units on the ground are being commanded by the Rosemount, Minnesota-based 34th Red Bull Infantry Division, which is also participating in the exercise.

Article archive