History
Minnesota National Guard
The Minnesota National Guard celebrates
Native American Heritage


The Minnesota National Guard celebrates Native American Heritage.  American Indians have eagerly served in the military for more than 200 years, in spite of a government which did not always keep its word to their ancestors.  As early as the 18th century, American Indians were recognized by American military leaders. General George Washington in 1778 stated he thought the American Indians would be great scouts and light troops. Since then, American Indians have been involved in every war since the War of 1812. During the Vietnam War, more than 90 percent of American Indians were volunteers.

While there are few circumstances of documented overt prejudice while in uniform, Navajo Code Talkers were sometimes mistaken by their own men for Japanese soldiers. But as one code talker recalled, Navajos had a chance to prove wrong the bigots back home; the military prized them for speaking their own language. For many American Indian veterans, the honor of defending their country overrode all other considerations. Currently, American Indians have the highest record of service per capita in comparison to other ethnic groups. It is deeply rooted in their culture to serve their country and they value a proud warrior tradition. At the end of the 20th century there were almost 190,000 American Indian Veterans.

Veterans Day and Thanksgiving are two popular holidays celebrated every year in the month of November. During this month of November, let's take time to reminisce and be grateful to our American Indian service members who have contributed to the success of the United States of America and its military.



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LAX-4-LIFE partnership teaches Lacrosse, leadership and life skills to Native American Youth
07/31/2013

2013 Native American Lax-4-Life Camp
07/23/2013

Native American LAX-4-LIFE Camp Update: Story, photos and b-roll video available
07/31/2012

National Guard supports Native American youth at lacrosse camp
07/27/2012

Native American LAX-4-LIFE Camp Partnership
07/20/2012

Minnesota National Guard joins the Nation in observing American Indian Heritage Month
08/20/2011

Returning vets of color face unique challenges
07/05/2010

Camp Ripley hosts Nation to Nation event
10/11/2005



Helpful Links

Historical moments of Native Americans in service

American Indian Heritage Foundation

Bureau of Indian Affairs






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Latest News

Minnesota Guard prepares for winter readiness

Posted: 2014-11-26  10:23 AM
Camp Ripley snow removal CAMP RIPLEY, Minn.- Minnesota National Guard units across the state are preparing for duty as winter storm responders in support of local civil authorities.

"We are in constant communication with the sheriff and police department within our community," said Staff Sgt. Jill Wirtzfeld, Readiness NCO with the 224th Transportation Company in Olivia.

The average snowfall in Minnesota varies from 36 inches to more than 70 inches annually. The hazards produced by storms such as blizzards, deep snow-pack, and freezing rain can put unprepared motorists at risk.



Battle of Cassino -- A Bloody Struggle shrouded in Controversy

Posted: 2014-11-24  04:21 PM
Minnesota National Guard Flint Whitlock, author of Rock of Anzio -- and Veterans of the Fifth Army --  relate the bitter attacks against German defenses in the attempt to liberate the Italian Peninsula and take Rome.

The following is a partial transcript of the April session of the Harold C. Deutsch World War II History Roundtable. The speaker was Flint Whitlock, author of Rock of Anzio, and veterans of the Fifth Army.



Employees of Camp Ripley - always ready during holidays

Posted: 2014-11-19  01:44 PM
Camp Ripley Holiday CAMP RIPLEY, Minn.- Since its establishment in the early 1930s, Camp Ripley has taken an active role in the local community. The needs of the community, as well as the opportunity for employment at the installation, are just two examples of the positive interaction between community members and the military.

"It's an honor to be able to participate and help others in our community," said Col. Scott St. Sauver, Camp Ripley garrison commander.



133rd Airlift Wing Receives Resilience Training through First Hand Experience

Posted: 2014-11-19  10:32 AM
Minnesota National Guard ST. PAUL, Minn.- Members of the 133rd Airlift Wing received a gripping presentation on the topic of resiliency during November drill from a man who has dealt with personal hardships in his life. Mr. Dave Roever, a Navy Veteran, suffered severe injuries that left him unrecognizable after a phosphorous grenade exploded near his face in Vietnam.

Roever's harrowing account of how he ultimately triumphed over both physical and mental obstacles is what he shares worldwide as a message of hope. The distinct scars that combat left on his face and body were only superficial compared to the battle he was fighting within - thoughts of ending his life was something Roever struggled with regularly when trying to get his life back together. His personal motto that he attributes to Sir Winston Churchill is "Never, Never, NEVER Give Up."



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