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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 National Guard Remembers the Holocaust with Jewish Community Relations Council

Posted: 2017-04-24  10:43 AM
Holocaust Museum Washington - Members of the Minnesota National Guard and the Air Force Reserve traveled to Washington D.C. with the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas (also known as the JCRC), to visit the Holocaust Museum, April 4, 2017, to honor the victims of the Holocaust. Also, traveling with this group were St. Paul and Minneapolis police officers along with students from various high schools around the state. For those in uniform that day, it was an opportunity to see, hear and experience the stories of victims and survivors of the Holocaust.

Each Service member who attended was asked to bring back a summary of their experience in the form of a presentation, professional discussion or briefing to their respective unit in order to help other Guard members better understand and remember that horrible event, to honor the courage of the victims and survivors, and to remain vigilant as members of the U.S. military.

"The honor and privilege of accompanying members of the Minnesota National Guard to the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. met so many goals," said Steve Hunegs, the executive director of the JCRC. "I wanted to reinforce the importance of the commitment of the U.S. military to democracy. After all, it was the Allies that defeated Nazi Germany and ultimately put an end to the Holocaust."



Learning to instruct professionalism and discipline

Posted: 2017-04-19  02:15 PM
Funeral Honors CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - It was a challenging and rewarding two weeks for members attending the Army National Guard Funeral Honors Instructor Course, April 1-14, at Camp Ripley.

Soldiers of National Guard units from all over the United States took part in the course designed to educate team leaders in a variety of funeral honor detail tasks, traditions and responsibilities.

"It's a stressful course, but for our job, we have to be prepared to do our job under stress; and we all really benefitted from that," said Class Honor Grad, Sgt. Ryan Valline of the 2nd Combined Arms Battalion, 136th Infantry.



Chaplains support Muslim Soldiers by finding common ground

Posted: 2017-04-18  01:42 PM
Chaplain Shabazz ROSEMOUNT, Minn. - The Soldiers of the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division had a unique opportunity to speak with one of the U.S. Army's five Muslim chaplains April 7-10, 2017. U.S. Army Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Khallid Shabazz, I Corps deputy command chaplain, travelled from Fort Lewis, Washington, to Minnesota to provide professional development for the division chaplain section.

"Soldiers perform at a higher level when they are spiritually fit," said Minnesota National Guard Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Buddy Winn, the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division command chaplain. "And, it's our job as chaplains to make sure Soldiers have their spiritual needs met, regardless of faith. Having Chaplain Shabazz here as a Muslim Chaplain provides the diversity in religious background that we can't provide internally."

There are five major religions supported by the chaplaincy: Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu and Buddhist, but over 200 religions are recognized. Chaplains can only perform services for their particular religion, but they can provide support for all Soldiers, regardless of their faith.



Howling with pride - Minnesota Service members honored by MN Timberwolves

Posted: 2017-04-14  04:25 PM
Timberwolves ST. PAUL, Minn. - For the third consecutive year, Minnesota service members were honored with on-court recognition and other VIP treatments as part of the Minnesota Timberwolves Heroes of the Pack Program.

"We are very appreciative for what the military does for us, and we wanted to give something back to honor the military," said Roger McCabe, who along with wife, Nancy, is a driving force behind the recognitions through the FastBreak Foundation and Roger & Nancy McCabe Foundation. "This is our way of doing it."

Having lived through the Vietnam War - and with Roger and Nancy both having parents who served - the two philanthropists decided a few years back to build upon existing recognition efforts already underway by the Timberwolves. And with that, recognitions that were typically happening at Target Center in November expanded to include Minnesota Service members from all branches at every home game - a total of 41 honorees per season.



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