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Minnesota National Guard
Minnesota National Guard Celebrates Black History Month

Black History is American History The history of Black Americans in the Minnesota National Guard is influenced by a larger history of Black Americans in the United States

Through the course of our American history, Black Americans have endured racism and social injustice in all aspects of life However, Black Americans have continually volunteered and fought bravely in service to the nation

Black Americans fought for the freedom of the United States as early as the formation of the country In the Revolutionary war, both slaves and free Blacks fought for the Continental Army when General George Washington lifted the ban on black enlistment in 1776 In the American Civil War, Black Americans continued to face discrimination and continued to serve Even through obstacles of less-equipped, segregated units, and reduced pay, Black Americans led some of the most noteworthy campaigns of the war

Following the Civil War, Black Americans continued to serve through hardships from their fellow troops in wars including the Indian Wars, the Spanish-American War, World War I, and World War II Through these wars, famous Black Units fought bravely and made names for themselves Among these troops are the Buffalo Soldiers who led the across the Great Plains in the Indian Wars, and the Tuskegee Airmen who fought in World War II as the 332d Fighter Group of the US Army Air Corps

In 1948, President Harry Truman ordered the integration and equal opportunity of all troops, however segregation carried on into the Korean War

Today, Black Americans serve in many capacities in the Minnesota National Guard as well as the United States Military Though Black Guardsmen face challenges created by our nation's history, they continually work with all other races in the Guard to ensure that the only colors of the Soldiers and Airmen of our organization are green and blue

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Former Guardsman Continues to Lead, Mentor

Diversity from within the ranks

Red Tail Squadron brings story of the Tuskegee Airmen to the Minnesota National Guard

Civilian dentist and doctor, National Guard general named Black Engineer of the Year

Minnesota National Guard hosts Martin Luther King, Jr. Day observation

Army Aviator reflects on Government Shutdown

Habitat For Humanity Builds Home in Crystal for Woman in Minn. National Guard (video)

National Guard Soldier observes Ramadan during Annual Training

Minnesota aviator setting the conditions for success for his children

Tuskegee Airman, Duluth native monumentalized

Funeral Services Announced for Spc. Carlos E. Wilcox IV

Minnesota Military Radio interview with Minnesota's last Tuskegee Airman, Maj. Joe Gomer
5 Feb., 2012

Lt. Col. Williams takes charge of General Studies Battalion
7 May, 2011

Minnesota Military Radio interview with Lt. Col. Hiram Mann, an original Tuskegee Airman
27 Feb., 2011

Maj. Gen. Nash speech transcript

Black History Month Remarks.pdf
6 Feb. 2011

Returning vets of color face unique challenges

5 July, 2010

Minnesota National Guard celebrates Dr. King at MLK Breakfast
18 Jan., 2010

Guard leaders meet with General Colin L. Powell at MLK Breakfast
25 Jan., 2009

Soldiers gain citizenship while serving in Minnesota National Guard
6 Mar., 2008

Lt. James Reese Europe: Black American, Citizen-Soldier, American Hero
Feb., 2008

Liberian left for Iraq an immigrant returns a U.S. citizen

Black History Month video
1 Feb., 2007

Minnesota National Guard Celebrates Dr. Martin Luther
King Jr. Day

15 Jan., 2007

Minnesota National Guard Honors Black History
Photo gallery

Black History Month is Celebrated at the 133rd Airlift Wing podcast
Maj. Theo Williams of the 133rd Medical Group and Master Sgt. Stefeni Heyerdahl of the Mission Support Flight talk about their careers in the Minnesota National Guard.
(Run time 3:28, recorded 7/22/06)

Soldiers pledge allegiance to adopted country
Sep., 2006

Helpful Links

DoD African American History Month

List of Historical Black Colleges/Universities

White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges/Universities

Black History

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Media Advisory archive

Latest News

Forging a path to career success

Posted: 2018-03-16  08:45 AM
Col. Angela Steward-Randle ST. PAUL, Minn. - Col. Angela Steward-Randle grew up in a military family - her father served in the Army on active duty - but it was a chance encounter with a friend at college that led her to want to make the military a career.

"My story is no different than many others," Steward-Randle, the Director of Human Resources, Manpower and Personnel for the Minnesota National Guard said. "I was in college and looking for financial resources to help pay for it."

Her college friend suggested they attend a summer training with the Reserve Officer Training Corps that had no obligation and could earn them some money. The friend never ended up going, but Steward-Randle did. After earning recognition as the top honor graduate and receiving an offer of a scholarship, she was hooked.

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."

Securing the Bold North: Minnesota National Guard supports Super Bowl LII

Posted: 2018-02-02  10:45 PM
Super Bowl 52 MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. - More than 400 Minnesota National Guardsmen are supporting security efforts in Minneapolis ahead of Super Bowl 52.

"This is what we do," said Maj. Gen. Jon Jensen, Adjutant General of the Minnesota National Guard. "When the local community can't meet the public safety needs, they come to the Guard. We're their normal partner, we're a natural partner, and we're their preferred partner when it comes to filling in the gaps that they can't fill."

At the request of the city, Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton authorized the Minnesota National Guard to provide support to security efforts leading up to and during Super Bowl 52. The Guardsmen are providing direct support to and working alongside law enforcement officers from across the state. Like their civilian law enforcement partners, Minnesota Guardsmen are focused on ensuring a safe experience for the residents and visitors who are attending the Super Bowl festivities.

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