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Minnesota National Guard
Special Troops Battalion Change of Command

Command Sgt Maj Doug Wortham passed the 34th Division Special Troops Battalion colors to Lt. Col. Steven Hanson for the last time during a ceremony at the Inver Grove Heights Armory Aug 28th. The event marked the end of an era with the deactivation of the Division Special Troops Battalion (DSTB) and activation ceremony for the Division Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion (DHHB)

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Command of the Division Special Troops Battalion was relinquished by Hanson with the casing of the DTSB colors. Command of the Division Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion were then assumed by Lt. Col. Matthew Vatter with the uncasing of the DHHB colors.

Hanson commanded the DSTB during the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division deployment to Basrah, Iraq in 2009  While serving as Mayor of Contingency Operating Base (COB) Basra, home to more than 9,000 personnel, Hanson's team made more than $42 million in improvements to the base

"Lt. Col. Hanson's performance while serving in the hardest Lt. Col. job in the division was outstanding," said Maj Gen Richard Nash, 34th Red Bull Infantry Division Commander  "He took a very austere and challenging location and turned it into the premier COB in the Southern Provinces that I had responsibility for"

In passing the command of the battalion, Hanson wished Vatter the best of luck as he goes forward with the DHHB "I am proud of the Soldiers of the battalion, especially during the deployment to Iraq," Hanson remarked during the ceremony

As the DSTB colors departed the drill floor, the DHHB colors were handed to Command Sgt Maj Wortham, the battalion Command Sgt Maj, who passed them to Maj. Gen. Nash 

The division commander handed the colors to Vatter as part of the ceremony to give him command of the DHHB  Vatter and Wortham uncased the battalion colors, thus commissioning the Division Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion

"Lt. Col. Vatter is highly respected throughout the division," said Maj. Gen. Nash  "He has earned the right to command the battalion"

Hanson said Vatter will take charge of a highly successful group of Soldiers  "They are capable of achieving miracles," he said

Story and photos by Master Sgt Rich Kemp
34th Red Bull Infantry Division Public Affairs
28 Aug 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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