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Minnesota National Guard
Minnesota Army wives win trip to Army Wives studio

If you're a fan of Beyond the Yellow Ribbon's Facebook page, you certainly took note of� the Association of the United States Army's (AUSA)� "Minnesota Wives to Army Wives" contest� Seventeen videos were� submitted, and� more than 5,000 votes were cast� to send three military spouses to the set of Lifetime's "Army Wives" in South Carolina The final votes have been tallied, and the winners are Andrea Curley, Samantha Koktan� and Tammy Estes

"The General John W Vessey Jr chapter of AUSA is glad to have the opportunity to send three Minnesota Army wives on this great trip," said Curt S Cooper, president of the Minnesota chapter "The military family, and particularly the military spouse, is the backbone of our nation's military We owe them a debt of thanks"

Andrea, one of the last contestants to enter the contest, was our top vote-getter Receiving 700� votes in less than three days, Andrea and her husband, Sgt Nik Curley, live in Farmington He is deployed to Kuwait with the Minnesota National Guard's 1/34 Brigade Special Troops Battalion headquarters, 34th Infantry Division He's been in the service� for 11 years and recently re-enlisted for another six Andrea's favorite TV show, ever, is "Army Wives"� 

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Samantha came in second with 589 votes She is married to� Sgt Joe Koktan, and the two� have been married for two years Their child, Jerrica, is five months old Joe is in the Army Reserves, part of the 364th Public Affairs Operations Center at Fort Snelling, and� is deployed with the� 980th Engineer Battalion headquarters� to Afghanistan Samantha has fought and survived pituitary tumors and Hodgkin's lymphoma She's looking forward to a break

The final top-vote getter, with 584 votes, was Tammy She� and Sgt Thomas Estes, married for nearly 10 years, are a seasoned military-family, undergoing their fourth deployment Thomas is with the Minnesota National Guard's� Delta Company, 2nd Battalion, 135th Infantry, and is deployed to Kuwait With three kids, Tammy's friends, other "Army Wives," are the ones she depends on

The contest was very close The fourth and fifth place finishers, Savahna Sperle and Cindy Sabatke, were less than 50 votes away from the top three spots

To be eligible for the "Minnesota Wives to Army Wives" contest, entrants had to have a spouse currently on deployment, and they had to live in Minnesota or the Servicemember had to belong to a Minnesota unit

"To each and every military spouse in Minnesota and our neighbor states, thanks for your service - especially the brave ladies that shared their videos and made the "Minnesota Wives to Army Wives" contest a smashing success" said a member of the Deployment Cycle Support team

11 Jan, 2012
By 2nd Lt Melanie Nelson
Beyond the Yellow Ribbon

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Month of the Military Child recognizes contributions of military kids

Posted: 2018-04-07  01:54 PM
Minnesota National Guard FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 7, 2018

ST. PAUL, Minn.- The month of April is designated as the Month of the Military Child to recognize the contributions and sacrifices military children make so their family members can serve. An estimated 15,000 children in Minnesota have been affected by the deployment of a parent.

"Military children bear a lot while their family members serve," said Maj. Gen. Jon Jensen, Adjutant General of the Minnesota National Guard. "It is up to us to support these resilient kids and help to lessen their burden."

An event to honor military kids in Minnesota will take place April 13, 2018, at the Mall of America rotunda from 2:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Activities will include appearances by the Teddy Bear Band and meet and greets with Nickelodeon characters.

Forging a path to career success

Posted: 2018-03-16  08:45 AM
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.

"My story is no different than many others," Steward-Randle, the Director of Human Resources, Manpower and Personnel for the Minnesota National Guard said. "I was in college and looking for financial resources to help pay for it."

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.

Minnesota Guardsman Receives Award for Combating Drugs in his Community

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.

Women Opened Doors in Minnesota National Guard

Posted: 2018-03-08  09:05 AM
Minnesota National Guard ST. PAUL, Minn. - "The battlefront is no place for women to be," said Command Sgt. Maj. Earl Kurtzweg, 125th Field Artillery, in an article published in 1976. "There are certain jobs girls say they can do, but they just can't do ... the battlefront is no place for women to be. Other countries in the world use women in combat, but the U.S. has not come around to that way of thinking." Kathy Berg, a New Ulm reporter summarized at the time. "So women in the New Ulm unit take care of personnel files and pay records and leave the fighting to the men."

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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