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Minnesota National Guard
The Sun Sets on Operation New Dawn

Camp Buehring, Kuwait— The 18th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen Martin E Dempsey and his wife Deanie shared a meal and conversation Dec 14, 2011 with members of the Minnesota National Guard’s Brainerd-based 1st Combined Arms Battalion, 194th Armor (1-194 CAB) 

The night before he flew north to Baghdad to close the final chapter of Operation New Dawn, Gen Dempsey made a point to attend a dinner engagement with a group of Army leaders at a Camp Buehring dining facility  The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff took this opportunity to ask some unit leaders who directly supported the withdrawal plan for some 360 degree feedback 

The 1-194 (CAB) has had a front row seat in history while conducting 790 convoy escort security missions in their Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles, traveling more than 12 million combat miles through 11 of Iraq’s 18 provinces  There was one consensus that resonated among the leadership sitting at this table  The sum total of the unit’s success during the draw down phase of Operation New Dawn was carried on the backs of the fine Soldiers that served under them and the professionalism, fortitude and stamina put forth by these Soldiers exceeded expectations



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Gen Dempsey touched on an important theme with these Minnesota National Guard Soldiers on the totality of this deployment  The Battalion Command Sergeant Major for 1-194 CAB, John Lepowsky said, “I agreed with Gen Dempsey that we must capture and fully understand what our unit has done here in a short period of time  We conducted a train-up for Operation New Dawn, supported the final phase of the Iraq War and now we will transition back to training our force during the remaining time we have here in Kuwait” 

As one can imagine, the conversation would not have been complete if these Minnesota Soldiers did not bring up the 10th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the longest serving active duty member in the United States Army, Minnesota native Gen John W Vessey  The new Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff had many kind words to say about Gen Vessey and mentioned that he has summoned advice from both Gen Vessey and Gen Colin Powell during his first 90-days in office

The dinner with the highest ranking military officer in the United States Armed Forces and principal military adviser to the President will be forever remembered by these Minnesota National Guard Soldiers     

“The unit training plan for the next few months will focus not only on honing specific military occupational skill (MOS) sets that are perishable, but we will get back to the basics and polish other essential leadership skills that get neglected in a steady state of war,” said Lt Col Brian Melton, Battalion Commander, 1-194 (CAB)   

By Capt John M Hobot
Co C, 1-194 AR (CAB)
Commander






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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."



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Posted: 2017-04-19  02:15 PM
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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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