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Minnesota National Guard
Beyond the Basics

Weapons qualification ranges for most soldiers are pretty basic Using their M4 or M16 assault rifles, they have 40 rounds to hit 40 targets 50 to 300 meters out on fairly level ground

That training does a good job of determining who understands the basics of rifle marksmanship, but infantry soldiers also need the ability to engage targets beyond 300 meters on uneven terrain

Soldiers from the 1st and 2nd Platoons in the Winona, Minn based Charlie Company, 2nd Battalion, 135th Infantry Regiment (2-135 IN RGMT) trained on shooting targets up to 600 meters away August 28, 2011 in Northern Kuwait If a formal course is completed, the soldier can become a squad designated marksman (SDM)



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Charlie Company had two days of the training from civilian contractors at the SDM range The first day was spent on briefs and re-zeroing their weapons with different sights

On the second day, each soldier shot targets from 100 meters up to 600 meters at different elevations, postures, and weak-handed Soldiers learned how to estimate wind speed and adjust their aim point for the wind

Estimating wind speed becomes more crucial at longer ranges The standard "˜aim center mass' works well at the average marksman's distance because he or she can still hit the target, but failing to adjust for wind speed beyond that means that the sight picture and breathing alone won't put the rounds at the correct place

"This instructor has been very helpful with showing us the proper technique to hit 600 meter targets with ease," explained Spc Dane Schroeder of Owatonna, Minnesota

Spc Corey Sveen of Winona, Minn agreed with Schroeder's assessment "I feel more comfortable estimating targets further out than 500 meters This can be a great advantage for any infantryman"

That confidence in their training and equipment will be crucial to the success of Charlie Company They will continue to train for any tasks they face as a reaction force


By Pfc Kyle Potaracke

2nd Battalion, 135th Infantry Regiment




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Minnesota National Guard Remembers the Holocaust with Jewish Community Relations Council

Posted: 2017-04-24  10:43 AM
Holocaust Museum 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
Funeral Honors 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.



Chaplains support Muslim Soldiers by finding common ground

Posted: 2017-04-18  01:42 PM
Chaplain Shabazz 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.



Howling with pride - Minnesota Service members honored by MN Timberwolves

Posted: 2017-04-14  04:25 PM
Timberwolves 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.



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