| Employers observe Guard training firsthand during Bosslift
A Bosslift conducted by the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve office was held at Camp Ripley Training Center April 21st. Over 20 employers met at the Camp Ripley Town Hall to learn more about Camp Ripley and what a day in the life of a Soldier or Airman is like.
According to the ESGR website, a Bosslift transports employers and supervisors to military training sites where they observe National Guard and Reserve members on duty as part of the Total Force. This provides the employer a better understanding of what their Reservists do when they are away from their civilian occupation for duty with their military units. Employers see firsthand the type and quality of military training and leadership activities National Guard and Reserve members receive.
The day started with a brief at the Town Hall from Col. Scott St. Sauver, Camp Ripley Post Commander. He explained that Camp Ripley provides the best training for Soldiers preparing for deployment, serves State agencies, such as the State Patrol, currently training on camp and maintains good community relations. St. Sauver also explained the importance of support from the community for Soldiers and Airmen returning home from deployments.
The group also toured Camp Ripley and had the opportunity to see many of the facilities, simulators and equipment Camp Ripley has to offer. Some of the stops included: an environmental brief in the Marty J. Skoglund Environmental Classroom, a tour of the Maneuver Area Training Equipment Site, a presentation on the Close Combat Tactical Trainer and a tour of the Regional Training Site & Maintenance facility.
“It’s valuable for employers to be able to see and experience what their employees go through,” said Master Sgt. Reed, Chief Instructor, RTS-M. “If employers can experience what Soldiers go through, they are more supportive of them. ESGR supports our Soldiers and Airmen and educates employees on the value of skills they receive through military training such as the leadership and discipline.”
Drew Rassmussen of Rasmussen Heating said this was his first experience on a Bosslift.
“The whole experience has been great,” said Rassmussen. “I’m learning a lot about what Camp Ripley has to offer and what ESGR does for communities and Service members. For a person like me that has never been in the military, it’s good to understand what Service members do and coming here on this tour is a great way to learn about what they do.
Midway through the Bosslift, five area employers signed a statement of support. Employers who received this statement of support included: Kathryn Stotka, Director of Sales, Cragun’s Resort; Patience Svor, Manager of Prime Lending, Dewayne Collins, owner of Blue Lakes Disposal; Jeff Hines and Wyatt Cekella both Agents for Aspire Realty; and Shawn Peterschick, owner of Wiczek’s Floor and More Carpets.
“This event provided area employers a glimpse of what Soldiers and Airmen do and the resources that Camp Ripley offers,” said Mike Bellos, ESGR State Training Director and Volunteer. “The support that the Recruiting Force and Joint Visitor’s Bureau offered made this successful event possible.”
Story and photos by Officer Candidate Trista LaFontaine
Camp Ripley Public Affairs
21 April, 2011
Bearcats toast mission success
Posted: 2014-10-23 12:31 PM
MAHNOMEN, Minn.- Soldiers, families and friends of the 2nd Combined Arms Battalion, 136th Infantry Regiment attended the unit's annual Bearcat Dinner, October 18, 2014.
The dinner, a tradition for the battalion, celebrated the proud lineages of the unit, as well as highlighted the accomplishments they have made over the past year.
"We have devoted a great deal of effort to pay attention to our unit readiness," said Sgt. 1st Class Shane Haugen, admin NCO for the battalion.
114th Transportation Company Welcome Home Ceremony
Posted: 2014-10-22 03:53 PM
CHISHOLM, Minn.- The Minnesota National Guard's Chisholm-based 114th Transportation Company is scheduled to hold their 30-day reintegration event and welcome home ceremony Saturday at Chisholm High School after a nine-month deployment to Afghanistan.
"A priority of the Minnesota National Guard is to improve the wellness and resiliency of service members and their family members," said Army Capt. Ryan R. Koester, 114th Transportation Company Commander.
Minnesota Military Radio talks Veterans Voices, sequestration
Posted: 2014-10-22 09:00 AM
SAINT PAUL, Minn. - The Minnesota Humanities Center honored 30 Minnesota Veterans who have gone above and beyond the call of duty with the 2014 Veterans' Voices awards, September 11, 2014. Two of these veterans - Dennis Schulstad, an Air Force veteran and retired brigadier general, and Capt. Amber Manke, a current member of the Minnesota Army National Guard - recently spoke about their community involvement on Minnesota Military Radio.
The Minnesota Humanity Center's veterans voices program draws on the power of humanities to call attention to the stories and contributions of veterans. It empowers Minnesota veterans to speak in their own voices through plays, art, discussion groups and the veterans voices award.
Also this week on Minnesota Military Radio, Col. (Ret.) Don Kerr warned listeners of the coming effects on the Minnesota National Guard due to congressional gridlock. Kerr, the president of the Vessey Chapter of the Association of the United States Army, reminded listeners that the coming automatic budget cut, known as sequestration, has returned and will mean a loss of about 80,000 Soldiers across the Army nationwide.
1/34th Brigade Special Troop Battalion Reorganizes; The Army of 2020
Posted: 2014-10-18 10:31 AM
CAMP RIPLEY, Minn.- The 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division (1/34th ABCT) completed its official reorganization of the 1/34th Brigade Special Troops Battalion (1/34th BSTB) to the 334th Brigade Engineer Battalion (334th BEB), Oct. 18, 2014.
"This unit reorganization lays the groundwork for meeting the Army's 2020 vision in which brigades are self-contained combined arms formations," said Col. Robert Intress, 1/34th ABCT Commander.
133rd Airlift Wing Welcomes home Security Forces Squadron members from deployment
Posted: 2014-10-16 09:34 AM
ST. PAUL, Minn.- Thirteen airmen from the Minnesota National Guard's 133rd Airlift Wing Security Forces Squadron are scheduled to return Friday to Minnesota following a four-month deployment to Southwest Asia.
"During this deployment, the 133rd airmen melded with their active duty counterparts and utilized their citizen-airmen experiences and training to help fight the war on terrorism in an overseas environment," said Col. Terrance Sieben, the security forces squadron commander.
MPD Sgt. Blackwell: 'We're human, we have hearts, we care about people'
Posted: 2014-10-15 08:42 AM
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn.(KMSP)- Talking with Minneapolis police Sgt. Katie Blackwell, it's clear she truly cares about her job and the people who live and work in the first precinct.When a man was sexually assaulting women in Ramp C downtown last week Sgt. Blackwell took it personally, making his arrest a top priority. The suspect was in custody within 48 hours.
"We just won't tolerate predators walking through our city and our communities, so yeah, I took it pretty personally," Sgt. Blackwell said.
To understand why she cares so much, one has to know where she's coming from, and it's quite a story. She grew up one of 10 kids in northeast Minneapolis, something Sgt. Blackwell says helps her connect with her community.