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History
Minnesota National Guard
DIVARTY Remembered

To trace the history of the 34th Infantry Division Artillery (DIVARTY), you have to go back Actually way back, when the Minnesota Reserve National Guard was organized on April 15, 1887, and became the 3rd Infantry Regiment (IR) headquartered in St Paul, Minn At this time, their State Active Duty consisted of responding to civil disturbances, small riots and other law enforcement duties

These Soldiers weren't limited to duty in Minnesota though The 3rd IR was actually reorganized in 1898 as the 14th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry and was the first state to mobilize for the Spanish American War and the Phillipine Insurrection

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There would be many more re-organizations and relocations over the years, but 1917, is the year that the 125th Field Artillery Regiment was officially born During World War II, they continued making history when the unit left for North Africa in December 1942 The 125th FA ended up firing over 250,000 rounds of artillery ammunition in 480 days of combat, which was more than any other battalion

So as you can see, DIVARTY's roots run deep and they had a huge role in the history of the Minnesota National Guard Although the unit is no longer around, many of its' members are I had the privilege of speaking with nine DIVARTY commanders in June at Camp Ripley, Minn Some of them have been retired for quite some time and some are still in the Minnesota National Guard One of them, Maj. Gen. Jon Trost has even moved  onto the National Guard Bureau and is working as the Deputy Commanding General of the Training and Doctrine Command One thing that they all had in common though, was their love for the National Guard and the field artillery

Col Roger D Delgehausen who commanded DIVARTY from October 1985 to October 1987 put it best:

"Being in the Minnesota National Guard was one of the best experiences in my life"

Comradery, esprit de corps, brotherhoodthese are all words that were used to describe DIVARTY Col Wayne Hayes, who has spent 26 years in the field artillery community, talked about how he liked the tightness of the units

"I was in the New Ulm battalion, there was a battalion in Montevideo and a battalion in Duluth at the time If I needed help, I knew I could pick up the phone and talk to any other one of those units," Hayes stated

Along with their love for this branch, they all talked about training and how far the Minnesota Army National Guard has come Col Kenneth Digre was in an 8-inch battery  at one point in his career and talked about how the unit trained with nuclear weapons systems

"We had 8-inch artillery nukes and we'd be shooting the high explosive spottersThey're used to get firing corrections before you shoot the good one," Digre recalled This required a lot of specialized training because this type of round wasn't assembled up arrival You had to build it from a basic, hollow shell
Annual training periods (AT) have also changed As the Minnesota National Guard has shifted into a new normal, deployments have become routine for Soldiers and Airmen Col Louis Bodey describes how AT was in the early 70's

"At that time, the National Guard was still kind of struggling with their image The first week, they'd go out to the field one day, overnight They would dismiss at noon on Friday, everybody would go home and come back Sunday night They'd go out to the field two nights during the second week Come back in and clean, then have softball games and volleyball games and that was your annual   training"

The Minnesota National Guard has adapted and overcome The 34th Infantry Division, just last year, had command and control over the entire southern third of Iraq That, right there, is evidence of how far we've come Col John Kreye talked about how this transition has amazed him throughout his career

"Back in the day, when we didn't really have the concern of deployment, AT was a big thing to us Shooting was a big thing It took a whole year to plan an AT period Now we are so much better We can plan a year-long deployment in 8 months and prepare a unit to go and do as well as the active Army It's amazing what Soldiers can do"

Annual training is no longer the "˜summer camp' it used to be We also don't see many high profile celebrities or athletes like some of these gentlemen did There used to be many Minnesota Vikings in the guard, to include Carl Eller Digre talked about seeing Eller sitting behind the DIVARTY officer mess, where they ate, peeling potatoes It's hard for me to imagine Jared Allen hanging out and peeling potatoes in this day and age

Although a lot has changed and DIVARTY has come and gone, it's apparent that the members of this outstanding unit will be in touch for years to come In fact, they held a reunion last Friday in Ham Lake, Minn

My time with the DIVARTY commanders led me to one conclusion While at times, being a Soldier has it's challenges, being in the Minnesota National Guard makes it a bit easier and reminds us daily of why we raised our right hand This group of citizen Soldiers and Airmen is more than a premier international force, we are a family A family that is dedicated and ready to take on whatever challenge is handed to us Always Ready!

By Sgt Dajon Schafer, Minnesota National Guard Public Affairs
August 27, 2010

DIVARTY History

125th Field Artillery Timeline

125th Field Artillery History





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Latest News

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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