| Pentagon priest celebrates Mass at Fort McCoy with 1st Brigade Combat Team
June 23, 2011
By Tom Michele, Fort McCoy
Chaplain (Brig Gen) Patrick Dolan emphasizes the evangelical work of the Apostle Barnabus that Dolan said also applies to each of the Soldiers seated in front of him Barnabus’ teaching of the story of Jesus was Dolan’s homily subject as he celebrated Mass at the Fort McCoy Catholic Chapel for Soldiers from the 1st Brigade Combat Team
FORT McCOY, Wis -- Chaplain (Brig Gen) Patrick Dolan’s message to 1st Brigade Combat Team (BCT) Soldiers was that the unit’s senior leadership personally cares about their Soldiers
Dolan, a Roman Catholic priest, and the Assistant to the Chief of Chaplains, US Army, Pentagon, celebrated Catholic Mass at Fort McCoy’s Catholic Chapel June 10
The 1st BCT, with 3,200 members of the Minnesota Army National Guard, is undergoing mobilization training at Fort McCoy prior to deploying in support of Operation Enduring Freedom
“My visit to the 34th’s Soldiers is a chance to say ‘good luck’ to a deploying unit and help them, particularly as a chaplain, to do a better job,” Dolan said
“Another reason for my visit was for me to add insight for the 34th’s senior leadership that was useful to them and to me,” Dolan said Dolan is the pastor of two parishes in the Louisville, Ky, area “My Army platoon is the entire US Army National Guard chaplaincy” He is the highest-ranking chaplain in the Army National Guard
“I said Mass on a cot in a tent in the mud in a field in Korea when I was on active duty in 1990,” Dolan said This time he had the comforts of Fort McCoy and the installation’s Catholic Chapel “The Minnesota state chaplain, a friend of mine, asked me to come for the 34th, and represent the Chief of Chaplains office We had a very nice prayer breakfast earlier in the day with more than 100 Soldiers attending”
“This visit is a good way for senior Army leadership to connect with the Soldiers who will be deploying to a theater of conflict,” Dolan said Dolan also heard individual confessions, the Catholic sacrament of reconciliation, before and after the evening Mass
For Mass, Dolan had Chaplain (Maj) Brian Kane concelebrate the service Kane is with the 67th Battlefield Surveillance Brigade, Nebraska Army National Guard, going through demobilization processing at Fort McCoy Kane is the pastor of St James Parish, Mead, Neb, and superintendent of Neumann High School in Wahoo, Neb
A 1st BCT Soldier said he was appreciative of Chaplain Dolan’s visit and celebrating Mass Maj Matt Heffron, from St Paul, Minn, and the BCT’s intelligence officer, said he came for the Mass, “to, first and foremost, meet Christ, and in a physical way to receive His Body and Blood and a chance to do it with others who believe in the same way”
“That’s immeasurably important to me,” Heffron said “I converted to Catholicism during my last deployment I knew a priest chaplain as a point of contact for faith and sanity in the middle of difficult circumstances”
Heffron said, “Confession is another way to meet Christ and experience His power, especially while at war Confession is the ideal way to change and grow into the person God wants me to be My faith informs my decision-making as an officer in a combat brigade where complicated decisions may be made, and well-worked-out ethical decisions will be made My faith helps that It helps me take God’s message of love and mercy into a simple yet difficult world and connect faith to being a Soldier”
Following Mass, Dolan presented the 1BCT Soldiers with medallions and prayer cards, items that had been blessed by a Catholic bishop in St Cloud, Minn, and sent to Fort McCoy One medallion was of St Joan of Arc, patron saint of Soldiers The other had a Bible inscription from Joshua, 1:9, “I will be strong and courageous I will not be terrified or discouraged For the Lord my God is with me wherever I go”
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."
Learning to instruct professionalism and discipline
Posted: 2017-04-19 02:15 PM
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.