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When soldiers from 1st Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division woke up to play hockey, they were welcomed with a high of 52 degrees and low of 35 degrees, unusually cold for the 100+ weather the soldiers acclimated to this past summer
Most of the equipment for the hockey tournament was donated by Defending the Blue Line It is a non-profit organization that helps military families with hockey equipment and camps for their children Defending the Blue Line sent the "Red Bulls"? gear to continue their games overseas
"It's a great organization that keeps hockey alive, especially here deployed,"?said Maj Eric Di Natale, the executive officer for 2nd Battalion, 135th Infantry, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division
During the games, comradery was shared between all teams as they reminisced and shared stories about their former hockey days
"If you grow up in Minnesota and you're part of the hockey tradition it's always a special day; you see the high school teams play, the Minnesota WILD, the Gophers-it's a great experience,"?said Pfc Garrick Delaney, an operations specialist with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division
For many of the participants, playing and watching in the tournament it was just like being back home on the ice
"Being here you really get homesick and miss hockey, but this is actually the first time I've seen a hockey stick since I've been at Camp Buehring-it's the best day I've had since I've been here,"?said 1st Lt Joshua Talarico, a Proctor, Minn, native and platoon leader for 2nd Battalion, 135th Infantry, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division
Prior to deploying, Command Sgt Maj Bruce Stowe, command sergeant major of the 1/34th Brigade Special Troops Battalion, received permission from the Minnesota WILD to use the name "Task Force WILD" for the unit
Posted: 2017-03-24 10:19 AM CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - Every spring Camp Ripley begins its annual controlled burn program to help reduce the risk of wildfire during training.
"Usually the burns are completed every spring before the summer annual training season begins," said Tim Notch, training area coordinator on Camp Ripley. "However, the warmer weather conditions provide a nice opportunity for preventative burns earlier this season."
As in years past Camp Ripley will conduct controlled burns on approximately 13,000 acres of the 53,000-acre military reservation. The burns are done in coordination with the staffs of the Camp Ripley Department of Public Works and the Camp Ripley Environmental Department along with support from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.
Posted: 2017-03-23 09:46 AM DULUTH, Minn. - Pfc. Trevor Nelson received the Minnesota Distinguished Recruiting Ribbon and a Minnesota Recruiting and Retention Battalion medallion for excellence from Command Sgt. Maj. Curtis Serbus, March 18, 2017, at the Duluth Armory. Nelson earned these awards as part of the online referral system, Leads 2 Enlistment for referring four friends who have joined the Minnesota National Guard.
"I talked to some buddies in my school about the Guard. They liked the benefits, so I put their info in the app and let my recruiter take over." said Nelson. "I thought it would be fun to serve with friends and help them figure out their path in life."
Nelson is currently a senior at Cloquet Senior High School and assigned to the Recruit Sustainment Program in Duluth. He attended basic training at Fort Benning in the summer of 2016 with follow-on training in the summer of 2017 to become an infantryman.
Posted: 2017-03-10 08:50 AM LITCHFIELD, Minn. -Bruce Cottington, a Navy veteran of WWII and Korea, donated a bronze bust of Gen. John W. Vessey, Jr. to the Litchfield National Guard unit during the armory's public open house event March 4. Cottington, a Litchfield resident, commands the Minnesota Chapter of the Veterans of Underage Military Service. VUMS members enlisted in the military prior to the minimum age requirement in order to serve their country during WWII. Cottington received the bust from Vessey, a fellow VUMS member. Both enlisted in the military at the age of 16.
The highlight of the 334th Brigade Engineer Battalion open house was the unveiling of the sculpture. The unit was very supportive when Cottington proposed donating the sculpture. The Litchfield community has always been very supportive of the National Guard over the years, so the open house was a chance to say 'thanks' to their neighbors. "This was a great opportunity to honor Bruce and to honor Gen. Vessey," said B Co., 334th Brigade Engineer Battalion Commander, Capt. Seth Goreham. Bravo Company also has a tight relationship with the local American Legion and VFW. Many Litchfield citizens are former members of Bravo Company, or the unit's predecessors A Co, 682nd Engineer Battalion, and the 849th Mobility Augmentation Company.
Posted: 2017-03-08 03:29 PM CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - The garrison command team of Camp Ripley, family, friends and colleagues from the Minnesota National Guard attended a Change of Responsibility ceremony between Command Sgt. Maj. Mike Worden and Command Sgt. Maj. Matt Erickson, March 5, 2017, at Camp Ripley.
The ceremony was an official "passing of the sword" from one senior noncommissioned officer to the next and assumption of the duties and responsibilities that go along with the position of Garrison Command Sergeant Major.
As with many military ceremonies those in attendance welcomed Erickson as a new member of the team and bid farewell, recognized and thanked Worden for his service.