| 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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Officers convene for 112th Meeting of the National Guard Association of Minnesota
Posted: 2017-04-28 12:38 PM
MANKATO, Minn. - Commissioned leaders of the Minnesota National Guard convened for the 112th General Conference of the National Guard Association of Minnesota at the Verizon Wireless Center and Hilton Garden Inn, Mankato, on April 22, 2017.
The annual gathering of association members - who serve as advocates for the needs of Soldiers, Airmen and their families - includes a business meeting, commanders march, formal dining event and transfer of responsibility to the chapter's new president.
The day's event began with a business meeting, which focused on the association's mission of educating and informing legislators on the issues facing the current and future role of the National Guard in serving Minnesota communities. The strategic planning meeting was attended by Minnesota National Guard Adjutant General Maj. Gen. Richard Nash, his staff and unit commanders.
Camp Ripley earns top environmental award
Posted: 2017-04-26 02:09 PM
CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - The Department of Defense announced that Camp Ripley was selected as the winner of the Secretary of Defense Environmental Award for Natural Resources Conservation, Large Installation.
The awards recognize individuals, teams and installations for their exceptional environmental achievements and innovative, cost-effective environmental practices.
"The winners' efforts strengthen the Department of Defense's position as a resourceful environmental steward, both at home and abroad, and demonstrate our continued commitment to fulfilling mission needs through advanced environmental practices and technologies," stated James A. MacStravic, performing the duties of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics.
Minnesota Guardsman finds work with victims in the military and the local community rewarding
Posted: 2017-04-26 10:57 AM
COTTAGE GROVE, Minn. - Staff Sgt. Nicquie Neely has been working with victims of sexual assault for four years in the Minnesota National Guard and also volunteers as a victim advocate in the community. As a victim advocate, it's her job to believe and support victims through a difficult process that can often involve extensive medical care and legal proceedings.
"Ever since I joined the Guard and heard about the SHARP program and learned what a victim advocate was, I always wanted to be one," said Neely. "And then I learned that you had to be an E-6 to be in that position, so the minute I got promoted I asked my commander if I could go to the training."
Neely is a combat medic and the full-time training and administration NCO with Company C, 134th Brigade Support Battalion. In addition to military victim advocate training, Neely also attends regular training with the civilian organization she volunteers for - SOS Sexual Violence Services in Ramsey County.
Minnesota National Guard Remembers the Holocaust with Jewish Community Relations Council
Posted: 2017-04-24 10:43 AM
Washington - Members of the Minnesota National Guard and the Air Force Reserve traveled to Washington D.C. with the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas (also known as the JCRC), to visit the Holocaust Museum, April 4, 2017, to honor the victims of the Holocaust. Also, traveling with this group were St. Paul and Minneapolis police officers along with students from various high schools around the state. For those in uniform that day, it was an opportunity to see, hear and experience the stories of victims and survivors of the Holocaust.
Each Service member who attended was asked to bring back a summary of their experience in the form of a presentation, professional discussion or briefing to their respective unit in order to help other Guard members better understand and remember that horrible event, to honor the courage of the victims and survivors, and to remain vigilant as members of the U.S. military.
"The honor and privilege of accompanying members of the Minnesota National Guard to the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. met so many goals," said Steve Hunegs, the executive director of the JCRC. "I wanted to reinforce the importance of the commitment of the U.S. military to democracy. After all, it was the Allies that defeated Nazi Germany and ultimately put an end to the Holocaust."