| Ask Matt: I'm back from military duty and need help finding a job
Updated: May 15, 2012 - 9:52 AM
Dear Matt: I'm returning from active military duty and need a job! What tips do you have for me? What has changed in the few years I have been out of the job market?
Matt says: Nearly 3,000 Minnesota National Guard soldiers returned in late April after serving in Afghanistan and Kuwait during the last year Many are now seeking employment
Technology and social media are two of the biggest changes in the way job seekers look for work and employers search for talent, says Jennifer Brigham, CEO of Brigham Group Staffing (brigahmgroupcom), a Twin Cities-based staffing firm Must-haves for any job seeker:
• An electronic version of your résumé The electronic version can be uploaded to online job boards, attached to a company's web-based application, or e-mailed
• A professional profile on LinkedIn and on all the big job boards, Star Tribune Jobs and Hero 2 Hired (h2hjobs) -- a web site focused on connecting military-trained talent with jobs
• Use support organizations such as the state's Workforce Centers (positivelyminnesotacom), job clubs that meet at local churches, and Yellow Ribbon organizations (beyondtheyellowribbonorg)
One thing hasn't changed -- networking is key Just ask veteran Tim Connelly, now a Twin Cities-based lawyer (timconnellylawcom) "The single most important thing for returning service members is to understand the power of networking -- even in a simple job search," said Connelly "Go to meetings, conferences, social events and tell your story, especially events with a veteran-friendly focus You will be well received, and knowledgeable employers will recognize the value of the organizational and leadership skills you have accumulated in the service of your country"
Don't overlook the possibility of starting your own business, or starting one with your fellow service members There are state and federal government programs designed to ensure that veteran-owned businesses get a fair share of government contracting opportunities Many large government contractors seek out veteran-owned businesses for the quality work they do and to help fulfill their government contract responsibilities to promote small businesses
"Plan your search, execute the plan, revise the plan and execute again," said Connelly "Learn something about the market (and yourself) with every encounter, interview and rejection until something good turns up -- and it will turn up, if you stick with it"
Camp Ripley strikes first before wildfire season
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.
Minnesota Guardsman earns recognition through Leads 2 Enlistment program
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.
Litchfield and Local Veteran Honor Gen. John Vessey at Armory Open House
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.
Camp Ripley welcomes new command sergeant major
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.