/*********************************************** * Chrome CSS Drop Down Menu- (c) Dynamic Drive DHTML code library (www.dynamicdrive.com) * This notice MUST stay intact for legal use * Visit Dynamic Drive at http://www.dynamicdrive.com/ for full source code ***********************************************/
Minnesota National Guard
Love, reverence for Kuwait-bound guardsmen

By Dan Linehan Free Press Staff Writer The Mankato Free Press

NEW ULM — The politicians gave promises, the officers gave advice and the families of the 70 or so Minnesota National Guard soldiers who were honored in a deployment ceremony Saturday in New Ulm gave their love

Actually, there was love, or at least reverence, from just about everyone

US Sen Amy Klobuchar said the soldiers ought to “be treated with the respect they so richly deserve” regardless of the political popularity of their mission

New Ulm Mayor Robert Beussman said, “I think each one of these troops can see the support they have in New Ulm”

US Rep Tim Walz, speaking as much to the families as to the troops, said, “You don’t need to be told the cost of freedom”

Command Sgt Maj Joseph Eustice said there’s a robust support network for families, but perhaps not a culture to support it

“We in the military have raised our families to believe you shouldn’t ask for (help), for some reason,” he said

The soldiers of the New Ulm-based battery (called the Headquarters and Headquarters Battery) are one of five units deploying to Kuwait with the 1st Battalion, 125th Field Artillery unit

Of that 460-soldier battalion, 50 soldiers are from New Ulm or Mankato while the rest are from 176 other cities in eight states

The battalion will be based in Camp Arifjan, Kuwait, with the mission of assisting in the drawdown of troops from Iraq, called Operation New Dawn

For some battalion troops, that will mean convoy protection in Iraq

The soldiers at Saturday’s event, though, have been assigned to the headquarters to provide support They may have “artillery” in their battalion name, but have been trained to be medics, mechanics, administrators and on-base security

Nine-year Guardswoman Spc Brooke Diekmann of Fairmont will work with vehicle maintenance, issuing work orders and doing other on-base office work

As it is for more than two-thirds of the battalion, this is her first deployment She’s a bit nervous, saying the reality of the deployment “hit home today”

But “Fairmont has been amazing” and her family is very proud, making it easier

Pfc David Angell of Maple Grove, a medic, will be leaving his 6-month-old daughter and 5-year-old son for the yearlong deployment His wife, Kristen Angell, is counting on the support of her mother-in-law and as well as the support groups in her area

The families do not consider their loved ones to be in a safe zone just because their deployment is in Kuwait and not Iraq or Afghanistan, public affairs officer Maj Paul Rickert said

“Kuwait is still an active theater”

The battalion will depart for training in Wisconsin on May 22nd and return in May 2012 or so, Rickert said

This is the same unit (as part of the 34th Infantry Division “Red Bulls”) that helped “surge” troop levels in Iraq, returning in Aug 2007 after an extended deployment that gave them the longest combat tour of any unit in Iraq

Now, about four years later, they will help assist in the troop drawdown

Because of that long tour, the unit was given an extra year or so between deployments, said Cpt Dwight Lahti, battery commander

Brig Gen David Elicerio, commander of the 34th infantry Division, had some advice for officers like Lahti

“Please be wise in what you ask of (your soldiers),” he said “I also ask you to be careful, because they will do it”

Walz, who had led this battalion during his time with the National Guard, promised the country’s financial straits would not “short-change” the troops Afterward, he clarified that the promise referred to training, equipment and benefits on this mission, not about military spending in general

Klobuchar said Operation New Dawn and the drawdown is popular in Congress

The Mankato-based company of the 2nd Battalion, 135th Infantry will also deploy with the 34th Infantry Division

Article source

Articles archive

In The News archive

Media Advisory archive

Latest News

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.

Minnesota Guardsman Receives Award for Combating Drugs in his Community

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."

Securing the Bold North: Minnesota National Guard supports Super Bowl LII

Posted: 2018-02-02  10:45 PM
Super Bowl 52 MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. - More than 400 Minnesota National Guardsmen are supporting security efforts in Minneapolis ahead of Super Bowl 52.

"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."

At the request of the city, Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton authorized the Minnesota National Guard to provide support to security efforts leading up to and during Super Bowl 52. The Guardsmen are providing direct support to and working alongside law enforcement officers from across the state. Like their civilian law enforcement partners, Minnesota Guardsmen are focused on ensuring a safe experience for the residents and visitors who are attending the Super Bowl festivities.

Article archive