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Minnesota National Guard
Beyond the Yellow Ribbon shows deployed Soldiers how to come all the way home

In "Twilight of the Idols" Friedrich Nietzsche said "If we have our own why in life, we shall get along with almost any how"

Deployment Cycle Support (DCS), a component of the Beyond the Yellow Ribbon program, helps provide the "how" for Soldiers of the 34th Infantry Division

DCS held a one-year reintegration event for the Soldiers of the 34th Infantry Division that were mobilized in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom from Feb 2009 to Feb 2010 at the Inver Hills Community College July 22

"Everybody's life changes a little bit after they complete a deployment," said Lt Col Matt Vatter, 34th Infantry Division Headquarters Battalion commander, "and what we're trying to do today is address some of the issues and some of the challenges that the Soldiers and their families might be facing at this stage in returning from war"



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Before arriving at the event, all Service members were surveyed by DCS to determine the issues still facing the Soldiers as they continue to reintegrate into society a year later The survey, done months before the reintegration event, helped DCS reach out to working professionals to provide an expert in the areas of concern at the event

Over 15 service providers were at the 34th Infantry Division's one-year reintegration event Classes offered ranged from a couples check-up to initial resume writing

"A high area of concern the Soldiers are facing is unemployment; we hope this event refreshes their tool kit of resources and helps them in the job market where they are going up against individuals that have been preparing a whole year while they were overseas," commented Maj Aaron Krenz, DCS chief

"In essence, what I would like, is to have all of our Soldiers walk away this weekend with an action plan that works for them," said Vatter "Something that helps them to take that next step forward in their lives "¦ that they can be more successful in the job market if employment is an issue for them"

If Nietzsche were alive perhaps he would have approved of the dedication and insight taken reintegrating our modern Service members and helping them find the "how"

Story and photos by Spc Trisha Betz
1st Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs
22 July, 2011





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Operation Future Warrior, rain or shine

Posted: 2017-05-24  01:12 PM
Operation Future Warrior More than 900 recruits from the Minnesota National Guard came to Camp Ripley Friday through Sunday for Operation Future Warrior.

Young men and women who volunteered to join the Minnesota Army National Guard got to experience a small taste of basic training and military training during the three-day event.

"The intent of Operation Future Warrior is removing the mystery of the training recruits will experience when attending Basic Combat and Advance Individualized Training," said Lt. Col. Eduardo Suarez, recruiting and retention battalion commander.



St. Paul-based Combat Aviation Brigade welcomes new senior enlisted leader

Posted: 2017-05-23  08:03 AM
Hellkamp ARDEN HILLS, Minn. - The Minnesota National Guard's 34th Combat Aviation Brigade welcomed a new senior enlisted leader during a change of responsibility ceremony, May 21, 2017, at the Arden Hills Army Training Site.

Command Sgt. Maj. Mitchell Hellkamp assumed duties as the unit's senior noncommissioned officer (NCO) from Command Sgt. Maj. Stephen Cunnien, who served in the position for the past two years and will be retiring from the military later this year.

"Command Sgt. Maj. Cunnien is one of the finest leaders that I have worked with in my career," said Col. Shawn Manke, commander of the 34th CAB. "He sets the example for all noncommissioned officers and Soldiers to emulate. He is a true professional, as a visible leader and teacher for the Soldiers of the combat aviation brigade. We're grateful for his many years of service, and we wish him well as he closes out his military career and enters the next chapter in his life."



Families recognized for sacrifices during Guard deployment

Posted: 2017-05-22  10:57 AM
Welcome Home ST. CLOUD, Minn. - Soldiers of B Co., 2-211th General Support Aviation Battalion were welcomed home May 20, 2017, at the River's Edge Convention Center in St. Cloud, Minnesota. During the ceremony, families were recognized for their sacrifices during the year-long deployment.

"I often tell Soldiers and truly believe that as hard as our jobs are at times, our families have the harder job at home," said Lt. Col. Kevin O'Brien, commander of the 2-147 Assault Helicopter Battalion. "Because Army family members have a unique burden that many of their friends and families cannot understand, they form family readiness groups, or FRGs, to share information and provide support to one another."

The company's FRG leader, Rhiannon Knutson, wife of Chief Warrant Officer 2 Tom Knutson, was in constant contact with the unit's families and went above and beyond what is normally expected of FRG leaders, said the unit's readiness non-commissioned officer, Sgt. 1st Class Mark Wood.



Camp Ripley's Training Support Unit keeps the base running

Posted: 2017-05-16  12:41 PM
Camp Ripley CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - The Camp Ripley Training Support Unit is designated to the care, upkeep and assistance to the installation and those utilizing the facility.

"The Training Support Unit's (TSU) primary focus is to support unit training requirements and ensure smooth operations here on Camp Ripley and the Arden Hills Army Training Site in the metro," said Sgt. 1st Class Terry Clabo, Training Support Unit Readiness NCO.

Camp Ripley features numerous ranges and state-of-the-art training facilities to support military, law enforcement, first responder and inter-agency partner training requirements. The installation is structured to have a full complement of automated small arms and large caliber weapon ranges as well as several specialized training facilities.



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