| 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
Camp Ripley strikes first before wildfire season
Posted: 2017-03-24 10:19 AM
CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - Every spring Camp Ripley begins its annual controlled burn program to help reduce the risk of wildfire during training.
"Usually the burns are completed every spring before the summer annual training season begins," said Tim Notch, training area coordinator on Camp Ripley. "However, the warmer weather conditions provide a nice opportunity for preventative burns earlier this season."
As in years past Camp Ripley will conduct controlled burns on approximately 13,000 acres of the 53,000-acre military reservation. The burns are done in coordination with the staffs of the Camp Ripley Department of Public Works and the Camp Ripley Environmental Department along with support from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.
Minnesota Guardsman earns recognition through Leads 2 Enlistment program
Posted: 2017-03-23 09:46 AM
DULUTH, Minn. - Pfc. Trevor Nelson received the Minnesota Distinguished Recruiting Ribbon and a Minnesota Recruiting and Retention Battalion medallion for excellence from Command Sgt. Maj. Curtis Serbus, March 18, 2017, at the Duluth Armory. Nelson earned these awards as part of the online referral system, Leads 2 Enlistment for referring four friends who have joined the Minnesota National Guard.
"I talked to some buddies in my school about the Guard. They liked the benefits, so I put their info in the app and let my recruiter take over." said Nelson. "I thought it would be fun to serve with friends and help them figure out their path in life."
Nelson is currently a senior at Cloquet Senior High School and assigned to the Recruit Sustainment Program in Duluth. He attended basic training at Fort Benning in the summer of 2016 with follow-on training in the summer of 2017 to become an infantryman.
Litchfield and Local Veteran Honor Gen. John Vessey at Armory Open House
Posted: 2017-03-10 08:50 AM
LITCHFIELD, Minn. -Bruce Cottington, a Navy veteran of WWII and Korea, donated a bronze bust of Gen. John W. Vessey, Jr. to the Litchfield National Guard unit during the armory's public open house event March 4. Cottington, a Litchfield resident, commands the Minnesota Chapter of the Veterans of Underage Military Service. VUMS members enlisted in the military prior to the minimum age requirement in order to serve their country during WWII. Cottington received the bust from Vessey, a fellow VUMS member. Both enlisted in the military at the age of 16.
The highlight of the 334th Brigade Engineer Battalion open house was the unveiling of the sculpture. The unit was very supportive when Cottington proposed donating the sculpture. The Litchfield community has always been very supportive of the National Guard over the years, so the open house was a chance to say 'thanks' to their neighbors. "This was a great opportunity to honor Bruce and to honor Gen. Vessey," said B Co., 334th Brigade Engineer Battalion Commander, Capt. Seth Goreham. Bravo Company also has a tight relationship with the local American Legion and VFW. Many Litchfield citizens are former members of Bravo Company, or the unit's predecessors A Co, 682nd Engineer Battalion, and the 849th Mobility Augmentation Company.
Camp Ripley welcomes new command sergeant major
Posted: 2017-03-08 03:29 PM
CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - The garrison command team of Camp Ripley, family, friends and colleagues from the Minnesota National Guard attended a Change of Responsibility ceremony between Command Sgt. Maj. Mike Worden and Command Sgt. Maj. Matt Erickson, March 5, 2017, at Camp Ripley.
The ceremony was an official "passing of the sword" from one senior noncommissioned officer to the next and assumption of the duties and responsibilities that go along with the position of Garrison Command Sergeant Major.
As with many military ceremonies those in attendance welcomed Erickson as a new member of the team and bid farewell, recognized and thanked Worden for his service.