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Minnesota National Guard
Minnesota Guard Retirees and Vets honored at Camp Ripley

This year the Minnesota National Guard recognized eight former members of the Minnesota National Guard by inducting them into the Court of Honor at the Minnesota Military Museum at Camp Ripley  Maj. Gen. Rick Erlandson, Maj. Gen. (Bvt) Harry Sieben, Brig Gen Nicholas Ostapenko, Brig Gen (Bvt) Dennis Lord, Col Dirk Gasterland, Col (Bvt) Nathan Thomas, Chief Warrant Officer Five Thomas Wilharber, and Sgt Maj Anthony Nathe  Each of these men were influential to the advancement of the Minnesota National Guard during their career's and continue to serve both the Minnesota National Guard and their communities in their retirements

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During the induction ceremony, held at Camp Ripley on Oct 3, 2010, each of the men spoke on how humbling it is to be selected by the Minnesota National Guard to receive this tremendous honor and to be included amongst the other distinguished members of this prestigious group of honorees

Following the induction ceremony the crowd of more than 400 family, friends and Minnesota National Guard members moved from the John W Vessey Recreation Center to the Court of Honor where the names of the eight men were unveiled on the granite tablet

In order to be selected for the Court of Honor a member must be nominated  The nominator must complete an application and turn it into the Minnesota Memorialization Board  The board reviews all applications and selects honorees  The applicant must have significantly contributed during their career, and after retirement, to make an impact on the Minnesota National Guard or in their community  They must also have been retired from the Minnesota National Guard; living or deceased Recipients of the Medal of Honor, Distinguished Service Cross, Silver Star, or the Minnesota Medal for Valor are also eligible to be nominated two years after receiving their award The board is comprised of current and retired Minnesota Army and Air National Guard members of whom Maj. Gen. Rodney Hannula (Ret) serves as the Chairman of the Board

Part of the Court of Honor ceremony this year included a tribute to some of the Bataan Death March survivors from the 194th Tank Battalion  The Minnesota National Guard honored these seven men as heroes and role models for their strength, determination, and service  The men were presented with coins from their former unit, the Minnesota Distinguished Service Medal (the highest honor the State of Minnesota can present to a service member) and a proclamation by the Governor of Minnesota establishing Oct 3, 2010 as 194th Tank Battalion Day

This was truly a memorable event for all of those involved and now the names of these men will forever be on public display as a testament of their service to the Minnesota National Guard, their State and Nation

By 1st Lt Kenneth Toole
Camp Ripley Public Affairs
Minnesota National Guard
3 Oct 2010

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Minnesota National Guard leaders visit traveling tribute in Austin

Posted: 2018-05-22  10:16 AM
Traveling Wall AUSTIN, Minn. - A replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial was on display May 16-20, in Austin and leaders of the 347th Regional Support Group took the opportunity to visit during the event's closing ceremony.

The display, dubbed the American Veterans Traveling Tribute, was hosted by Beyond the Yellow Ribbon Austin and featured a near-replica of the memorial in Washington, D.C.

"It was an honor to be part of this humbling and moving tribute to our Vietnam veterans," said Col. Stephen Schemenauer. "The traveling Vietnam Wall is a powerful display, and this event provided an opportunity to meet, and thank, service members from WWII to present-day conflicts. Regardless of their branch of service, or the era or conflict in which they served, we all share a common bond."

Minnesota Aviators lead multi-state National Guard partnership for NTC rotation

Posted: 2018-05-21  03:51 PM
2-147 NTC FORT IRWIN, Calif. - The Minnesota National Guard's 2nd Battalion, 147th Assault Helicopter Battalion is working together with aviation units from four different states to provide support to the Tennessee-based 278th Armored Calvary Regiment during a rotation at National Training Center in Fort Irwin, California.

Making up Task Force Ragnar is Utah-based B Company, 1st Battalion, 211th Assault Reconnaissance Battalion; Nevada-based B Company, 1-189th General Support Aviation Battalion; Michigan-based C Company, 3-238th GSAB; and Minnesota-based A, D, E and Headquarters Companies, 2-147th AHB and F Company, 1-189th GSAB.

"Early coordination with the units across four states combined with exceptional unit leadership and motivated Soldiers helped us to quickly build the task force when we closed on Fort Irwin," said Lt. Col. Kevin O'Brien, Task Force Commander. "I was thoroughly impressed with the professionalism and teamwork of task force Soldiers. This was an outstanding training opportunity that challenged every Soldier to grow as individuals and units daily."

Deployed Minnesota Guardsman honors grandfather, Hmong heritage

Posted: 2018-05-17  09:57 AM
Brandon Xiong CAMP BUEHRING, Kuwait - "My heritage is Hmong," said 21 year-old Minnesota National Guard Spec. Brandon Xiong from his desk at Camp Buehring, Kuwait. "A low-key culture that originated from southern Asia. Hmong is not a place, but it is a people."

Xiong, the eldest grandson of the late Col. Song Leng Xiong, is deployed in Kuwait as an information technician for Area Support Group - Kuwait.

"We were not nomadic, but have been in many different conflicts," said Xiong. "Many places I go, I am questioned about my nationality and when answered, end up being even more confused. There is a movie called, "Gran Torino", where Clint Eastwood is introduced to the Hmong culture and I think it portrays the Hmong people not so terribly."

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.

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