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Minnesota National Guard
Shellito plans to reach out to veterans


ST PAUL -- Larry Shellito commanded thousands of Minnesota National Guard troops the past seven years, including those fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, but now faces a different kind of battle

As the newly named Minnesota Veterans' Affairs Department commissioner, the 65-year-old retired major general said that his major task will be making sure the state's veterans know his agency can help them

"It is the best kept secret," the 65-year-old Shellito said about his state department, so his job will be more public relations than hand-to-hand combat

About 60 percent of Minnesota veterans do not know about the state agency's services, Shellito said

"One of my key jobs is to work with the veterans' organizations," he said "My goal is to create systems processes, tools, techniques for them to do their job more effectively"

The department helps 381,000 Minnesota veterans and their dependents obtain help from the federal Veterans' Administration as well as assisting them as they return from overseas duty

Gov Mark Dayton Wednesday announced that Shellito is his veterans pick

Shellito, who lives in Woodbury, stepped down as state National Guard leader last year after seven years He is a former Alexandria Technical College president and a Minnesota State University Moorhead graduate

In making the appointment, Dayton specifically pointed out Shellito's efforts to create Beyond the Yellow Ribbon, a program to help Guard and Reserve soldiers reintegrate into society after returning from overseas

Minnesota's National Guard under Shellito grew to more than 14,000 members, operating 63 facilities across Minnesota

Shellito, a retired major general, began military service in 1968 and served in Vietnam, then spent 37 years in the Minnesota Army National Guard

While the state Senate must confirm Shellito, he has received glowing reviews from all political segments No other Dayton appointment has received as much reaction
"Major Gen Shellito will be a great leader for the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs," US Rep Collin Peterson, D-Minn, said "Veterans across the state can count on Major Gen Shellito's commitment to veterans and their families, and I'm pleased that Gov Dayton has chosen him for such an important job"
Former colleagues joined in the praise

"From the days when Gen Shellito and I served together in the Minnesota National Guard, his commitment to those who have served our nation has been clear," US Rep Tim Walz, D-Minn, said "He is a strong leader, a good listener, always focused on the mission at hand, an excellent manager and a visionary thinker"

And the man who succeeded him as head of the state Guard added his comments

"I have confidence that he will faithfully serve all of Minnesota's veterans," Adjutant General Richard Nash said

With a rural background, Shellito said he will talk to those who serve veterans around the state to see if they have special needs For instance, some rural veterans complain that health care clinics are too far away

It is important for veterans needing health care to stay close to home, Shellito said That could help health-care providers in those areas, he added, and make for better health services for all rural Minnesotans

"On my to-do list is contacting the county veteran service officers," he said

By: Don Davis, The Republican Eagle
Published January 14 2011


Article source
http://www.republican-eagle.com/event/article/id/71506/group/News/



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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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Minnesota Guardsman Receives Award for Combating Drugs in his Community

Posted: 2018-03-09  03:13 PM
Counterdrug WOODBURY, Minn. - Staff Sgt. Benjamin Kroll, an analyst with the Minnesota National Guard's Counterdrug Task Force who is assigned to work with the Hennepin County Sherriff's Office was recognized for his achievements as the Analyst of the Year during the 2018 Minnesota Association of Crime and Intelligence Analysts Training Symposium in Woodbury, Minnesota, March 7, 2018.

Through a partnership with Minnesota law enforcement agencies throughout the state, the Minnesota National Guard Counterdrug Task Force (MNCDTF) supports the anti-drug initiatives to counter all primary drug threats and vulnerabilities through the effective application of available assets, said Maj. Jon Dotterer, Counterdrug Coordinator for the State of Minnesota. The goal for the program is to support federal, state, tribal, and local agencies in the detection, disruption, interdiction, and curtailment of illicit drugs.

Kroll is one of sixteen service members on the Counterdrug Task Force that provides this force-multiplying service to our communities against illicit drug-use. With the information that law enforcement provide through their patrols and daily operations, Kroll and his colleagues across the state assist by putting together a figurative picture with all of the gathered information which aids in identifying how to move forward with legal action to deter or prevent the sale or use of illegal narcotic drugs.



Women Opened Doors in Minnesota National Guard

Posted: 2018-03-08  09:05 AM
Minnesota National Guard ST. PAUL, Minn. - "The battlefront is no place for women to be," said Command Sgt. Maj. Earl Kurtzweg, 125th Field Artillery, in an article published in 1976. "There are certain jobs girls say they can do, but they just can't do ... the battlefront is no place for women to be. Other countries in the world use women in combat, but the U.S. has not come around to that way of thinking." Kathy Berg, a New Ulm reporter summarized at the time. "So women in the New Ulm unit take care of personnel files and pay records and leave the fighting to the men."

The Minnesota National Guard has "come around to that way of thinking" since those early days of gender integration. In the last 44 years women have made momentous strides toward inclusion and acceptance. Their accomplishments are testimony to their fortitude and the progressive development of the Minnesota National Guard.

When an accomplished female Soldier is credited with breaking barriers she will often pass that honor to the women that preceded her. Brig. Gen. Johanna Clyborne is such a leader. She acknowledges that she is one of the first females in the Minnesota National Guard who has held key leadership roles, however she sees it differently. "I feel responsible for all women in uniform," said Clyborne. "Women before me opened the door, now I've cleared the room. It's up to the women behind me to hold the room."



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