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Minnesota National Guard
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 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 25 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 172% of the Minnesota Air Guard and 151% 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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Helpful Links

Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services (DACOWITS)

Federally Employed Women

National Women's History Project

U.S. Department of Labor: Women's Bureau

U.S. Office of Personnel Management: Women in the Federal Government

Women's Military Service Memorial

Women's Leadership Training Forum, April 2005.pdf

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347th RSG's top Soldiers gut it out for title of Best Warrior

Posted: 2016-10-17  03:24 PM
347 RSG BWC CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - The 347th Regional Support Group hosted a brigade-level Best Warrior Competition at Camp Ripley Training Center from Oct. 14 to 16, 2016, to select the brigade's Best NCO and Best Soldier - both of whom will represent the brigade at the state-level competition in 2017.

"We made a point to make this event challenging, and it has been," said Sgt. 1st Class Mark Shields, assistant operations NCO for the brigade. "Regardless of the outcome, the Soldiers competing for the title of Best Warrior are getting great training value."

Ten Soldiers made up this year's field, representing 5 of the 9 units that make up the brigade. The contestants are supported by nearly forty Soldiers participating as sponsors, evaluators and staff to provide direction, motivation and support.

Minnesota National Guard celebrates Hispanic heritage month

Posted: 2016-10-16  10:46 AM
Hispanic Heritage ARDEN HILLS, Minn. - The Minnesota National Guard celebrated Hispanic Heritage month by inviting two members of the Hispanic community to share their stories during a potluck lunch at the Arden Hills Army Training Site, Oct. 11, 2016.

First to speak was Minnesota State Senator Patricia Torres Ray, one of two Latinas out of 67 senators in the Minnesota Senate. She spoke about her experience coming to the U.S. from Colombia and how not being able to speak the language made it a challenge to connect with people in her new country.

"I was not a minority in my country, because everybody that I knew looked like me," said Torres Ray. "I was not connected to the multi-cultural global world that you live in."

Major General Nash to Continue Service as Adjutant General of Minnesota

Posted: 2016-10-12  01:57 PM
October 12, 2016

ST. PAUL, Minn.- After a successful appeal by Governor Mark Dayton to former National Guard Bureau Chief General Frank J. Grass, Major General Richard C. Nash will continue serving the state of Minnesota as Adjutant General until the state's mandatory retirement, through October 31, 2017. Without Governor Dayton's action, Major General Nash would have faced retirement under the national requirement, which would have taken effect September 30, 2016.

"Major General Nash is an exceptional leader who has served our state and nation with great distinction," said Governor Dayton. "His leadership and experience are invaluable to the Minnesota National Guard and the citizens of our state. I thank General Grass and Secretary of Defense Ash Carter for granting this extension, and I thank Major General Nash for continuing his outstanding service to Minnesota."

Care of injured bird comes full circle

Posted: 2016-10-12  12:45 PM
Eagle release CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - An eagle was released back in the wild Oct. 4, 2016, at Camp Ripley following three months of rehabilitation.

"We'd like to thank the team at Camp Ripley for rescuing and bringing this bald eagle to the Raptor Center for care," said Amber Burnette, program associate with the Raptor Center University of Minnesota. "It was our pleasure to be a part of bringing this bird back home."

The bald eagle was found along a Morrison County highway by a soldier working at Camp Ripley in mid-July, 2016. At first glance, the bird appeared to be injured and not responding to the traffic that was driving by.

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