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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: 2017-04-19 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.
Posted: 2017-04-18 01:42 PM ROSEMOUNT, Minn. - The Soldiers of the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division had a unique opportunity to speak with one of the U.S. Army's five Muslim chaplains April 7-10, 2017. U.S. Army Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Khallid Shabazz, I Corps deputy command chaplain, travelled from Fort Lewis, Washington, to Minnesota to provide professional development for the division chaplain section.
"Soldiers perform at a higher level when they are spiritually fit," said Minnesota National Guard Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Buddy Winn, the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division command chaplain. "And, it's our job as chaplains to make sure Soldiers have their spiritual needs met, regardless of faith. Having Chaplain Shabazz here as a Muslim Chaplain provides the diversity in religious background that we can't provide internally."
There are five major religions supported by the chaplaincy: Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu and Buddhist, but over 200 religions are recognized. Chaplains can only perform services for their particular religion, but they can provide support for all Soldiers, regardless of their faith.
Posted: 2017-04-14 04:25 PM ST. PAUL, Minn. - For the third consecutive year, Minnesota service members were honored with on-court recognition and other VIP treatments as part of the Minnesota Timberwolves Heroes of the Pack Program.
"We are very appreciative for what the military does for us, and we wanted to give something back to honor the military," said Roger McCabe, who along with wife, Nancy, is a driving force behind the recognitions through the FastBreak Foundation and Roger & Nancy McCabe Foundation. "This is our way of doing it."
Having lived through the Vietnam War - and with Roger and Nancy both having parents who served - the two philanthropists decided a few years back to build upon existing recognition efforts already underway by the Timberwolves. And with that, recognitions that were typically happening at Target Center in November expanded to include Minnesota Service members from all branches at every home game - a total of 41 honorees per season.
"It was a lot of work and lessons learned, but it was awesome seeing the completed product," said Sgt. 1st Class Brian Reiten, readiness non-commissioned officer for C Co., 2nd Combined Arms Battalion, 136th Infantry.