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Minnesota National Guard
Our View: Celebrate 'Yellow Ribbon'

Wednesday marks a huge day for Central Minnesota!
Nine area cities - Cold Spring, Richmond, Rockville, Sartell, Sauk Rapids, St Augusta, St Cloud, St Joseph and Waite Park - will be officially proclaimed Minnesota's first Yellow Ribbon Region by Gov Tim Pawlenty and the Minnesota National Guard

The honor, to be bestowed at a ceremony in Farmington, culminates an effort that started about three years ago as part of the Warrior-to-Citizen initiative

Through the Guard's pioneering Beyond the Yellow Ribbon program, dozens of people from these nine cities have worked to help reintegrate our soldiers with their communities upon their return from active duty They also support soldiers and families in deployments

While several individual cities have received the Yellow Ribbon designation, Central Minnesota is the first region to earn it Officially known as the Central Minnesota Beyond the Yellow Ribbon Initiative, its key leaders will be in Farmington to accept the honor

Of equal importance, though, for area residents: You are invited to attend a similar local ceremony Sept 27 at St Cloud State University

As part of the Annual Warrior to Citizens Fall Conference, university President Earl H Potter III will provide the welcoming remarks and the Yellow Ribbon designation Everyone is welcome Preregistration is required Visit wwwstcloudstateedu/careerservices/warrior/defaultasp for information

For full disclosure, Times Media - through this Editorial Board - is active in Warrior to Citizen

In helping earn the region's Yellow Ribbon designation, the Central Minnesota Warrior to Citizen initiative has compiled an impressive list of achievements Some highlights include:
Launch of the website wwww2ccentralmnorg in August Also, Facebook users can join the Central MN Warrior to Citizen group

In December, the initiative held a live video teleconference with the Guard's 34th Infantry "Red Bull" Soldiers in Iraq The goal was to educate them about employment, education and health care opportunities available to them after their deployment

The initiative has trained Central Minnesota employers on working with service members, veterans and families
And the initiative helped hold a welcome home celebration in March to thank veterans and families

Overall, more than 30 organizations participate on the Warrior to Citizen planning team, and at least 300 residents have participated in its sessions and events the past three years

Kudos to all!

The Central Minnesota Beyond the Yellow Ribbon Initiative is a group of citizens and organizations working to support service members and families of service members who are deployed or who have returned from deployment in service to our nation All interested members of the community are invited to become involved More information can be found at wwww2ccentralmnorg

Times Editorial Board "¢ September 19, 2010

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Governor Mark Dayton installs new Minnesota National Guard Adjutant General

Posted: 2017-11-04  04:16 PM
TAG installation ST. PAUL, Minn. - Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton administered the oath of office to Maj. Gen. Jon A. Jensen, installing him as the Minnesota National Guard's 31st Adjutant General during a ceremony in St. Paul, November 4, 2017.

"General Jensen has been a tremendous leader of the Minnesota National Guard throughout his years of dedicated service," said Governor Dayton. "He has served in two top leadership positions, as the Commanding General of the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division, and also as the Chief of Staff at the Guard's Joint Force Headquarters. I am confident that he will continue to provide the same outstanding leadership as his predecessor, General Rick Nash."

Jensen most recently served as the Commanding General of the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division. He previously held positions as Deputy Commanding General, United States Army Africa and Southern European Task Force, Minnesota National Guard Director of the Joint Staff and Minnesota National Guard Assistant Adjutant General - Army.

Guard Heritage Suffers with Loss of Artillery Unit

Posted: 2017-10-04  11:22 AM
ETAB ANOKA, Minn. - The Minnesota National Guard lost one of its most historically significant units when the 151st Artillery's E Battery, (Target Acquisition) cased its colors in a ceremony at the Anoka High School Aug. 19, 2017.

The Target Acquisition Battery (ETAB), 151st Field Artillery is one of the oldest and most decorated units in the Minnesota National Guard and the 34th Infantry Division. "Both Minnesota and the Division lose the proud lineage that goes back to Civil War days, through WW1 and WW2, and had a significant amount of battle streamers," said 151st Field Artillery Battalion Commander, Lt. Col. Patrick Cornwell.

The 151st Field Artillery draws its lineage from the 1st Regiment, Minnesota Heavy Artillery of 1864 which fought two major campaigns in Tennessee during the Civil War.

In one month: Minnesota Guardsmen support Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria

Posted: 2017-09-29  02:25 PM
Minnesota National Guard ST. PAUL, Minn. - In the span of a few weeks, three major hurricanes hit different parts of the southern United States, causing widespread damage and destruction and requiring the response of agencies around the country. The Minnesota National Guard is one of the many organizations that have responded, sending Soldiers and Airmen to Texas, Florida, the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

"This is the most gratifying deployment of my career," said Capt. Jeremy Maxey with the 133rd Airlift Wing who was called back from his vacation early to go to the Virgin Islands. "It means a lot to be able to actually directly help people. It's why I serve. Throughout my career I've deployed numerous times, but this is the one where you actually see the people you serve."

The start of the month brought the first request for assistance. On Sept. 1, two CH-47 Chinook helicopters and 11 personnel from the St. Cloud-based B Company, 2nd General Support Aviation Battalion, 211th Aviation Regiment left for Texas following Hurricane Harvey to transport personnel and equipment in support of response efforts.

Finding fellowship in the sacred mission

Posted: 2017-09-26  12:02 PM
Minnesota National Guard CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - One of the most difficult, most sacred, honorable duties in the military is one that people don't often think about. It takes compassion, empathy, care, and requires great resilience. It is one that when called upon to train for, they hope to rarely perform because it means another Soldier has been lost. It is the duty of casualty notification officer and casualty assistance officer.

About 45 Minnesota Army National Guard Soldiers came to Camp Ripley, Minnesota, on September 21-22, 2017, for a Reset Seminar to find fellowship in one specific thing they have in common: delivering the worst news in the Army.

When a Soldier dies at home or overseas, CNOs and CAOs must notify and help families through the process, including paperwork, benefits, and funeral arrangements.

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