History
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 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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Minnesota National Guard works to expand female inclusion opportunities
02/19/2015

Diversity from within the ranks
02/17/2015

Minnesota National Guard Senior Enlisted Advisor position changes hands
09/27/2014

First Female Takes Command of Previously All-Male Unit
09/18/2014

Minnesota National Guard Hosts Women's Equality Event
08/05/2014

Steak send-off for deploying troops
05/23/2014

Minnesota National Guard promotes career development for females
03/10/2014

Minnesota Guardsman takes pride in her cultural heritage
02/19/2014

Minnesota National Guard female leaders speak about helping military families, working and raising children
12/02/2013

Milaca girl soldier inspires students
11/21/2013

Habitat For Humanity Builds Home in Crystal for Woman in Minn. National Guard (video)
10/19/2013

Operation Agriculture: Minnesota Guard assists Afghan farmers
05/15/2013

Aspiring pilot gets first-hand look at military aviation
04/26/2013

Lt. Tara Robertson - A Story of Service
03/27/2013

Women in combat: Minnesota National Guard helps pave the way
01/25/2013

Serving Her Community And Country
09/12/2012

Zabul Agri-business Development Team assists in opening of slaughterhouse in Afghanistan
08/12/2012

Women help carry VFW's torch as older vets pass away
08/09/2012

Army combatives tourney offers arena for gender-equality fight
07/27/2012

Twins show appreciation for Armed Forces with annual game celebration
07/01/2012

Women Vets honored at golf tournament
06/18/2012

Honoring Our Women Veterans (video)
06/18/2012

Gov. Dayton is scheduled to proclaim June 18 as Minnesota Women Veterans Day
06/01/2012

Female competitor trains for All Army combatives tournament
05/29/2012

Awards pile up for local female guard member
05/07/2012

March's Veteran Of The Month: Capt. Andrea Bond
02/28/2012

Minnesota military wives meet Army Wivesť
02/24/2012

Minnesota Army wives win trip to Army Wives studio
01/11/2012

Kallberg assumes responsibility as first female Senior Enlisted Advisor
12/03/2011

Women Veterans Group Changes a Paradigm
08/25/2011

Minnesota Guard awarded for Excellence in Sexual Assault Response
04/15/2011

Go Home can be toughest order
11/28/2010

NGB Command Chief Master Sgt. Denise Jelinski-Hall visits the 148th Fighter Wing
11/22/2010

Struggling to serve women vets
11/17/2010

Military Women- from Boot Camp to Veteran
05/22/2010

Military Mom
05/08/2010

North Hudson woman has busy life as civilian and soldier
03/07/2010

New Senior Enlisted Leader Brings Passion for National Guard to Position
11/24/2009

Women Veterans of Minnesota
10/11/2009

65 years later female WWII test pilots finally recognized
08/13/2009

Betty Strohfus: A Tale of Love at First Flight
07/28/2009

Mothers Day in Iraq; When Mommy wears combat boots
05/10/2009

For this Minnesota family, love is a battlefield
08/19/2008

The Face of Today's National Guard
03/10/2008

Parents on the front lines
03/10/2008

We're Pilots-No Problem
02/24/2008

Sadar City from a Minnesota Woman's Helicopter
01/14/2008

Women take to the skies on Christmas
12/29/2007

Hermantown woman to become command chief of the 148th Fighter Wing
11/17/2007

From Soldier to Stylist: Woman Relishes Return to Civilian Life
09/17/2007

Fellow Soldiers Respect Woman Who Can Do Job
07/01/2007

Celebrating Mother's Day With A Child In Iraq
05/13/2007

Minnesota National Guard women deploy
04/10/2007

Women's History Month honored in the Minnesota Guard
03/27/2007

Race for the Cure raises $15,500 for breast cancer research
12/18/2006

Guard wives bond remains as strong as ever
10/03/2006

A Mom on a Mission for Mothers Day
05/10/2006



Helpful Links

Women's Military Service Memorial

National Women's History Project

Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services (DACOWITS)

Federally Employed Women

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

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



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Train as you fight

Posted: 2015-03-05  09:18 AM
SSG Cameron Gilliam CAMP BUEHRING, Kuwait- Staff Sgt. Cameron Gilliam is constantly moving--before, during and after a fight. His opponents usually stand in their corner, maybe move their arms and jump a little bit, but nothing like Gilliam. He paces back and forth at about a five-foot space near his corner. Only when the referee looks at him to begin the fight does he shuffle his feet. After the fight begins, he closes in on his opponent. They exchange a few jabs, some landing while others hit air. Then Gilliam goes in for a takedown. He wrestles his opponent to the ground, focusing more on achieving a good choke position than landing punches. His opponent focuses on punching Gilliam wherever his fist can land. His opponent tries to stand up, but he'll always land back on the ground. Eventually--whether it is one, two or three rounds in--Gilliam submits his opponent when he's most vulnerable.

Gilliam, a Woodbury, Minnesota, native and information technologist noncommissioned officer with the 34th Combat Aviation Brigade deployed to Camp Buehring, Kuwait, has been training in mixed martial arts for the past four years at Spartan Martial-Arts in Oakdale, Minnesota. Gilliam wrestled at Woodbury high school, but he never planned to start MMA.



Minnesota Guardsman overcomes severe injury with positive attitude, hard work

Posted: 2015-03-04  09:39 AM
James Houdek CAMP RIPLEY, Minn.- A little more than a year after Chief Warrant Officer 2 James Houdek was severely injured in a farming accident near his Little Falls, Minn., home, he is back to work with the Minnesota National Guard and adapting to life with a prosthetic.

"When I came out of the first surgery, they were telling me that they were hoping that within a year I would be able to hold a pen," said Houdek. "Since then I've come a lot further, a lot more than what they had thought."

On Nov. 12, 2013, Houdek took a day off from his full-time job as a wage leader at Camp Ripley's Consolidated Maintenance Activity - South to harvest corn on his 60-acre hobby farm. Halfway through, he stopped to check on his machinery, leaving the tractor running. When he went to clear some corn out of the husking bin of the picker, his right arm was pulled into the shaft. As he was trying to pull his right hand out, his left hand got caught in another shaft, trapping both his arms in the machine.



Norwegian Home Guard gets inter-agency training

Posted: 2015-02-25  03:15 PM
NOREX CAMP RIPLEY, Minn.- Soldiers of the Norwegian Home Guard conducted inter-agency training with state and local law enforcement, Feb. 12-23, 2015, at Camp Ripley.

"The training conducted by the Norwegian Rapid Reaction Force, or RRF, is based on the National Guard's focus of inter-agency cooperation in time of need," said Lt. Col. Bryce Erickson of the Minnesota National Guard.

The training was organized as part of the American-Norwegian Reciprocal Troop Exchange; which is in its 42nd consecutive year between the Minnesota National Guard and the Norwegian Home Guard.



Minnesota, Norwegian service members retrace a successful mission, remember the terrible cost

Posted: 2015-02-24  10:14 AM
NOREX SNAASA, Norway- Airmen and Soldiers of the Minnesota National Guard participating in the 42nd American - Norwegian Reciprocal Troop Exchange (NOREX) retraced the steps of U.S. and Norwegian special operators 70 years ago who, during the final months of World War II, waged a successful sabotage campaign against German forces occupying Norway.

The U.S. Service members, along with their Norwegian counterparts, completed a 12-mile trek on skis through mountainous terrain, as well as a reconnaissance of the Jorstad bridge and simulated demolition using signal flares. The field training exercise concluded, February 19, 2015, with a ceremony in honor of those who destroyed the bridge to stop the movement of German troops through Norway and a wreath-laying in memory of the 80 people who perished, January 13, 1945, when a train derailed into the icy water several hours after the demolition.



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