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Soldiers from 1st Brigade complete 90-day reintegration training
CAMP RIPLEY, Minn— Soldiers from Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division completed 90-day post-deployment reintegration events through the Minnesota National Guard’s Beyond the Yellow Ribbon program Sep 21-23, 2012 at Camp Ripley The Soldiers were going through the training after a yearlong deployment to Kuwait in support of Operation New Dawn
“The 90-day reintegration is typically where you’re at the three to four month mark of days you’ve been home and for a lot of soldiers the honeymoon phase is over—It was all great to be home and everyone is happy to see you and now a few months into it life is starting to catch up you with you,” said 1st Sgt Paul Oakes, 1st Sgt of HHC, 1/34th BCT
Before arriving at the 90-day reintegration, service members attended a 30 and 60-day reintegration event put on by the Deployment Cycle Support (DCS) staff, where they could address any issues they have as the Soldiers reintegrate back into society
“If you’re having problems they’ll start showing themselves and it’s good for all the soldiers to get together and all the section to get together to see if anyone is having issues and to see what’s going on there and usually the 90 day mark seems to be the point of where it’s getting to be too much for some soldiers,” said Oakes
With research done months before the brigade came home, DCS was able to get more than 15 service providers to attend the reintegration events The providers are working professionals DCS reached out to in order to provide expert advice and information in any area of concern a Soldier may have
“Everybody changes, you change and trying to come back together to find your role still can be something soldiers are going through; like I said everybody is happy to see you when you first get back into the family role, but they just need to get back to their new normal,” said Oakes
Oakes said the next step for the company is to reintegrate the soldiers that didn’t deploy, “we’ve got people in the rear with soldiers that didn’t deploy and we need to bring all those soldiers back together to set a normal schedule”
After all the time spent thinking about returning home, the soldiers of 1/34th BCT welcome the 90-day reintegration as it has proven beneficial for some
“During my first deployment there was no reintegration after you came back—after DMOB everybody went off like a shot gun blast and was back to the units they came from Because of that, we did have a lot of issues—It’s a great thing that needs to be continued,” said Oakes
Story and photos by Cpl Tricia Betz
1/34th BCT Public Affairs
Sep 23, 2012
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.
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.
Posted: 2017-02-22 09:59 AM CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - Norwegian youths Stian Dahl and Haavard Engen received the Camp Ripley Garrison Commander's coin from Col. Scott St Sauver February 19, 2017, in recognition for reacting to a vehicle accident they witnessed earlier that week.
As part of the U.S.-Norway Reciprocal Troop Exchange, Norwegian youths ages 19-20 are matched up with a host family in order to spend an evening experiencing American culture. In most situations the "Buddy Weekend" as it's called allows the youths to go shopping, attend events and have home-cook meals along with their host family.
"We are able to match up youth members with families all over the state," said Staff Sgt. Tim Krouth, Buddy Weekend organizer. "Lots of the families have hosted one or two of our Norwegian friends for several years in a row now, it a great way to relax and see some of Minnesota."
Posted: 2017-02-21 01:25 PM HALTDALEN, Norway - After two days at a base camp near Haltdalen, Norway, Minnesota National Guardsmen participating in the 44th Norwegian Reciprocal Troop Exchange were ready for the most challenging aspect of their four-day field training exercise - a ski march up the mountain.
It was Day three of the FTX, meaning members of the 44th Norwegian Reciprocal Troop Exchange had slowly adjusted to surviving and thriving while living in a winter environment and also honed their skills on cross country skills well enough to begin a climb that would take nearly three hours.
"Our goal was to get you to know how to use the winter, see how the Norwegians use the winter, and how we survive the winter so we can conduct combat," said Vidar Aune, one of several members of Home Guard 12 guiding the Minnesota National Guard Soldiers and Airmen during their training here. "By getting the experience living outside in the snow, you manage to survive it and handle it quite well."