| 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.
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.
Minnesota's 133rd Airlift Wing Practices Precision Cargo Drops
Posted: 2015-05-25 09:30 AM
In a nation struggling with war fatigue, it's important to pause on Memorial Day and recognize the Minnesotans still answering their country's call: men and women who leave their jobs and families to put on a military uniform.
Few military units have seen more activations and deployments since 9/11 than Minnesota's 133rd Airlift Wing -- its 1,200 members are essential to moving supplies and soldiers to wherever they're needed.
On part of Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport where few civilian passengers step, families feel the anxiety of separation as they say goodbye again to air crew flying far, far away.
Minnesota National Guard and central Minnesota communities honor Memorial Day together
Posted: 2015-05-22 11:44 AM
CAMP RIPLEY - Garrison staff of Camp Ripley and other members of the Minnesota National Guard will take part in events this weekend honoring those who died in service to the United States.
"As members of the local community, we are honored to participate in Memorial Day events," said Lt. Col. Chad Sackett, deputy garrison commander at Camp Ripley. "It is right and fitting that we recognize and honor the service and sacrifice of those who died in service to our nation."
Minnesota National Guard members are speaking at events throughout the Memorial Day weekend. For those interested in attending a Memorial Day ceremony, here are a few of the listings for central Minnesota:
Fort Hood shooting victim's family receives posthumous Purple Heart medal
Posted: 2015-05-22 08:00 AM
ST. PAUL, Minn. - More than five years after Pfc. Kham See Xiong lost his life in a mass shooting at Fort Hood, Texas, the Xiong family received his Purple Heart in a Ceremony during Hmong American Day in St. Paul, Minn.
"Kham was an American Solider, a Hmong-American who raised his right hand and swore to defend the constitution of the United States, a Hero," said keynote speaker Brig. Gen. Kent D. Savre, Fort Leonard Wood commanding general. Savre served as commander of the 36th Engineer Brigade at Fort Hood during the attack.
Four hundred members of the Hmong and St. Paul community crowded into the Harriet Island Pavilion as rain fell, May 14, 2015, to witness the Purple Heart Ceremony.
148th Fighter Wing Excels at Combat Hammer
Posted: 2015-05-21 03:44 PM
HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah - Approximately 180 Airmen and Block 50 F-16's from the 148th Fighter Wing, Duluth, Minn. participated in an exercise known as Combat Hammer while at Hill AFB, Utah in early May 2015. Combat Hammer is a Weapons System Evaluation Program (WSEP) that evaluates weapon systems in their entirety.
While the exercise was about a week long for most 148FW Airmen, it was quite a bit longer for those Airmen actually building the bombs and missiles. "Typically, we are one of the first assets to show up at a deployment," said 2nd Lt. Mylii Pukema, 148FW Munitions Officer. "We show up about a week before most everyone else, so we can build up the weapons and have them ready when the jets arrive."
"It's a common misconception that weapons come already built," said Pukema. "Different weapons have different levels of configuration that have to happen. It can be a lot of detail that goes into configuring a weapon or it can be relatively simple, it just depends on the mission."
148FW Munition's Airmen were evaluated from the time the weapon came out of the box. How they practiced safety and followed tech data during the building of the weapon were key components to the evaluation process.