/*********************************************** * Chrome CSS Drop Down Menu- (c) Dynamic Drive DHTML code library (www.dynamicdrive.com) * This notice MUST stay intact for legal use * Visit Dynamic Drive at http://www.dynamicdrive.com/ for full source code ***********************************************/
Minnesota National Guard
Ramsey man goes to Kuwait to help returning soldiers

By Tammy Sakry on April 4, 2012 at 3:40 pm
Helping veterans find work is what Grant Heino does

Grant Heino (right) works with soldiers from the Minnesota National Guard 1st Brigade Combat Team in Kuwait as part of a nine-member employment resource team Photo submitted

In March, the Ramsey man traveled to Kuwait with a nine-member Minnesota delegation to get the members of Minnesota National Guard’s 1st Brigade Combat Team, a Red Bull unit, ready to look for jobs when they return home in May

“It was the first time the Army has brought in a civilian team to help assimilate them back to civilian life,” said Heino, a WorkForce Center senior veterans employment representative

The Employment Resources Training (ERT) delegation, which was in Kuwait from Feb 29 to March 7, included representatives from Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED), Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU), Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs, Target, Best Buy and US Bank as well as St Paul Chamber of Commerce President Dick Daniels

Approximately 19 percent of the soldiers returning this spring will be unemployed and that is an alarming statistic, said Lt. Col. Kevin Olson of the Minnesota National Guard

To give returning soldiers a head start, the National Guard brought the employment specialists to Kuwait to teach the service members how to best gain jobs, he said

“The commander (Col Eric Kerska) did not want the Red Bulls to come back and be out of work,” Heino said

The unemployment rate for returning service members is about 19 percent, whereas the state unemployment rate is about 56 percent, he said

During a five-day period, the nine-member team and its two military employment resource team leaders worked with approximately 1,080 service members and taught them new strategic tactics for interviewing, networking, writing resumes and how to describe their military skills for the civilian market

The team was working with career military personnel that will be moving into a civilian world as well as service members who were working for minimum pay before going into the military, Heino said

Career military members do not know how to look for civilian employment or how to translate their military skills into a civilian job market, he said

Serving in the military may have changed the skill set of someone who used to work for minimum pay
“They have been in charge of millions of dollars worth of troops and equipment and now are more manager material,” Heino said

Working in four-hour sessions, the team, which broke up into groups, did mock interviews, covered employment opportunities and employment websites (including wwwpositivelyminnesotacom) and did workshops on how to network and market conditions in Minnesota

The team also worked with the unit members on how to promote themselves as individuals

“Vets don’t do a very good job in interviews because they don’t talk about themselves It’s not part of their makeup,” said Heino, an Army veteran who served from 1970-1973

“There is no ‘I’ in team But when a hiring manager is hiring, it’s an individual, not a team, to be part of a team”

“They have to get them back in the mode of promoting themselves, what they did and how they contributed to the team”

They also have switch from the military mind set

Veterans have to learn how not to use military acronyms to describe their job skills, Heino said

Skills learned in the infantry would translate into jobs as asset managers or operations managers in civilian life, he said

The Red Bull members were referred to websites that take the military skills and identify the civilian equivalent

Hiring managers may pass by resumes using military acronyms, Heino said

“We are helping set them up for success,” Heino said

The program was well received by the soldiers

“It was very common for a soldier to come back after class and work late into the night with the team members,” Olson said

The employment training will continue once the unit returns home and completes the 30-, 60- and 90-day reintegration training, he said

The ERT was so well received that other military branches are looking into the program, Heino said Transition

Most of soldiers are focused on coming home and reintegration with the families and friends, Heino said
They are not thinking about looking for employment, but the ERT mission was to get them thinking about finding employment before they even get home, according to Heino

As a DEED representa
tive, Heino helps set up veterans with employers, prepare their cover letters and identify their skills

“We help them overcome barriers to employment,” be it education, disability or skills, Heino said

One way DEED and the WorkForce Center helps veterans is with websites that give veterans preferential treatment in job searches

The websites denote veterans with a waving flag , Heino said

DEED also works with MnSCU to set up customized training for veterans

Heino uses his personal experience to help unemployed veterans, Heino said

He worked in commercial construction, real estate development and architectural design for many years, but things dried up after 9/11

“I was out of work and had to reinvent myself,” said Heino, who is working on a master’s degree in project management at St Mary’s University

After being unemployed, Heino became active in veterans networking groups and over the years began doing workshops on creative networking and job searches

“I feel privileged to be selected one of the nine people to go (to Kuwait) and work with the service members,” he said

Tammy Sakry is at tammysakry@ecm-inccom
Article source

Articles archive

In The News archive

Media Advisory archive

Latest News

Minnesota Guardsmen learn survival skills, train with Norwegian counterparts

Posted: 2018-07-03  01:36 PM
NOREX 45 Over the course of 10 days, 100 Soldiers and Airmen from the Minnesota National Guard who traveled to Norway June 17-26, 2018, for the 45th Norwegian Reciprocal Troop Exchange learned valuable survival skills and shared their knowledge with members of the Norwegian Home Guard. This year's exchange was the second to take place during the summer months in the history of the longest-running military partnership between two nations.

"It was a great experience for both the Minnesota National Guard and the Norwegian Home Guard," said Capt. 'Kiwi' HorgA�ien, the senior Norwegian instructor. "A cultural exchange, a social exchange and military exchange all packed into one."

The 45th exchange got off to a late start, with flight delays causing the trip to be shortened from its normal length of two weeks. The delay meant that the Minnesota Guardsmen jumped right into training, heading out to the field after just a few hours of sleep.

133rd Airlift Wing Emphasizes Combat Readiness Training

Posted: 2018-06-29  10:48 AM
Alpena ALPENA, Michigan - Approximately 300 U.S. Air Force Airmen from the 133rd Airlift Wing participated in a readiness exercise at the Alpena Combat Readiness Training Center, Alpena, Mich.

The exercise, tagged as Iron Ore, was designed test the Airmen abilities to set up operations at an unfamiliar location and receive in depth training on Ability-To-Survive and Operate (ATSO) principles while supporting airlift and aeromedical flight operations.

To ensure mission success and readiness, Airmen had to complete training at home station prior to leaving for Alpena. Some of this training included weapons qualification, gas mask fit testing, Mission Oriented Protective Posture (MOPP) familiarization, self-aid and buddy care and career field training.

Red Bulls Kickoff Division Warfighter

Posted: 2018-06-13  01:38 PM
DIV WFX CAMP ATTERBURY, Ind. - "A Warfighter is an exercise that allows the Division to evaluate their ability to maneuver assets in a battle," said Master Sgt. Greg Weaver, the Operations Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge for the Division Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion. "It is designed to focus on particular areas and specific objectives to be evaluated or tested."

The Division has geared its' planning and training efforts in preparation for Warfighter since July 2017. Coordinating transportation for Soldiers and equipment was often on the mind of Maj. David Johansson, the logistics officer for the 34th ID. With the coordination of Johansson and his team, troops and equipment all converged on Camp Atterbury, enlisting the help of 89 railcars, 280 tractor-trailers, and nearly 50 buses for the movement.

"I like to say my job is to 'quiet the noise'". Johansson continued, "The noise being a real life logistical problem that could impede the exercise."

Minnesota-based aviation unit takes part in Warfighter Exercise

Posted: 2018-06-08  11:59 AM
34ECAB WFX CAMP ATTERBURY, Ind. - More than 150 Soldiers of the Minnesota National Guard's 34th Expeditionary Combat Aviation Brigade are here participating in a multi-echelon training event, Warfighter Exercise 18-5, May 30 to June 15.

The exercise, which is part live and part virtual, is testing the St. Paul, Minnesota-based aviation unit's ability to conduct operations and mission command in a high-intensity, complex operating environment. Soldiers are being challenged to take decisive action as they focus on air-ground operations -- or synchronizing and integrating aviation operations into the scheme of maneuver planned and conducted by forces on the ground.

In this case, the units on the ground are being commanded by the Rosemount, Minnesota-based 34th Red Bull Infantry Division, which is also participating in the exercise.

Article archive