| Twelve deploying Soldiers honored at departure ceremony
BLOOMINGTON, Minn - Twelve deploying Soldiers of Bravo Company, Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division were honored during a departure ceremony at the National Guard Armory in Bloomington, Minn, April 10, 2011
The 12 Soldiers will head to Camp Shelby, Miss, to mobilize in preparation to join Soldiers from the 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team "Thunderbird", based out of Oklahoma City, Oka, who are currently preparing to be deployed to Afghanistan
Preparing for a deployment for any Soldier is a challenging task The Soldiers of the unit have been preparing for the deployment for months prior to the mobilization in April Most Soldiers will deal with an array of feelings prior to leaving home, as well as having tremendous pride in their service
"The National Guard is great in the aspect that you get to be a whole person," said Spc Niklas P Frenz, a Soldier who deployed to Camp Liberty, Iraq previously "You get to experience life at home with your family as well as being a Soldier on deployments"
Eleven out of the 12 Soldiers have never deployed before, to include Spc Staci Cornie, 24 She and many of her peers have prepared different ways to keep in contact with family and friends back home
"In preparation of this deployment I will try to be in as much contact with my four-and-a-half-year old son as I can," said Spc Cornie, a native of Bemidji, Minn "I plan on leaving behind as many pictures of myself as I can, so he will remember what I look like"
After the ceremony, the non-profit organization Picture A Hero, provided deploying Service members portraits of themselves and their families Their services include setting up a photo booth on-site, taking photos of deploying Soldiers and offering free digital and print portraits to Soldiers and their family members The Soldiers of B Company were allotted time before and after the ceremony for photos with Picture A Hero
"It means a lot to me to take the photographs of deploying Soldiers," said Charlotte Shogren Smith, a photographer with Picture A Hero "We will often get e-mails from wives who have deployed husbands They tell us that the picture we took of their Soldier will sleep under their daughter's pillow every night, or get a kiss every day before they got to school," said Smith
The Soldiers will deploy in support of Operation Enduring Freedom While deployed, they will provide and manage communications and information systems support to the 45th Brigade Combat Team
By Spc Trisha Betz
1st Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs
15 April, 2011
Officers convene for 112th Meeting of the National Guard Association of Minnesota
Posted: 2017-04-28 12:38 PM
MANKATO, Minn. - Commissioned leaders of the Minnesota National Guard convened for the 112th General Conference of the National Guard Association of Minnesota at the Verizon Wireless Center and Hilton Garden Inn, Mankato, on April 22, 2017.
The annual gathering of association members - who serve as advocates for the needs of Soldiers, Airmen and their families - includes a business meeting, commanders march, formal dining event and transfer of responsibility to the chapter's new president.
The day's event began with a business meeting, which focused on the association's mission of educating and informing legislators on the issues facing the current and future role of the National Guard in serving Minnesota communities. The strategic planning meeting was attended by Minnesota National Guard Adjutant General Maj. Gen. Richard Nash, his staff and unit commanders.
Camp Ripley earns top environmental award
Posted: 2017-04-26 02:09 PM
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
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
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."