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Minnesota National Guard
Timberwolves Celebrate Military Appreciation Month

The Minnesota Timberwolves chose November as an opportunity to salute Minnesota military members, a fitting tribute to remember Veterans Day on Nov 11

On Fri Nov 9, the team's home game against the Indian Pacers at Target Center was extra special for a few Minnesota National Guardsmen


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Master Sgt Rich Kemp of Brooklyn Park, Minn was the 'Military Hero of the Game' In 1981, at the age of twenty-two , he joined the Minnesota National Guard Master Sgt Kemp has served in the military for over 31 years and deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom with the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division in 2009

"I was very honored to be recognized as the 'Military Hero of the Game'," said Kemp a father of two, "I appreciate the Timberwolves for honoring the military and all veterans during military appreciation night It was great to have my family present for the occasion"

All branches of the military were represented in the joint color guard Another impressive feat was the large flag on the court, held by forty members of the Minnesota National Guard Even participants of the flag detail were able to enjoy the sentiments of the game

"It's nice to see that we are appreciated, both those who have served and those who are still serving and the fact that the Timberwolves not only gave military members tickets but also allowed them to bring their families to the games showed appreciation for the military from a whole other side," said Senior Airmen Kari Giles, Public Affairs Specialist from the 133rd Airlift Wing in St Paul, Minn "Being a part of the flag detail was a great honor, every time I hold that flag it reminds me what I fight for and why I serve"

Another military orientated event for the participants of the game to see was a 'Big Thank you Card', which stands 16 feet high and 48 feet long The American Legion of Elk River, along with the Minnesota National Guard, are making the worlds largest thank you card for the troops of the 257th Military Police Company, currently deployed to Afghanistan Anyone is welcomed to sign the card The group's goal is to collect 257,000 signatures prior to the troops coming home and to be recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records

One of the more symbolic military focused events for anyone in attendance to see was fifteen Minnesota National Guard recruits take the oath of enlistment The oath is a sworn pledge that all new Minnesota recruits take during enlistment The promise, common with all enlistees, is something above and beyond personal goals or ambition; it is about the values of an entire nation

Story by Tech Sgt Lynette Olivares
Minnesota National Guard Public Affairs
Nov 9, 2012




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Camp Ripley strikes first before wildfire season

Posted: 2017-03-24  10:19 AM
Controlled burn CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - Every spring Camp Ripley begins its annual controlled burn program to help reduce the risk of wildfire during training.

"Usually the burns are completed every spring before the summer annual training season begins," said Tim Notch, training area coordinator on Camp Ripley. "However, the warmer weather conditions provide a nice opportunity for preventative burns earlier this season."

As in years past Camp Ripley will conduct controlled burns on approximately 13,000 acres of the 53,000-acre military reservation. The burns are done in coordination with the staffs of the Camp Ripley Department of Public Works and the Camp Ripley Environmental Department along with support from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.



Minnesota Guardsman earns recognition through Leads 2 Enlistment program

Posted: 2017-03-23  09:46 AM
Pfc Trevor Nelson DULUTH, Minn. - Pfc. Trevor Nelson received the Minnesota Distinguished Recruiting Ribbon and a Minnesota Recruiting and Retention Battalion medallion for excellence from Command Sgt. Maj. Curtis Serbus, March 18, 2017, at the Duluth Armory. Nelson earned these awards as part of the online referral system, Leads 2 Enlistment for referring four friends who have joined the Minnesota National Guard.

"I talked to some buddies in my school about the Guard. They liked the benefits, so I put their info in the app and let my recruiter take over." said Nelson. "I thought it would be fun to serve with friends and help them figure out their path in life."

Nelson is currently a senior at Cloquet Senior High School and assigned to the Recruit Sustainment Program in Duluth. He attended basic training at Fort Benning in the summer of 2016 with follow-on training in the summer of 2017 to become an infantryman.



Litchfield and Local Veteran Honor Gen. John Vessey at Armory Open House

Posted: 2017-03-10  08:50 AM
Vessey Bust 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.



Camp Ripley welcomes new command sergeant major

Posted: 2017-03-08  03:29 PM
CSM Erickson 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.



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