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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 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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Clyborne to focus on diversity, mentorship as Assistant Adjutant General
04/05/2016

Female instructor pilot breaks barriers at 133rd Airlift Wing
04/04/2016

Minnesota Army National Guard to promote first female to role of Assistant Adjutant General
04/01/2016

Minnesota's recruiting command finds success in diversity, inclusion
03/25/2016

Military service provides travel, camaraderie for Minnesota Airman
03/24/2016

Female WWII aviation pioneer, Elizabeth Strohfus, leaves lasting legacy
03/17/2016

It's Never too Late to Dream
03/11/2016

Minnesota Adjutant General convenes first junior diversity council
03/07/2016

Minnesota National Guard promotes its first female general
02/26/2016

Minnesota National Guard to Promote First Female General
02/23/2016

Former Guardsman Continues to Lead, Mentor
02/12/2016

Fargo native jumps at opportunity to enlist into field artillery position
01/05/2016

Red Bull moms take care of business
12/11/2015

Woman's Veterans Initiative Shows Major Muscle with Habitat for Humanity Build
11/25/2015

Empowering Girls and Influencing the Next Generation
11/17/2015

Minnesota National Guard Celebrates Womens Equality Day
08/24/2015

Mountain Lake native uses military skills to help flood-impacted Croatians
06/22/2015

Minnesota National Guard encourages female career growth and development through symposium
04/21/2015

The Minnesota National Guard hosts its first Joint Female Professional Development Training Symposium
04/16/2015

334th Brigade Engineer Battalion Celebrates Women's History
03/22/2015

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

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

Women Vets honored at golf tournament
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 Wives
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

Parents on the front lines
03/10/2008

The Face of Today's National Guard
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

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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Latest News

Minnesota's Beyond the Yellow Ribbon Program to be recognized on State Fair Military Appreciation Day

Posted: 2016-08-26  03:01 PM
Minnesota National Guard FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 26, 2016

ST. PAUL, Minn.- The sixth annual Military Appreciation Day at the Minnesota State Fair presented by USAA on Tuesday, August 30, will recognize Minnesota's Beyond the Yellow Ribbon program and provide an educational opportunity for all fairgoers to learn about Minnesota's military community.

"Veterans, active duty service members, and military families deserve our immense gratitude for their sacrifice and commitment," said Governor Mark Dayton. "Since 2008, over 290 cities, counties, businesses and non-profits have joined Minnesota's "Beyond the Yellow Ribbon" program, and are now providing community support and employment assistance to veterans and military families. I thank these organizations for their leadership, and encourage all Minnesotans to thank and support our military heroes."

A 10:00 a.m. program at the Minnesota State Fair's Leinie Lodge Bandshell will celebrate Minnesota's Beyond the Yellow Ribbon program. The program will conclude at 10:25 a.m. with a historic flyover of World War II-era P6 and B25 aircraft.



Willmar-based National Guardsmen to return home Saturday

Posted: 2016-08-25  03:26 PM
Minnesota National Guard FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 25, 2016

ST. PAUL, Minn.-

More than 150 Soldiers from the Minnesota Army National Guard's 682nd Engineer Battalion will return to Willmar Saturday following a mobilization in support of Operation Spartan Shield.

"The Soldiers of Task Force Wild excelled in their mission, and were recognized across the theater for their hard work and dedication," said Lt. Col. Keith Ferdon, battalion commander. "I couldn't be prouder of how our Soldiers represented the State of Minnesota."

The mission of the Task Force was to provide horizontal and vertical engineer construction in support of coalition forces in the region. The Soldiers oversaw the planning and execution of 285 construction projects with an approximate total value of 20.2 million dollars in seven countries: Afghanistan, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon and the United Arab Emirates.



Minnesota Identification Card will no longer grant access to Department of Defense installations

Posted: 2016-08-19  01:53 PM
Minnesota National Guard FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 19, 2016

ST. PAUL, Minn.- With the implementation of the "REAL ID Act" going into effect at Department of Defense installations nationwide, access will no longer be granted to Minnesotans carrying standard state-issued identification cards. Beginning this week, Minnesota residents will be required to have an approved escort or use alternative forms of identification to access the following installations:

- 133rd Airlift Wing, St. Paul
- 148th Fighter Wing, Duluth
- 934th Joint Base, Minneapolis
- Military Facility at Fort Snelling

Without a 'Real ID,' access will be granted only to individuals with an approved escort (i.e. a service member with a Common Access Card), or carrying one of the approved alternative forms of acceptable ID.



General John W. Vessey, Jr. - The 10th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

Posted: 2016-08-19  08:22 AM
Gen. John W. Vessey Jr. General John W. Vessey, Jr., a former member of the Minnesota National Guard's 34th Red Bull Infantry Division and the 10th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, passed away August 18, 2016, at the age of 94.

General John W. Vessey, Jr. was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on 29 June 1922. He enlisted in the Minnesota National Guard in May 1939 while still in high school, becoming a member of Headquarters, 59th Field Artillery Brigade, 34th Infantry Division. He was only 16 and fibbed about his age to join. With other members of his unit he was called to active duty in February 1941. When war came, the 34th became the first American division sent to Europe, where it initially fought in North Africa and then in Italy. A natural leader, Vessey rose quickly in the enlisted ranks until 6 May 1944 when, pinned down on the Anzio Beachhead amidst high casualties, the 21-year old battery first sergeant was given a battlefield commission and sent forward to direct artillery fire.

Vessey decided to stay in the Army after war. During his first 30 years of military service, he spent most of his time in combat divisions. In addition to his World War II assignment with the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division in North Africa and Italy, Vessey served with the 4th Infantry Division and 3rd Armored Division in Germany, the 25th Infantry Division in Vietnam and was commanding general of the 4th Infantry Division (Mechanized) at Fort Carson, Colorado.

He attended the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, the Armed Forces Staff College, and the Industrial College of the Armed Forces. He also graduated from the University of Maryland. His love of flying prompted him to earn his wings, which he always wore proudly. When he graduated from the Army Helicopter School in 1970, he was 15 years older than the next oldest student.



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