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History
Minnesota National Guard
I'm officially an American

CAMP ARIFJAN, Kuwait - Spc Yaroslav Sergei Dmytrochenko joined the Minnesota Army National Guard as a Ukrainian citizen, proudly serving as an American Soldier While deployed to Kuwait he was able to officially earn his US citizenship and participate in a Naturalization Ceremony held at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait on March 24, 2012 He left Minnesota as a Ukrainian and will return home as an American

Dmytrochenko started his military career in 2008 just like every other Soldier, by taking an oath pledging to defend the Constitution of the United States What makes his story different and unique is that when he took that oath, he was not an American citizen, he was a Ukrainian citizen


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Dmytrochenko was born in Kherson, Ukraine in 1989 In 2003 he and his family moved to St Cloud, Minn When he arrived in St Cloud, he didn't speak any English, but he attended school and worked hard to learn English by the end of his freshman year of high school Right after graduating from high school, he enlisted in the Minnesota Army National Guard, as a tank mechanic, and was assigned to the Sauk Centre, Minn, based Charlie Company, 1st Combined Arms Battalion, 194th Armor of the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 34th Red Bull Infantry Division "I was always thinking of joining In Ukraine [all males] have to"

Along his journey to citizenship he's had great support and interest from his fellow Soldiers, saying "A lot of people didn't know a non-citizen can serve in the military It's been a good thing that I had an opportunity to serve" In 2011 he deployed to Kuwait as a Ukrainian citizen wearing an American flag patch on his shoulder as an American Soldier, in support of Operation New Dawn, the final phase of post-combat operations in Iraq

While in Kuwait, he learned about an opportunity to submit his paperwork to finally earn his citizenship, something his mother and sister had already been able to complete The long road to becoming an American citizen was finally completed on March 24, 2012 He stood with 14 other Service members in the Camp Arifjan Chapel as Ambassador Matthew H Tueller, US ambassador to Kuwait and Maj Gen Gary Cheek, deputy commanding general-Kuwait of Third Army/US Army Central observed the Oath of Naturalization

After the oath was completed, all 15 Service members stood shoulder to shoulder and proudly recited the Pledge of Allegiance for the first time as American citizens before watching a special video greeting from President Barack Obama

"It was nice that the Army could help me with this" he said "It feels good to be an official citizen" Now that he is an American citizen, he is able to get a US passport so he can travel back to Ukraine to visit family he hasn't seen in eight years The ability to see family members again means a great deal to him and something he is anxiously looking forward to

After he got back to Camp Virginia he was greeted by a lot of his fellow Soldiers who were quick to greet him and congratulate him Dmytrochenko said he shared his pride right away on Facebook, posting the message, "I'm officially an American" and got more responses than he's ever had on Facebook He said the outpouring of support, respect and excitement for him has been amazing "It was nicer than I was expecting It was an honor; it felt good to finally be over with"

March 24, 2012
1st Brigade Combat Team, 34th Red Bull Infantry Division
Story by Capt Michael Lovas




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347th RSG units test unique capabilities during Combined Support Training Exercise

Posted: 2017-08-16  03:35 PM
347 RSG FORT MCCOY, Wisconsin - The 347th Regional Support Group commander and command sergeant major traveled to Fort McCoy, Wisconsin, Aug. 15, 2017, to recognize several Soldiers training there.

The 204th Area Medical Support Company, 147th Financial Management Support Detachment and 247th FMSD are all conducting their annual training periods in neighboring Wisconsin, with their own mission-specific exercises that fall under the Combat Support Training Exercise taking place throughout the brigade.

The leadership duo of Col. Lowell Kruse and Command Sgt. Maj. Marcus Erickson began their day with a stop at the 147th FMSD's training area, where they watched Soldiers participate in the Diamond Saber exercise. Throughout the event, the 147th FMSD - a 25-Soldier operation preparing for deployment - is exercising its dispersing, military pay and contracting functions in an interactive environment with actual customers to serve and transactions to process.



500 Minnesota soldiers notified for 2018 deployment

Posted: 2017-08-14  03:54 PM
Minnesota National Guard FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 13, 2017

ROSEMOUNT, Minn.- More than 500 Soldiers from the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division headquarters have been notified of a possible deployment to Southwest Asia beginning in the fall of 2018.

"The Red Bulls maintain a high level of readiness, and over the next 12 months, our soldiers will train for this mission while also preparing their families and civilian employers here at home," said Maj. Gen. Jon Jensen, 34th Infantry Division commanding general. "The official notification is an important step in the process of building readiness for an overseas deployment."

The planned deployment is expected to last up to one year. The notified units are based in Rosemount, Inver Grove Heights, and Faribault; however, the soldiers hail from 10 different states and the District of Columbia.



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Posted: 2017-08-10  08:14 AM
347 RSG CSTX CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - After three busy days establishing a field command post and integrating units from across the country, the 347th Regional Support Group is underway with a three-week Combat Support Training Exercise during annual training at Camp Ripley.

It began with a Command Post Exercise on Aug. 8, 2017, but it couldn't begin until the tenants of "Tactical Assembly Area Victory" established meal service, sleeping arrangements, shower and laundry accommodations and, of course, the tactical command post.

"We do the exercise to make sure our equipment works, and once that is established we as a staff figure out how to sync together," said Sgt. Maj. Marc Dempsey, logistics operations sergeant major for the 347th RSG. "The exercise is for making sure we as a staff are working together as one team, with everyone knowing their role, for when we go into the main event."



Military kids participate in Minnesota National Guard Youth Camp

Posted: 2017-08-07  02:08 PM
Youth Camp CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - Summer camp as a kid and young teen is usually filled with memories of campfires, swimming in the lake and BBQs. Camp Ripley Training Center hosted the Minnesota National Guard Youth Camp (MNGYC) for more than 200 military kids this year. The experience for the military kids who attend the camp relies heavily on donations and nearly 150 volunteers from around the state that come and spend the week with them.

Lindsay Koolmo is a volunteer and the executive director for the MNGYC. She is a military spouse, a volunteer firefighter and a mutations maintenance Tech Sergeant from the 148th Fighter Wing. She has taken upon herself for years to take time off her job and spend hundreds of hours throughout the year and more than two weeks at Camp Ripley to lead the camp.

Her affiliation with the MNGYC started early, in 1992 she was a camper, became a junior counselor, then was a junior counselor and then became an adult counselor.



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