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From the infantryman conducting patrols, to the field artilleryman launching rounds, in the Army it takes nearly a dozen combat supporting roles to keep a combat Soldier, fed, paid, supported, sheltered and healthy
In a US Army brigade, a headquarters company usually is where these important mission supporting functions for the subordinate battalions are managed Everything from legal actions, human resource requirements to medical assistance and overseeing operations is handled by these military men and women in mission essential roles, which keep a unit going
The outgoing headquarters company from the New Hampshire National Guard, 197th Fires Brigades (197th FiB) conducted a Transfer of Authority Ceremony Aug 19, 2011 with the incoming headquarters company from the Minnesota National Guard’s 1st Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division (1/34th BCT) at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait
“We are about to participate in a simple ceremony, but one of great significance,” said Chaplain (Maj) Steven Venoitte, chaplain for the 197th FiB during the invocation at the ceremony “From the casing and uncasing of colors, it signifies something far greater than the simple actions that occur For the 197th Fires Brigade, this signifies our mission completion and now we can focus on the long waited road home with pride in a job well done”
Having deployed before in Iraq from 2004 to 2005 supporting base security and convoy escorts, the 197th FiB has played a critical part again in supporting the security and mission in the region
“During your time here, many of you have grown closer, part of a family,” said Maj Gen Kenneth S Dowd, 1st Theater Sustainment Command Commanding General “You have become a part of the TSC family, nothing makes me prouder”
“I want to say thanks to the Granite Thunder Brigade, you have accomplished a tremendous amount You accomplished a critical role in theater operations,” said Dowd
For the outgoing unit, transitioning from citizen-to-Soldier was a lengthy process, some members had been preparing for three years Shortly, the entire unit will return stateside and prepare to integrate themselves back into their communities and families
“Despite never having fired a rocket or round of artillery, the 197th Fires Brigade will be forever proud to say we have served as part of 1st Team,” said Col Peter Corey, commander of the 197th FiB “The missions were meaningful to the theater and the nation and the sense of camaraderie of the one army concept were recognized and greatly appreciated”
For some of the Soldiers of the 197th FiB, the deployment was a time of professional and personal development Spc Joe Vicinanzo, paralegal specialist, will be starting law school in the spring He explained how he learned a lot about how to juggle multiple responsibilities and felt he got a head start for his law career during his tour
“I am proud of how much I learned,” said Vicinanzo and native of Concord, NH “I definitely learned time management and how to ‘lean forward’ to get things done and to be proactive”
The enlisted and officers of the 1/34th BCT are now officially in charge of mission All who have been training for since the beginning of the summer for their deployment to Kuwait
“You will find this brigade ready, willing and able,” said Col Eric Kerska, commander of the 1/34th BCT “To the Red Bull Soldiers, you have trained very hard for this moment for a very long time You are ready as any team will be”
The Soldiers of the 1/34th BCT are now officially in the driver’s seat and have taken over the mission from the 197th FiB Spc Tim Connolly worked with Vicinanzo during the transferring of responsibilities in the Judge Advocate General Corps in the headquarters company Connolly, a new recruit, deployed within a year of completing the Army’s advance individual training for paralegal specialist and also plans on attending a law-related college after his return
“They did all that they could to make it a smooth transition,” said Connolly, a native from St Louis Park, Minn “I am excited to do my job on a full time, ‘active-duty’ basis I think the deployment will help me with college Working with the military lawyers, who are also civilian lawyers, will help teach me with their experiences on both the military and civilian side It will better prepare me for my career”
The Soldiers from the 197th FiB are expected to return stateside by the end of the month and the Soldiers from the 1/34th BCT are expected to stay in theater until early summer of 2012
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.
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.
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.
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.