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Minnesota National Guard
Capt. Jason Anderson: A Veterans Employment Success

Jason J Anderson, a captain in the Minnesota National Guard and the subject of this month's Veteran Employment Success Story, does more than just preach his best practices for finding employment - he lives them every day, even while running the most mundane of errands

Cpt Andersonjpg How to Hire a Veteran and How to Get Hiredpdf

Once, while Anderson was out shopping for a blender, a conversation with another customer at a common bed and bath products store turned into a prime networking opportunity After discussing the merits of different blenders, the spontaneous encounter transitioned to employment, and Anderson was ready to hand his contact information over to the other customer, whose husband was a well-connected businessman

"Always leave the house dressed professionally, and carry your business cards," Anderson said "I almost landed a job while buying a blender!"

Those two tips were just two of many Anderson used as part of a complete employment strategy after he was laid off from Lockheed Martin In addition to his list of best practices, Anderson reached out and built a working relationship with a Department of Employment and Economic Development Veterans Employment Representative Both efforts were essential in him landing a project management position with US Bank in August

"I wouldn't have received the job offer if not for the DEED representative," Anderson said "Now I work in the IT [Information Technology] office and support the team Eventually I'll be working my own projects, but this is a good way to get in and learn how US Bank operates"

Anderson's path to employment with US Bank began when he attended the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs' Job Fair at the Earle Brown Heritage Center on July 11 He arrived prepared, and after a bit of networking and utilizing one of his employment strategies - in this case being prepared with a 30-second elevator speech that outlined who he was and what he was looking to do professionally - Anderson was introduced to a US Bank employment representative working a booth at the Job Fair

After handing the US Bank representative his resume - which Anderson paid to have professionally done, another tip he swears made his resume stand out - he was contacted by Human Resources and was interviewed less than a week later By conducting mock interviews with his Family Readiness Group leader, Jeanne Lyons, Anderson was well prepared and made enough of an impression to be asked for the all-important second interview, which ultimately led to his hire

Though Anderson wasn't part of the large 1st Brigade Combat Team's deployment to Kuwait last year, he did directly support the mobilization while assisting in the pre- and post-deployment efforts as part of the brigade's rear-detachment He utilized the 3-Step Employment Process, which was created in preparation of the 1st BCT's return, and was able to get his career back on track

Prior to the 1st BCT returning home in May, Minnesota Adjutant General Maj Gen Richard C Nash led an initiative to send an Employment Resource Team to Kuwait to help job-seeking service members with resume writing, career planning and resources to help the 526 unemployed members of the 1st BCT find work when they returned home To date, 454 of those service members have found employment

Anderson, with 13 years of total service in the Army, is the A Co, 1st Brigade, 34th Infantry Division company commander When he was an active duty, enlisted Soldier, Anderson deployed to Bosnia in 1997 After a brief time out of the service, he enlisted with the Minnesota National Guard and almost immediately went to Officer Candidates School Anderson was deployed to Iraq from 2005-07, and completed a liberal arts degree while there Anderson's education continues today, as he is working on his MBA from the University of St Thomas




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Operation Future Warrior, rain or shine

Posted: 2017-05-24  01:12 PM
Operation Future Warrior More than 900 recruits from the Minnesota National Guard came to Camp Ripley Friday through Sunday for Operation Future Warrior.

Young men and women who volunteered to join the Minnesota Army National Guard got to experience a small taste of basic training and military training during the three-day event.

"The intent of Operation Future Warrior is removing the mystery of the training recruits will experience when attending Basic Combat and Advance Individualized Training," said Lt. Col. Eduardo Suarez, recruiting and retention battalion commander.



St. Paul-based Combat Aviation Brigade welcomes new senior enlisted leader

Posted: 2017-05-23  08:03 AM
Hellkamp ARDEN HILLS, Minn. - The Minnesota National Guard's 34th Combat Aviation Brigade welcomed a new senior enlisted leader during a change of responsibility ceremony, May 21, 2017, at the Arden Hills Army Training Site.

Command Sgt. Maj. Mitchell Hellkamp assumed duties as the unit's senior noncommissioned officer (NCO) from Command Sgt. Maj. Stephen Cunnien, who served in the position for the past two years and will be retiring from the military later this year.

"Command Sgt. Maj. Cunnien is one of the finest leaders that I have worked with in my career," said Col. Shawn Manke, commander of the 34th CAB. "He sets the example for all noncommissioned officers and Soldiers to emulate. He is a true professional, as a visible leader and teacher for the Soldiers of the combat aviation brigade. We're grateful for his many years of service, and we wish him well as he closes out his military career and enters the next chapter in his life."



Families recognized for sacrifices during Guard deployment

Posted: 2017-05-22  10:57 AM
Welcome Home ST. CLOUD, Minn. - Soldiers of B Co., 2-211th General Support Aviation Battalion were welcomed home May 20, 2017, at the River's Edge Convention Center in St. Cloud, Minnesota. During the ceremony, families were recognized for their sacrifices during the year-long deployment.

"I often tell Soldiers and truly believe that as hard as our jobs are at times, our families have the harder job at home," said Lt. Col. Kevin O'Brien, commander of the 2-147 Assault Helicopter Battalion. "Because Army family members have a unique burden that many of their friends and families cannot understand, they form family readiness groups, or FRGs, to share information and provide support to one another."

The company's FRG leader, Rhiannon Knutson, wife of Chief Warrant Officer 2 Tom Knutson, was in constant contact with the unit's families and went above and beyond what is normally expected of FRG leaders, said the unit's readiness non-commissioned officer, Sgt. 1st Class Mark Wood.



Camp Ripley's Training Support Unit keeps the base running

Posted: 2017-05-16  12:41 PM
Camp Ripley CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - The Camp Ripley Training Support Unit is designated to the care, upkeep and assistance to the installation and those utilizing the facility.

"The Training Support Unit's (TSU) primary focus is to support unit training requirements and ensure smooth operations here on Camp Ripley and the Arden Hills Army Training Site in the metro," said Sgt. 1st Class Terry Clabo, Training Support Unit Readiness NCO.

Camp Ripley features numerous ranges and state-of-the-art training facilities to support military, law enforcement, first responder and inter-agency partner training requirements. The installation is structured to have a full complement of automated small arms and large caliber weapon ranges as well as several specialized training facilities.



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