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Minnesota National Guard
U of M coach Robinson tours Kuwait thanking Red Bulls

CAMP ARIFJAN, Kuwait - Developing his answers to the tests of life, Coach J Robinson wanted to share them with Soldiers of 1st Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division as a way to say thank you to Red Bull Soldiers who are currently deployed to Kuwait in support of Operation New Dawn

Robinson arrived in Kuwait Sept 27 for an eight-day tour While in Kuwait, he visited all the major bases and spoke with over 800 troops

In the last ten years, his wife divorced him, he lost a job, along with a very large sum of money in the stock market and to top it all off, this man had 57 surgeries conducted on his body just so he can function like you and I

With all the difficulties he has faced you would never think that he would have accomplished the things he has in life to include: 1972 Olympian, national Wrestling Hall of Fame inductee, captain in the US Army, Vietnam veteran, honor graduate in Army Ranger School, an Instructor at the West Point, four time National Freestyle and Greco Wrestling Champion, two time National Collegiate Athletic Association National Coach of the Year, four time Assistant Olympic Wrestling Team Coach, three time NCAA Division I Champion, six time Big Ten Champion, six time Big Ten Coach of the Year and he is currently in his 25th season of coaching wrestling at the University of Minnesota



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"Coming here, I just wanted to say thank you to the troops and let them know that people do care about them and the job they're doing here," said Robinson "It's little to ask for what they do for us"

During his tour he visited Minnesota National Guard troops stationed in bases and camps all over the country of Kuwait, to include Minnesota Air Guardsmen He provided motivational speeches and combatives clinics for any of the troops who could attend

"It's really great to know that we have support back in Minnesota and anybody willing to come here is absolutely amazing," said Spc Tracy L White, an Emergency Operation Center assistant for the 134th Brigade Support Battalion currently sustaining the Life Support Area

White added, "To see Robinson, a Minnesotan, coming here to speak and motivate us as we continue in our endeavors that do get long, speaks miles to his character"

Though life was still a far cry from being easy for him, he stayed focused on his goals and the missions the Army presented him with as a commissioned officer

"There are a lot of things I learned as a young man dealing in the Army that was transferred over into other areas of my life," commented Robinson

Robinson's time in the US Army helped him clearly define the difference between a goal and a mission Knowing this, Robinson was more than prepared to share his first hand knowledge with Minnesota troops

"The difference between a goal and a mission is you have goals and a lot of people don't reach their goals, but as a Soldier you're given a mission and you have no choice but to get it done," said Robinson

All Soldiers have missions during the deployment and many will set personal goals Coach helped some by giving them the skills to reach their goals during the deployment

"I've learned from Coach Robinson that it's not always knowledge that will get you far in life - it's following through and doing the hard work that needs to be done," said White

"You've been given this day to use, as you will; it's important what you do with it because you're exchanging one day of your life for it," said Robinson "Wherever you are, be there"

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







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Officers convene for 112th Meeting of the National Guard Association of Minnesota

Posted: 2017-04-28  12:38 PM
NGAMN conference MANKATO, Minn. - Commissioned leaders of the Minnesota National Guard convened for the 112th General Conference of the National Guard Association of Minnesota at the Verizon Wireless Center and Hilton Garden Inn, Mankato, on April 22, 2017.

The annual gathering of association members - who serve as advocates for the needs of Soldiers, Airmen and their families - includes a business meeting, commanders march, formal dining event and transfer of responsibility to the chapter's new president.

The day's event began with a business meeting, which focused on the association's mission of educating and informing legislators on the issues facing the current and future role of the National Guard in serving Minnesota communities. The strategic planning meeting was attended by Minnesota National Guard Adjutant General Maj. Gen. Richard Nash, his staff and unit commanders.



Camp Ripley earns top environmental award

Posted: 2017-04-26  02:09 PM
Mississippi River CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - The Department of Defense announced that Camp Ripley was selected as the winner of the Secretary of Defense Environmental Award for Natural Resources Conservation, Large Installation.

The awards recognize individuals, teams and installations for their exceptional environmental achievements and innovative, cost-effective environmental practices.

"The winners' efforts strengthen the Department of Defense's position as a resourceful environmental steward, both at home and abroad, and demonstrate our continued commitment to fulfilling mission needs through advanced environmental practices and technologies," stated James A. MacStravic, performing the duties of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics.



Minnesota Guardsman finds work with victims in the military and the local community rewarding

Posted: 2017-04-26  10:57 AM
Neely COTTAGE GROVE, Minn. - Staff Sgt. Nicquie Neely has been working with victims of sexual assault for four years in the Minnesota National Guard and also volunteers as a victim advocate in the community. As a victim advocate, it's her job to believe and support victims through a difficult process that can often involve extensive medical care and legal proceedings.

"Ever since I joined the Guard and heard about the SHARP program and learned what a victim advocate was, I always wanted to be one," said Neely. "And then I learned that you had to be an E-6 to be in that position, so the minute I got promoted I asked my commander if I could go to the training."

Neely is a combat medic and the full-time training and administration NCO with Company C, 134th Brigade Support Battalion. In addition to military victim advocate training, Neely also attends regular training with the civilian organization she volunteers for - SOS Sexual Violence Services in Ramsey County.



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."



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