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Minnesota National Guard
Our view: Many hands embraced Welcome Home event

The good news is last weekend's "Welcome Home veterans" celebration at the St Cloud Civic Center was an overwhelming success Just ask the 500-plus people in attendance!

The not-so-good news is Central Minnesota likely will have more opportunities to be part of such events because local folks in the armed forces continue to be deployed worldwide First, though, let's focus on the success

Heroes and helpers

The bulk of the credit for this celebration rests with the US Army Reserve's 367th Engineer Battalion More than 300 of its members returned in December from a year in Iraq

Leaders of the 367th embraced this Editorial Board's communitywide call to welcome home these soldiers along with other recently returned veterans Indeed, the awards and speakers the 367th arranged for the ceremony made a strong statement about the service of the unit, its leadership and this area's commitment to supporting all veterans

The city of St Cloud, Mayor Dave Kleis and especially staff at the Civic Center also provided key support

Credit for the veterans service fair and kids activities goes to the St Cloud VA Health Care System, 4-H Youth Development/Operation Military Kids and the Beyond the Yellow Ribbon Warrior to Citizen initiative

Other key contributors included:

AM 1450 KNSI not only promoted the celebration, but Dan "The Ox" Ochsner and Timmy Daniels broadcast live from the site for two hours

East Side VFW Post 4847, Short Stop Custom Catering, Women in the Military and Sauk Rapids Women of Today covered the refreshments

Talented and artistic signmakers, including family of deployed troops, young children working at home and students from these districts/schools: Rocori, St Cloud, Sartell-St Stephen, Sauk Rapids-Rice, and Sts Peter, Paul and Michael Middle School

Volunteers from the Qwest Pioneers, Great River Rotary of Sauk Rapids, and Business Women of Central Minnesota

More to come

Given America's role in world events, more Welcome Home celebrations will be needed Local deployments under way or planned that we know of include:
The 107th Test Measurement and Diagnostic Equipment Detachment of the Minnesota National Guard based at Camp Ripley left in February

St Cloud's Company B, 2nd General Support Aviation Battalion, 211th Aviation Regiment left in November

Det 1/C Company 1-171st General Support Aviation Battalion will deploy in April
More than 2,400 members of the Guard's 1st Brigade Combat Team leave later this year

If you know of other units or individuals deployed and due to return within a year, please contact the Editorial Board at 255-8762 The board will work to help organize a similar Welcome Home celebration as needed

Written by Times Editorial Board
10:52 PM, Mar 26, 2011   

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Forging a path to career success

Posted: 2018-03-16  08:45 AM
Col. Angela Steward-Randle ST. PAUL, Minn. - Col. Angela Steward-Randle grew up in a military family - her father served in the Army on active duty - but it was a chance encounter with a friend at college that led her to want to make the military a career.

"My story is no different than many others," Steward-Randle, the Director of Human Resources, Manpower and Personnel for the Minnesota National Guard said. "I was in college and looking for financial resources to help pay for it."

Her college friend suggested they attend a summer training with the Reserve Officer Training Corps that had no obligation and could earn them some money. The friend never ended up going, but Steward-Randle did. After earning recognition as the top honor graduate and receiving an offer of a scholarship, she was hooked.

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Posted: 2018-03-09  03:13 PM
Counterdrug WOODBURY, Minn. - Staff Sgt. Benjamin Kroll, an analyst with the Minnesota National Guard's Counterdrug Task Force who is assigned to work with the Hennepin County Sherriff's Office was recognized for his achievements as the Analyst of the Year during the 2018 Minnesota Association of Crime and Intelligence Analysts Training Symposium in Woodbury, Minnesota, March 7, 2018.

Through a partnership with Minnesota law enforcement agencies throughout the state, the Minnesota National Guard Counterdrug Task Force (MNCDTF) supports the anti-drug initiatives to counter all primary drug threats and vulnerabilities through the effective application of available assets, said Maj. Jon Dotterer, Counterdrug Coordinator for the State of Minnesota. The goal for the program is to support federal, state, tribal, and local agencies in the detection, disruption, interdiction, and curtailment of illicit drugs.

Kroll is one of sixteen service members on the Counterdrug Task Force that provides this force-multiplying service to our communities against illicit drug-use. With the information that law enforcement provide through their patrols and daily operations, Kroll and his colleagues across the state assist by putting together a figurative picture with all of the gathered information which aids in identifying how to move forward with legal action to deter or prevent the sale or use of illegal narcotic drugs.

Women Opened Doors in Minnesota National Guard

Posted: 2018-03-08  09:05 AM
Minnesota National Guard ST. PAUL, Minn. - "The battlefront is no place for women to be," said Command Sgt. Maj. Earl Kurtzweg, 125th Field Artillery, in an article published in 1976. "There are certain jobs girls say they can do, but they just can't do ... the battlefront is no place for women to be. Other countries in the world use women in combat, but the U.S. has not come around to that way of thinking." Kathy Berg, a New Ulm reporter summarized at the time. "So women in the New Ulm unit take care of personnel files and pay records and leave the fighting to the men."

The Minnesota National Guard has "come around to that way of thinking" since those early days of gender integration. In the last 44 years women have made momentous strides toward inclusion and acceptance. Their accomplishments are testimony to their fortitude and the progressive development of the Minnesota National Guard.

When an accomplished female Soldier is credited with breaking barriers she will often pass that honor to the women that preceded her. Brig. Gen. Johanna Clyborne is such a leader. She acknowledges that she is one of the first females in the Minnesota National Guard who has held key leadership roles, however she sees it differently. "I feel responsible for all women in uniform," said Clyborne. "Women before me opened the door, now I've cleared the room. It's up to the women behind me to hold the room."

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Posted: 2018-02-02  10:45 PM
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"This is what we do," said Maj. Gen. Jon Jensen, Adjutant General of the Minnesota National Guard. "When the local community can't meet the public safety needs, they come to the Guard. We're their normal partner, we're a natural partner, and we're their preferred partner when it comes to filling in the gaps that they can't fill."

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