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Minnesota National Guard
Reader's view: Red Bull Division has a proud history

Published March 05, 2011, 12:00 AM

News that the last US veteran of World War I died reminded me that 70 years ago - during the first week of March 1941 - 600 young National Guardsmen boarded a troop train at the Duluth depot and embarked on a journey that changed the lives of millions during World War II

The 1st Battalion, 125th Field Artillery, 34th Infantry "Red Bull" Division left Minnesota for 10 months of combat training at Camp Claibourne, La These troops were preceded by 15 trucks and 20 guardsmen sent to prepare a home away from home under extreme conditions, including mud, snakes, chiggers, and mosquitoes

The attack on Pearl Harbor changed orders and extended their journey They shipped out to the European Theater war zone, sailing past the Rock of Gibraltar on New Year's Eve 1942 The 125th landed in Oran, North Africa, on Jan 3, 1943

The rest of the story has been told many times: 510 days of combat through Tunisia, Spain and Salerno, Italy, and then on to Naples, Cassino, Anzio, Florence and Rome The war ended in the Po Valley near Venice on May 5, 1945

Within two years, members of the 125th were meeting monthly at the Pickwick restaurant back home in Duluth

We're in our 61st year now Our average age is nearing 90 Only two original veterans are able to attend the lunches with honorable members, including widows and other family members, friends and officials Between 20 and 30 regularly attend the lunches on the second Tuesday of each month at noon Our theme remains: "Staying in touch"

Bob Watts

The writer grew up in Duluth and was a member of the 125th Field Artillery Battalion

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Iowa Red Bull takes command of 34th Infantry Division

Posted: 2017-12-13  10:11 AM
Minnesota National Guard JOHNSTON, Iowa - Brig. Gen. Benjamin J. Corell, Deputy Adjutant General of the Iowa National Guard, assumed command of the 34th Infantry Division "Red Bulls" during a ceremony in Rosemount, Minnesota, on December 9, 2017.

Headquartered in Minnesota, the division has been commanded almost-exclusively by members of the Minnesota National Guard since 1968.

"Typically there's been very few people who have been allowed to command the 34th Infantry Division that didn't come from the state of Minnesota," Corell said.

Minnesota-based aviation unit honors storied division, enters into new, 'expeditionary' era

Posted: 2017-12-12  11:29 AM
Minnesota National Guard ST. PAUL, Minn. - Soldiers of the Minnesota National Guard's 34th Expeditionary Combat Aviation Brigade (ECAB), who recently celebrated a year full of achievements, have embraced a new name: Red Devils.

The St. Paul-based unit hosted its annual aviation brigade ball Dec. 9, at the Envision Event Center in Oakdale, Minnesota, where the unit's new logo was unveiled.

Soldiers of the 34th ECAB, which falls under and supports the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division, will continue to wear the Red Bull insignia on their uniforms. However, they will now be known and referred to as the Red Devils, a name that pays homage to the division's historical accomplishments and fierce warfighting.

Minnesota Nice Extends to Puerto Rico

Posted: 2017-12-08  12:08 PM
Minnesota National Guard CAMP SANTIAGO, Puerto Rico - It has been more than two months since Hurricane Maria stuck Puerto Rico, leaving a trail of disaster behind it. The island was in dire need of some extra help. More than 230 Air National Guardsmen from 29 states have been deployed to the island and are helping in any way they can.

Eleven of those Airmen are from the Minnesota National Guard's 148th Fighter Wing out of Duluth, Minn. and the 133rd Airlift Wing out of St. Paul, Minn., are no exception in their desire to lend a helping hand. They have been at Camp Santiago, Puerto Rico, since before Thanksgiving and will leave around mid-December. Their mission is to feed military and civilian hurricane relief workers, giving them the much-needed fuel to complete their mission throughout the day.

Governor Mark Dayton installs new Minnesota National Guard Adjutant General

Posted: 2017-11-04  04:16 PM
TAG installation ST. PAUL, Minn. - Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton administered the oath of office to Maj. Gen. Jon A. Jensen, installing him as the Minnesota National Guard's 31st Adjutant General during a ceremony in St. Paul, November 4, 2017.

"General Jensen has been a tremendous leader of the Minnesota National Guard throughout his years of dedicated service," said Governor Dayton. "He has served in two top leadership positions, as the Commanding General of the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division, and also as the Chief of Staff at the Guard's Joint Force Headquarters. I am confident that he will continue to provide the same outstanding leadership as his predecessor, General Rick Nash."

Jensen most recently served as the Commanding General of the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division. He previously held positions as Deputy Commanding General, United States Army Africa and Southern European Task Force, Minnesota National Guard Director of the Joint Staff and Minnesota National Guard Assistant Adjutant General - Army.

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