| 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.
Gold Star Fathers Share Story of Love, Service and Sacrifice
Posted: 2015-03-25 08:45 AM
CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - "A Gold Star family member is a person who has lost a loved one who was serving our nation in the armed forces regardless of the circumstances of the death," said Survivor Outreach Services provider Amy Garber.
Bill Smith, father of Sgt. 1st Class Paul Smith, and Richard Cauley, father of Spc. George Cauley, two Gold Star dads, recently spoke about their sons and what it means to be a Gold Star father.
"Everyone's greatest fear is the thought they'll say something awkward [to a Gold Star family member]. We want to talk about our loved ones. The greatest sadness would be that no one would remember," said Bill Smith.
334th Brigade Engineer Battalion Celebrates Women's History
Posted: 2015-03-22 01:39 PM
BLOOMINGTON, Minn. - Soldiers of Headquarters, Headquarters Company of the 334th Brigade Engineer Battalion took time away from training to celebrate Women's History Month with a look at the history of women in the Minnesota National Guard from someone who lived it.
Invited to speak at the event was Geraldine Longfellow. In 2008, Longfellow retired from the Minnesota Army National Guard at the rank of lieutenant colonel. She has since been brevetted to the rank of colonel.
Camp Ripley Guardsman Recognized as "Big Brother of the Year"
Posted: 2015-03-18 03:40 PM
CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - For many Service members of the Minnesota National Guard, dedication to the community is as high of a priority as any other mission.
"We feel it is our duty, in our own communities, to ensure that our friends and neighbors are taken care of," said Chief Warrant Officer 2 Ryan Ross.
Ross, who has been an active member of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Minnesota for over three years, as well as a member of the Minnesota National Guard, was recently recognized by the agency as "Big Brother of the Year" for the State of Minnesota.
Young Soldiers, Big Plans
Posted: 2015-03-17 01:26 PM
CAMP BUEHRING, Kuwait - Soldiers join the National Guard for many different reasons. Some are seeking the adventure and experience, some are looking for career opportunities and school benefits, and some soldiers simply want to serve their country.
At some point in a soldier's enlistment, he or she will be asked, are you going to re-enlist? Enlistment contracts for the National Guard often are an eight-year obligation with four or six years of active drilling service. Some soldiers leave the Army, and others decide to take the opportunities they've been offered and make a career.
Sgt. Brittany Grams, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 34th Combat Aviation Brigade medical noncommissioned officer, and Spc. Freddie Williams IV, HHC 34th CAB human resource specialist, are making careers, and the transition from enlisted soldier to officer.