/*********************************************** * 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
148th Firefighter named Air Guards best

11/22/2010 - DULUTH, Minn -- Master Sgt Mark W Watczak is still modest about the high honor he just recently received But those that work with him say his commitment to excellence and willingness to go above and beyond is just two of the reasons he was named Military Fire Fighter of the Year by the Air National Guard Fire Chief's Association

"Sgt Watczak takes the utmost pride in providing the highest quality service to the Duluth Air National Guard," wrote Col Penny J Dieryck, 148th Mission Support Group Commander, in the award nomination letter "Everyday his service to the nation, state, and his community is evident from his commitment to excel in all he does"

A 20 year veteran of the 148th Fighter Wing, Sgt Watczak's bravery and skill is apparent in all that he does "The 148th Fire Department consistently excels because of the leadership and guidance of Sgt Watczak," stated Dieryck

Download photos
During the 2009 Operational Readiness Inspections, Sgt Watczak was recognized as having an "Excellent" command presence and working knowledge of the Incident Command System He also serves as the 148th Fire Protection's fitness monitor, leading the department by receiving the maximum 100 points on his fitness evaluation and encouraging others, resulting in 25% scoring 90 points or higher and 12% scoring 100

In addition to his duties at the 148th Fighter Wing, Master Sgt Watczak serves as a full-time firefighter for the City of Richfield, Minn Sgt Watczak was recognized by the City of Richfield Fire Department for his bravery in saving the life of a trapped woman in a burning vehicle During the Nov 29, 2009 incident, Sgt Watczak selflessly entered the burning, smoke filled vehicle, using his body to shield her unconscious body from the flames while freeing her from her seatbelt and rescuing her from the car Because of his life-saving efforts, Sgt Watczak was awarded a Meritorious Service Award

"Being recognized is definitely an honor," said Sgt Watczak "But it's not just about me It's about my crew and about my unit It's our job and we do the best we can do"

Posted 11/22/2010   Updated 11/22/2010
by 2nd Lt Jodi L Kiminski
148th Fighter Wing

Article source

Articles archive

In The News archive

Media Advisory archive

Latest News

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.

Article archive