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Minnesota National Guard
Editorial: Commit, recommit to jobs for veterans

Yellow-ribbon sentiments aside, returning soldiers are struggling -- along with their civilian counterparts -- in a sluggish job market

Recent veterans may face even more daunting odds than others looking for work, said a Pioneer Press report this week: "Publicly, employers say they want to hire veterans and support returning troops Yet when (job) recruiters look at military resumes chock full of acronyms and military terminology, they're dumbfounded"

Apparently, war-zone lingo, ranks and military titles don't resonate in the corporate world

For post-9/11-era veterans in Minnesota, the annual unemployment rate was 117 percent in 2011, about double the state average, according to the latest data available, our report said More recent national data show these veterans faced an unemployment rate of 10 percent in October, well above the national rate of 79 percent for that same month

"One of the biggest difficulties veterans face when it comes to employment is clearly articulating and translating their military skill sets into civilian skills sets," Capt John Hobot, a Minnesota National Guard spokesman, told us

In response, he said, Maj. Gen. Richard Nash, adjutant general of the Minnesota National Guard, wanted to create an "unemployment resource apparatus" for returning service members The result is the Interagency Employment Work Group, with more than 20 state, federal and local entities working to create "successful pathways" for returning veterans trying to find employment

The group was instrumental, Hobot said, in assisting unemployed soldiers from 1st Brigade Combat Team, 34th "Red Bull" Infantry Division The 2,700 Red Bulls who returned home in the spring represented the largest single deployment of Minnesota National Guard troops since World War II

Before the troops' return, Nash led an initiative to send an Employment Resource Team to Kuwait to help 526 job-seeking service members with resume writing, career planning and other employment resources Human resource managers from Best Buy, Target and US Bank, as well as representatives from state agencies, the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system and the St Paul Area Chamber of Commerce, were among those making a weeklong trip They provided a fine example of business advocacy on our soldiers' behalf

And the results are encouraging The 1st Brigade Combat Team's unemployment rate is down from 19 percent in May 2011 to below 5 percent last month, according to Hobot

It's still a challenging job market, however, St Paul Chamber President Matt Kramer told us "Employers are adding people, but very selectively"

With many resumes to choose from, they can be very choosy in finding the exact match for their qualifications, he said, noting efforts to address veterans' needs that include encouraging employers to write job descriptions that give comparable credit, for example, to "leadership experience in the military" and "civilian management experience"

Let's remember that President Barack Obama chose Minnesota last June to support hiring veterans, telling a crowd at Honeywell headquarters in Golden Valley that with the war in Iraq over and the conflict in Afghanistan winding down, more than 1 million "outstanding heroes" are returning to civilian life, and the nation must do more to help them find jobs

"I believe that no one who fights for this country should ever have to fight for a job when they come home," said the president

Businesses today face tough times, made even tougher by the uncertainty corporate leaders say is so challenging to their operations

Even when the times include a looming fiscal "cliff" and likely tax increases closer to home, our commitment to ease our soldiers' return to civilian life is one we must keep It's a commitment that's always important, but perhaps never more so than in uncertain times

Article source
http://www.twincities.com/opinion/ci_21997060/editorial-commit-recommit-jobs-veterans



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Minnesota Guardsmen learn survival skills, train with Norwegian counterparts

Posted: 2018-07-03  01:36 PM
NOREX 45 Over the course of 10 days, 100 Soldiers and Airmen from the Minnesota National Guard who traveled to Norway June 17-26, 2018, for the 45th Norwegian Reciprocal Troop Exchange learned valuable survival skills and shared their knowledge with members of the Norwegian Home Guard. This year's exchange was the second to take place during the summer months in the history of the longest-running military partnership between two nations.

"It was a great experience for both the Minnesota National Guard and the Norwegian Home Guard," said Capt. 'Kiwi' HorgA�ien, the senior Norwegian instructor. "A cultural exchange, a social exchange and military exchange all packed into one."

The 45th exchange got off to a late start, with flight delays causing the trip to be shortened from its normal length of two weeks. The delay meant that the Minnesota Guardsmen jumped right into training, heading out to the field after just a few hours of sleep.



133rd Airlift Wing Emphasizes Combat Readiness Training

Posted: 2018-06-29  10:48 AM
Alpena ALPENA, Michigan - Approximately 300 U.S. Air Force Airmen from the 133rd Airlift Wing participated in a readiness exercise at the Alpena Combat Readiness Training Center, Alpena, Mich.

The exercise, tagged as Iron Ore, was designed test the Airmen abilities to set up operations at an unfamiliar location and receive in depth training on Ability-To-Survive and Operate (ATSO) principles while supporting airlift and aeromedical flight operations.

To ensure mission success and readiness, Airmen had to complete training at home station prior to leaving for Alpena. Some of this training included weapons qualification, gas mask fit testing, Mission Oriented Protective Posture (MOPP) familiarization, self-aid and buddy care and career field training.



Red Bulls Kickoff Division Warfighter

Posted: 2018-06-13  01:38 PM
DIV WFX CAMP ATTERBURY, Ind. - "A Warfighter is an exercise that allows the Division to evaluate their ability to maneuver assets in a battle," said Master Sgt. Greg Weaver, the Operations Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge for the Division Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion. "It is designed to focus on particular areas and specific objectives to be evaluated or tested."

The Division has geared its' planning and training efforts in preparation for Warfighter since July 2017. Coordinating transportation for Soldiers and equipment was often on the mind of Maj. David Johansson, the logistics officer for the 34th ID. With the coordination of Johansson and his team, troops and equipment all converged on Camp Atterbury, enlisting the help of 89 railcars, 280 tractor-trailers, and nearly 50 buses for the movement.

"I like to say my job is to 'quiet the noise'". Johansson continued, "The noise being a real life logistical problem that could impede the exercise."



Minnesota-based aviation unit takes part in Warfighter Exercise

Posted: 2018-06-08  11:59 AM
34ECAB WFX CAMP ATTERBURY, Ind. - More than 150 Soldiers of the Minnesota National Guard's 34th Expeditionary Combat Aviation Brigade are here participating in a multi-echelon training event, Warfighter Exercise 18-5, May 30 to June 15.

The exercise, which is part live and part virtual, is testing the St. Paul, Minnesota-based aviation unit's ability to conduct operations and mission command in a high-intensity, complex operating environment. Soldiers are being challenged to take decisive action as they focus on air-ground operations -- or synchronizing and integrating aviation operations into the scheme of maneuver planned and conducted by forces on the ground.

In this case, the units on the ground are being commanded by the Rosemount, Minnesota-based 34th Red Bull Infantry Division, which is also participating in the exercise.



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