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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. Anderson.jpg How to Hire a Veteran and How to Get Hired.pdf

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 U.S. 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 U.S. Bank operates."

Anderson's path to employment with U.S. 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 U.S. Bank employment representative working a booth at the Job Fair.

After handing the U.S. 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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Bearcats toast mission success

Posted: 2014-10-23  12:31 PM
Bearcat MAHNOMEN, Minn.- Soldiers, families and friends of the 2nd Combined Arms Battalion, 136th Infantry Regiment attended the unit's annual Bearcat Dinner, October 18, 2014.

The dinner, a tradition for the battalion, celebrated the proud lineages of the unit, as well as highlighted the accomplishments they have made over the past year.

"We have devoted a great deal of effort to pay attention to our unit readiness," said Sgt. 1st Class Shane Haugen, admin NCO for the battalion.



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Posted: 2014-10-22  03:53 PM
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"A priority of the Minnesota National Guard is to improve the wellness and resiliency of service members and their family members," said Army Capt. Ryan R. Koester, 114th Transportation Company Commander.



Minnesota Military Radio talks Veterans Voices, sequestration

Posted: 2014-10-22  09:00 AM
Minnesota Military Radio SAINT PAUL, Minn. - The Minnesota Humanities Center honored 30 Minnesota Veterans who have gone above and beyond the call of duty with the 2014 Veterans' Voices awards, September 11, 2014. Two of these veterans - Dennis Schulstad, an Air Force veteran and retired brigadier general, and Capt. Amber Manke, a current member of the Minnesota Army National Guard - recently spoke about their community involvement on Minnesota Military Radio.

The Minnesota Humanity Center's veterans voices program draws on the power of humanities to call attention to the stories and contributions of veterans. It empowers Minnesota veterans to speak in their own voices through plays, art, discussion groups and the veterans voices award.

Also this week on Minnesota Military Radio, Col. (Ret.) Don Kerr warned listeners of the coming effects on the Minnesota National Guard due to congressional gridlock. Kerr, the president of the Vessey Chapter of the Association of the United States Army, reminded listeners that the coming automatic budget cut, known as sequestration, has returned and will mean a loss of about 80,000 Soldiers across the Army nationwide.



1/34th Brigade Special Troop Battalion Reorganizes; The Army of 2020

Posted: 2014-10-18  10:31 AM
334th BEB CAMP RIPLEY, Minn.- The 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division (1/34th ABCT) completed its official reorganization of the 1/34th Brigade Special Troops Battalion (1/34th BSTB) to the 334th Brigade Engineer Battalion (334th BEB), Oct. 18, 2014.

"This unit reorganization lays the groundwork for meeting the Army's 2020 vision in which brigades are self-contained combined arms formations," said Col. Robert Intress, 1/34th ABCT Commander.



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Posted: 2014-10-16  09:34 AM
Minnesota National Guard ST. PAUL, Minn.- Thirteen airmen from the Minnesota National Guard's 133rd Airlift Wing Security Forces Squadron are scheduled to return Friday to Minnesota following a four-month deployment to Southwest Asia.

"During this deployment, the 133rd airmen melded with their active duty counterparts and utilized their citizen-airmen experiences and training to help fight the war on terrorism in an overseas environment," said Col. Terrance Sieben, the security forces squadron commander.



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Posted: 2014-10-15  08:42 AM
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"We just won't tolerate predators walking through our city and our communities, so yeah, I took it pretty personally," Sgt. Blackwell said.

To understand why she cares so much, one has to know where she's coming from, and it's quite a story. She grew up one of 10 kids in northeast Minneapolis, something Sgt. Blackwell says helps her connect with her community.



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