| Dr. King honored by Guard and community at annual breakfast
Community engagement is critical to the Minnesota National Guard's success, and a favorite event every year is the Dr Martin Luther King, Jr Holiday Breakfast in Minneapolis on the third Monday of every January
The event is a chance for Guard leaders to interact and introduce themselves to like-minded folks of all ages and backgrounds
"One of the core pieces of the mission is certainly to the community," said Lt Col Sandy Best of the 133rd Airlift Wing, attending her first MLK breakfast
Several Guard leaders who normally attend the breakfast every year were unable to attend last year as they were deployed to Iraq with the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division
Last year, Lt Col Trancey Williams delivered a video greeting from Basra This year, that greeting was replayed for everyone in attendance, and Williams was then asked to stand to be recognized for the service of the Red Bulls and all Service members Williams received loud and enthusiastic applause
"It's tremendous to have the military presence," said Kim Nelson, Senior Vice President at General Mills and an organizer of the breakfast
Nelson knows and appreciates the sacrifices of military members, because she grew up as a military child in Hawaii and her father flew C-130s in Vietnam
"I think people are so grateful," said Nelson "I think you saw that when Trancey stood up and was recognized
"I think most people are so very grateful for all that the Guard is doing but don't necessarily have the forums to thank them publicly," she said "This provides an opportunity"
National Guard leadership in attendance also included Adjutant General Maj Gen Richard Nash, 34th Infantry Division commander Brig Gen David Elicerio, Brig Gen Timothy Cossalter, Col Jon Jensen, Col Mike Huddleston, Col Eric Ahlness, Lt Col Angela Steward-Randle, Chap (LTC) John Morris, Lt Col Jake Kulzer, Lt Col Kevin Olson, Maj Brian Green, Lt Mike Griffith, State Command Sgt Maj Edward Mills, 34th Infantry Division Command Sgt Maj Doug Julin, Command Chief Master Sgt Greg Close, and Chief Master Sgt Ray Kennedy
Story and photos by Spc Thomas Keeler
1st Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs
17 Jan 2011
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Camp Ripley strikes first before wildfire season
Posted: 2017-03-24 10:19 AM
CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - Every spring Camp Ripley begins its annual controlled burn program to help reduce the risk of wildfire during training.
"Usually the burns are completed every spring before the summer annual training season begins," said Tim Notch, training area coordinator on Camp Ripley. "However, the warmer weather conditions provide a nice opportunity for preventative burns earlier this season."
As in years past Camp Ripley will conduct controlled burns on approximately 13,000 acres of the 53,000-acre military reservation. The burns are done in coordination with the staffs of the Camp Ripley Department of Public Works and the Camp Ripley Environmental Department along with support from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.
Minnesota Guardsman earns recognition through Leads 2 Enlistment program
Posted: 2017-03-23 09:46 AM
DULUTH, Minn. - Pfc. Trevor Nelson received the Minnesota Distinguished Recruiting Ribbon and a Minnesota Recruiting and Retention Battalion medallion for excellence from Command Sgt. Maj. Curtis Serbus, March 18, 2017, at the Duluth Armory. Nelson earned these awards as part of the online referral system, Leads 2 Enlistment for referring four friends who have joined the Minnesota National Guard.
"I talked to some buddies in my school about the Guard. They liked the benefits, so I put their info in the app and let my recruiter take over." said Nelson. "I thought it would be fun to serve with friends and help them figure out their path in life."
Nelson is currently a senior at Cloquet Senior High School and assigned to the Recruit Sustainment Program in Duluth. He attended basic training at Fort Benning in the summer of 2016 with follow-on training in the summer of 2017 to become an infantryman.
Litchfield and Local Veteran Honor Gen. John Vessey at Armory Open House
Posted: 2017-03-10 08:50 AM
LITCHFIELD, Minn. -Bruce Cottington, a Navy veteran of WWII and Korea, donated a bronze bust of Gen. John W. Vessey, Jr. to the Litchfield National Guard unit during the armory's public open house event March 4. Cottington, a Litchfield resident, commands the Minnesota Chapter of the Veterans of Underage Military Service. VUMS members enlisted in the military prior to the minimum age requirement in order to serve their country during WWII. Cottington received the bust from Vessey, a fellow VUMS member. Both enlisted in the military at the age of 16.
The highlight of the 334th Brigade Engineer Battalion open house was the unveiling of the sculpture. The unit was very supportive when Cottington proposed donating the sculpture. The Litchfield community has always been very supportive of the National Guard over the years, so the open house was a chance to say 'thanks' to their neighbors. "This was a great opportunity to honor Bruce and to honor Gen. Vessey," said B Co., 334th Brigade Engineer Battalion Commander, Capt. Seth Goreham. Bravo Company also has a tight relationship with the local American Legion and VFW. Many Litchfield citizens are former members of Bravo Company, or the unit's predecessors A Co, 682nd Engineer Battalion, and the 849th Mobility Augmentation Company.
Camp Ripley welcomes new command sergeant major
Posted: 2017-03-08 03:29 PM
CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - The garrison command team of Camp Ripley, family, friends and colleagues from the Minnesota National Guard attended a Change of Responsibility ceremony between Command Sgt. Maj. Mike Worden and Command Sgt. Maj. Matt Erickson, March 5, 2017, at Camp Ripley.
The ceremony was an official "passing of the sword" from one senior noncommissioned officer to the next and assumption of the duties and responsibilities that go along with the position of Garrison Command Sergeant Major.
As with many military ceremonies those in attendance welcomed Erickson as a new member of the team and bid farewell, recognized and thanked Worden for his service.