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Minnesota National Guard
1-34 BCT Officially Extended in Iraq

CAMP Adder, Iraq -- After reading about their extension for four days in the news, the Soldiers of the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division received an official 125 day extension order today

"This is the word we were waiting for"said Colonel David Elicerio, the BCT Commander "The news last week came as a surprise to all of us Ever since the early rumors about this deployment back in 2005, we have relied upon official orders to make our plans I know such caution can be frustrating for those who want speed but I believe the tradeoff in accuracy is worth it"

The extension order states the Red Bulls will be extended for 125 days past their original return date The Soldiers can now expect to return to their families around August "The extension order only tells you are you extended It does not lay out in details of your mission in the future"said Lieutenant Colonel Larry Herke, the BCT Executive Officer "The detailed operational order is being developed now The Red Bulls can honestly say they are they best in the world at the Theater Security mission We have all the cutting edge training, equipment, and vehicles We certainly are disappointed by the delayed homecoming but there is no doubt we are the best Soldiers for this mission"

The seven battalions of the brigade provide convoy and base security across Iraq Comprised mainly of National Guard Soldiers from Minnesota, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Nebraska, and New Jersey, the citizen Soldiers have already patrolled over 15 million miles of Iraq, inspected tens of thousands of vehicles, discovered hundreds of IEDs, upgraded over 600 armored vehicles, and reenlisted almost a thousand Soldiers

"I think everyone was a little shocked by the news"said Command Sergeant Major Douglas Julin, the BCT Command Sergeant Major "It's hard on families, on employers Everyone was making plans for a Spring reunion back home But, we've made it this far, we can make it thought this"

For more information about the 1/34 BCT, please see wwwredbullwebcom

By Captain Mark Lappegaard, 1/34 BCT PAO
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Camp Ripley earns top environmental award

Posted: 2017-04-26  02:09 PM
Mississippi River CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - The Department of Defense announced that Camp Ripley was selected as the winner of the Secretary of Defense Environmental Award for Natural Resources Conservation, Large Installation.

The awards recognize individuals, teams and installations for their exceptional environmental achievements and innovative, cost-effective environmental practices.

"The winners' efforts strengthen the Department of Defense's position as a resourceful environmental steward, both at home and abroad, and demonstrate our continued commitment to fulfilling mission needs through advanced environmental practices and technologies," stated James A. MacStravic, performing the duties of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics.



Minnesota Guardsman finds work with victims in the military and the local community rewarding

Posted: 2017-04-26  10:57 AM
Neely COTTAGE GROVE, Minn. - Staff Sgt. Nicquie Neely has been working with victims of sexual assault for four years in the Minnesota National Guard and also volunteers as a victim advocate in the community. As a victim advocate, it's her job to believe and support victims through a difficult process that can often involve extensive medical care and legal proceedings.

"Ever since I joined the Guard and heard about the SHARP program and learned what a victim advocate was, I always wanted to be one," said Neely. "And then I learned that you had to be an E-6 to be in that position, so the minute I got promoted I asked my commander if I could go to the training."

Neely is a combat medic and the full-time training and administration NCO with Company C, 134th Brigade Support Battalion. In addition to military victim advocate training, Neely also attends regular training with the civilian organization she volunteers for - SOS Sexual Violence Services in Ramsey County.



Minnesota National Guard Remembers the Holocaust with Jewish Community Relations Council

Posted: 2017-04-24  10:43 AM
Holocaust Museum Washington - Members of the Minnesota National Guard and the Air Force Reserve traveled to Washington D.C. with the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas (also known as the JCRC), to visit the Holocaust Museum, April 4, 2017, to honor the victims of the Holocaust. Also, traveling with this group were St. Paul and Minneapolis police officers along with students from various high schools around the state. For those in uniform that day, it was an opportunity to see, hear and experience the stories of victims and survivors of the Holocaust.

Each Service member who attended was asked to bring back a summary of their experience in the form of a presentation, professional discussion or briefing to their respective unit in order to help other Guard members better understand and remember that horrible event, to honor the courage of the victims and survivors, and to remain vigilant as members of the U.S. military.

"The honor and privilege of accompanying members of the Minnesota National Guard to the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. met so many goals," said Steve Hunegs, the executive director of the JCRC. "I wanted to reinforce the importance of the commitment of the U.S. military to democracy. After all, it was the Allies that defeated Nazi Germany and ultimately put an end to the Holocaust."



Learning to instruct professionalism and discipline

Posted: 2017-04-19  02:15 PM
Funeral Honors CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - It was a challenging and rewarding two weeks for members attending the Army National Guard Funeral Honors Instructor Course, April 1-14, at Camp Ripley.

Soldiers of National Guard units from all over the United States took part in the course designed to educate team leaders in a variety of funeral honor detail tasks, traditions and responsibilities.

"It's a stressful course, but for our job, we have to be prepared to do our job under stress; and we all really benefitted from that," said Class Honor Grad, Sgt. Ryan Valline of the 2nd Combined Arms Battalion, 136th Infantry.



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