| The Minnesota National Guard Celebrates Women's History Month
The Minnesota National Guard honors its women in uniform as part of Women's History Month.
Women in the Minnesota National Guard have contributed greatly to the success of missions over the years. From the beginning of women's entry into the military, through the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps in 1941, to the full integration of women into the National Guard, women have continually met and exceeded standards and helped shape the mold of modern-day Minnesota National Guard Soldiers and Airmen.
The Minnesota National Guard honors its women in uniform as part of Women's History Month. Women in the Minnesota National Guard have contributed greatly to the success of missions over the years. From the beginning of women's entry into the military, through the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps in 1941, to the full integration of women into the National Guard, women have continually met and exceeded standards and helped shape the mold of modern-day Minnesota National Guard Soldiers and Airmen. Many women worked through stereotypes in everything from training to uniforms to operations, and paved the way for the current role of women in the Guard.
Through the years, women continually made the same sacrifices that men made. They made these sacrifices not only with aspirations of earning an equal status with men, but more importantly, with the goal of completing all missions with a standard of excellence. Today, women's roles are still being reviewed and expanded. Changes are continuing to occur for women in the military and they will continue to make huge strides towards equality on the home front and in combat.
In total, more than 2.5 million women have served in defense of our nation since its beginning over 230 years ago. Presently, women continue to be a vital component in the military. With 1,971 in the Minnesota National Guard, women account for 17.2% of the Minnesota Air Guard and 15.1% of the Minnesota Army Guard. The Minnesota National Guard recognizes Women's History Month in recognition for the more than 405,600 Active Duty, Guard and Reserve women who serve today around the globe--professional, capable women leaders--who are making a difference for themselves, their communities, the nation and the world.
Women in Combat Units
The Department of Defense announced several policy changes in 2013 regarding women who serve in the military, including rescinding the Ground Combat Exclusion Rule which prevented women from being assigned to combat units below the brigade level. The Minnesota National Guard’s 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team volunteered to be one of the test brigades to incorporate women into positions within units at the headquarters level of combat arms battalions that were previously unavailable to them.
This process does not involve opening prohibited specialties up to women, but rather enabling women to serve in jobs that are already available to both genders in units that once did not allow females. This effort is part of a larger, phased implementation plan to remove gender-based barriers to service in all of the armed forces.
At the direction of the National Guard Bureau, mid-grade females in the officer and enlisted ranks were considered first to begin the transition. Prior to implementation, the Minnesota National Guard asked for volunteers to consider either moving into positions that were already vacant or exchanging positions where the move benefited Soldiers of each gender. Future vacancies will be filled through the Enlisted Promotion System, allowing the best-qualified individual – male or female – to be considered for the position.
The units involved in this process received specific training prior to personnel assignments taking place. The training addressed equal opportunity, sexual harassment and sexual assault response and prevention to prepare for the transition.
Nationally, formerly male-only specialties in combat engineering will be available for women in summer 2014; and field artillery, armor and infantry jobs are expected to be open to females in summer 2015. Full gender-neutral availability is anticipated by 2016.
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Social media offers many benefits, but Guard members must remain aware of its risks
Posted: 2014-03-06 10:10 AM
ARLINGTON, Va., (3/6/2014) - The use of social media has made it easier for many to stay connected to friends and family. It often provides the opportunities to give near instant communications via text or images and can help ease stresses when Service members are deployed. The benefits of social media are nearly endless and often far reaching.
"Social media spreads news faster than any other media," said Chief Master Sgt. Mitchell Brush, the senior enlisted advisor for the chief, National Guard Bureau, on his Facebook page, adding "it empowers us to effect change and do good on a community, state, national or even international level."
133rd Airlift Wings Snow Birds Fly South for a Training Exercise
Posted: 2014-03-06 05:06 AM
Yuma, Ariz.- Airmen from the 109th Airlift Squadron and 133rd Airlift Wing make use of warmer temperatures to accomplish six-months of airdrops and other annual training requirements in a six-day time period in Yuma, Ariz., during Mar., 1, 2014.
The training provided a wide range of unique challenges that can't be reproduced in Minnesota. For the flight crews, the skies over Yuma Proving Grounds introduced unfamiliar terrain and high aircraft traffic volume. For the traditional Airmen, they were exposed to training beyond the normal Unit Training Assembly weekend. In addition, the newer Airmen had to adapt to the quick turnaround between the day and evening flights.
Local leaders help Minnesota Soldiers celebrate diversity
Posted: 2014-03-05 12:00 AM
ST. PAUL, Minn.- Former Service members and current faith leaders Reverend Arthur Day and Bishop Dan Williams spent some time with 34th Combat Aviation Brigade Soldiers discussing their military, religious and political careers as African Americans at Army Aviation Support Facility #1, St. Paul, Feb. 1, 2014.
Williams, a former Navy Service member who grew up in Alabama and Detroit, and Day, a former Army Soldier who has lived his whole life in Minnesota, sat facing a room full of 34th CAB Soldiers, including brigade commander Col. Greg Thingvold, and began the visit by answering a question from Lt. Col. Jeff Merricks.