The mission accomplished by 1-194 during their deployment was a historic feat, which was vital to the drawdown of U.S. Soldiers and equipment from Iraq. They worked around the clock day after day to keep travel routes safe.
Sgt. Chad Swenson from Elk River, Minn., was a gunner on one of many convoy escort teams the 1-194 provided. For miles through the dark, hours at a time, Sgt. Swenson provided constant security as his convoy traveled over the highways of Iraq.
"It was ending a war. It means a lot in general just to bring everybody home,"¯ Swenson said, describing his feelings about the 1-194's mission.
During a ceremony held at Camp Virginia, Kuwait, Maj. Tadd Vanyo and Sgt. Maj. John Lepoqski put away the battalion colors. 1-194 closed an important chapter in their history as the command team prepared the battalion colors for the journey back home.
The 1-94 CAV wrapped up their mission in Kuwait with a casing ceremony Apr 3 at Camp Buehring, Kuwait. Col. Eddie Frizell, 1-94 CAV commander and Command Sgt. Maj. Daniel Essig, the command team of 1-94 CAV, cased the colors as Soldiers and leaders of the 1-94 CAV looked on.
During the withdrawal of troops and equipment from Iraq, the 1-94 CAV performed convoy escort missions and traveled over one million miles.
"To see that the war is over is an amazing thing to be a part of,"¯said Maj. Mark Lappegaard, 1-94 CAV executive officer. "Having everybody come back safe and seeing that all these Soldiers get to go back home is a great thing."¯
The largest deployment of the National Guard Red Bulls since World War II, the 1/34th helped complete the largest logistical drawdown in history, and continued to honor the Red Bull legacy.
Once the wheels are up with Kuwait to the rear, the first stop on the way home will be at Camp Shelby, Miss. There, each Soldier will spend some time going through medical and dental exams, while also ensuring all paperwork has been successfully completed. However, the time spent at Camp Shelby will be short and Soldiers will be ever closer to returning home to Minnesota.
April 10, 2012
Story and photos by Pfc. Linsey Williams
1/34th BCT Public Affairs
Posted: 2013-12-10 04:14 AM
The Minnesota National Guard Chaplain Corps became more "purple" today with the "passing of the stole" from Army Chaplain (Col.) John Morris to Air Force Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Tim Martenson. Martenson is the Minnesota National Guard's newest State Chaplain and its first Air Force State Chaplain. The ceremony took place at North Heights Lutheran Church, Arden Hills, Minn. Dec. 9. The presiding officer for the changing of the stole was Col. Jon Jensen, Joint Chief of Staff, Minnesota National Guard.
"I stepped into this stole with my head bowed in humility and that is truly how I accept it today," said Mortenson. "Chaplain Morris was my mentor, he reshaped me and reformed me as a joint chaplain. Thank you John Morris for all you have done for me and this state. I stand before you the first Air Force State Chaplain humbled by mentorship."
Posted: 2013-12-07 05:07 PM ROSEMOUNT, Minn. - In a ceremony rich with military tradition, the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division command was passed at the Rosemount National Guard Armory, Dec. 7. The occasion marks the beginning of a new era in 34th Red Bull Infantry Division history.
Brig. Gen. Neal Loidolt assumed command of the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division from Maj. Gen. David Elicerio who held the position since November 2010. The Change of Command ceremony symbolized the official transfer of individual authority and responsibility of an organization from the outgoing to the incoming commander.
Posted: 2013-12-06 12:00 AM CAMP RIPLEY, Minn.- Minnesota National Guard Service members gathered at Camp Ripley during the first snowfall of the season for the 3rd Annual muzzle loaders hunt December 2-4, 2013.
"We all love hunting and talk about it during the deployments," said Col. Paul Roecker, Operations Officer for the Minnesota National Guard Joint Force Headquarters. "Hunts like this one are a great chance for Soldiers and Airmen to get out and enjoy a sport that they may have missed out on during a deployment."