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Minnesota National Guard
How Providers Can Improve Care for Reserve Component Members

By Jayne Davis, DCoE Strategic Communications
From wwwdcoehealthmil

US Soldiers, with the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division, relax after arriving at Volk Field Air National Guard Base, Wisc (US Army photo by Sgt Lynette R Hoke/Released)

Have you ever tried to communicate with a person who speaks a different language? No matter how clearly, or slowly, you speak, the other person just doesn't seem to understand you This sometimes happens when military culture and language collide with civilian providers, as when reserve component members seek behavioral health care� post-deployment

Reserve component members often choose civilian health care providers because they may not be able to access services from the Defense Department or the� Department of Veterans Affairs for psychological health care and substance abuse treatment

"When they do [visit civilian providers], what commonly occurs is they voice military references and acronyms in an effort to relate whatever concerns brought them there, which they may not understand themselves, to someone with no understanding of military culture," said Master Sgt Stephanie Weaver, National Guard counterdrug liaison,� Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA)

Weaver is a proponent of what's called "military cultural competence," a kind of peer support effort to better understand reserve component military culture According to Weaver, knowing how to communicate in the same language makes it easier to talk about difficult issues and experiences with reintegration This leads to effective care and more recovery options

Since 2001, more than 22 million service members have deployed, with nearly 40 percent coming from the� National Guard and� reserves Because of their unique civilian and military responsibilities, more should be done to help this community

"Reserve component members are not routinely attached to a base or post and therefore their reintegration period is far shorter than active-duty service members," said Air Force Col Christopher Robinson, DCoE deputy director for psychological health "Also, they're not apt to be as plugged in to reintegration and transition resources available to all service members, so that's where� DCoE's online resources can really help"

Here are some ways civilian providers can improve their military cultural competence:

-� Operation Immersion: This military culture immersion program for behavioral health care providers seeks to reduce stigma and substance use disorders SAMHSA and the� Tennessee National Guard serve as two of the co-hosts for the training

-� Military Cultural Competence online course: Center for Deployment Psychology, a DCoE component center, provides this training to help civilian mental health care providers communicate more effectively with service members and their families

Written on August 29, 2011 at 8:30 am by jtozer

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Col. Angela Steward-Randle ST. PAUL, Minn. - Col. Angela Steward-Randle grew up in a military family - her father served in the Army on active duty - but it was a chance encounter with a friend at college that led her to want to make the military a career.

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Her college friend suggested they attend a summer training with the Reserve Officer Training Corps that had no obligation and could earn them some money. The friend never ended up going, but Steward-Randle did. After earning recognition as the top honor graduate and receiving an offer of a scholarship, she was hooked.

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Posted: 2018-03-09  03:13 PM
Counterdrug WOODBURY, Minn. - Staff Sgt. Benjamin Kroll, an analyst with the Minnesota National Guard's Counterdrug Task Force who is assigned to work with the Hennepin County Sherriff's Office was recognized for his achievements as the Analyst of the Year during the 2018 Minnesota Association of Crime and Intelligence Analysts Training Symposium in Woodbury, Minnesota, March 7, 2018.

Through a partnership with Minnesota law enforcement agencies throughout the state, the Minnesota National Guard Counterdrug Task Force (MNCDTF) supports the anti-drug initiatives to counter all primary drug threats and vulnerabilities through the effective application of available assets, said Maj. Jon Dotterer, Counterdrug Coordinator for the State of Minnesota. The goal for the program is to support federal, state, tribal, and local agencies in the detection, disruption, interdiction, and curtailment of illicit drugs.

Kroll is one of sixteen service members on the Counterdrug Task Force that provides this force-multiplying service to our communities against illicit drug-use. With the information that law enforcement provide through their patrols and daily operations, Kroll and his colleagues across the state assist by putting together a figurative picture with all of the gathered information which aids in identifying how to move forward with legal action to deter or prevent the sale or use of illegal narcotic drugs.

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Posted: 2018-03-08  09:05 AM
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The Minnesota National Guard has "come around to that way of thinking" since those early days of gender integration. In the last 44 years women have made momentous strides toward inclusion and acceptance. Their accomplishments are testimony to their fortitude and the progressive development of the Minnesota National Guard.

When an accomplished female Soldier is credited with breaking barriers she will often pass that honor to the women that preceded her. Brig. Gen. Johanna Clyborne is such a leader. She acknowledges that she is one of the first females in the Minnesota National Guard who has held key leadership roles, however she sees it differently. "I feel responsible for all women in uniform," said Clyborne. "Women before me opened the door, now I've cleared the room. It's up to the women behind me to hold the room."

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