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Minnesota National Guard
Wal-Mart Says Its Hiring 100,000 Returning Veterans In Next 5 Years

Minnesota National Guard MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Starting on Veteran’s Day, an American retailer says it will hire more than 100,000 returning veterans in the next five years.

Wal-Mart will offer jobs to any honorably discharged veteran in his or her first year off from active duty.

The opportunities will be in stores, distribution centers and the home office.

The numbers are against veterans finding employment. Capt. Jeff Pratt was one of those returning veterans struggling to find a job.

“Finding full-time quality employment was a big thing for me,” Pratt said.

According to U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Statistics, as of December 2012, the unemployment rate for civilians is 7.5 percent, while people who have served in the last decade have 10.8 percent unemployment.

That’s down from more than 12 percent unemployment for returning service members as of a year ago.

Pratt says Wal-Mart and other companies will benefit from what returning service members have to offer.

“Leadership value; there is honor, integrity in everything we do in the military,” he said.

Pratt was one of the lucky ones.

“Companies like UnitedHealth Group and others that are out there have engaged in a process that will gainfully employ returning service members,” he said.

His military job in logistics transferred nicely to UnitedHealth. Pratt said it was easy because of a military skills translator the company uses on its website.

That military skills translator is used by many other companies. The Minnesota National Guard worked numerous Minnesota-based companies such as Target, Best Buy and US Bank to help soldiers in get jobs.

And it has paid off.

When the Red Bulls returned last May, 20 percent faced unemployment. Today? Only 35 of those 2,700 soldiers do not have jobs.

Article source
http://minnesota.cbslocal.com/2013/01/15/wal-mart-hiring-100000-returning-veterans-in-next-5-years/



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Norwegian Home Guard gets inter-agency training

Posted: 2015-02-25  03:15 PM
NOREX CAMP RIPLEY, Minn.- Soldiers of the Norwegian Home Guard conducted inter-agency training with state and local law enforcement, Feb. 12-23, 2015, at Camp Ripley.

"The training conducted by the Norwegian Rapid Reaction Force, or RRF, is based on the National Guard's focus of inter-agency cooperation in time of need," said Lt. Col. Bryce Erickson of the Minnesota National Guard.

The training was organized as part of the American-Norwegian Reciprocal Troop Exchange; which is in its 42nd consecutive year between the Minnesota National Guard and the Norwegian Home Guard.



Minnesota, Norwegian service members retrace a successful mission, remember the terrible cost

Posted: 2015-02-24  10:14 AM
NOREX SNAASA, Norway- Airmen and Soldiers of the Minnesota National Guard participating in the 42nd American - Norwegian Reciprocal Troop Exchange (NOREX) retraced the steps of U.S. and Norwegian special operators 70 years ago who, during the final months of World War II, waged a successful sabotage campaign against German forces occupying Norway.

The U.S. Service members, along with their Norwegian counterparts, completed a 12-mile trek on skis through mountainous terrain, as well as a reconnaissance of the Jorstad bridge and simulated demolition using signal flares. The field training exercise concluded, February 19, 2015, with a ceremony in honor of those who destroyed the bridge to stop the movement of German troops through Norway and a wreath-laying in memory of the 80 people who perished, January 13, 1945, when a train derailed into the icy water several hours after the demolition.



148th Fighter Wing 1st Sgt. Assists in Saving a Life

Posted: 2015-02-23  11:06 AM
Twining DULUTH, Minn.- Whether he is performing his duties at the 148th Fighter Wing, Duluth, Minn., or volunteering as the Fire Chief for the Rice Lake Volunteer Fire Department, Senior Master Sgt. Scott Twining epitomizes the Air Force core value of "service before self".

As a member of the volunteer fire department and a first responder, Twining and the rest of the Rice Lake Fire Department team are often the first emergency response personnel to get to a scene. Twining estimates that 80 percent of their calls are for medical emergencies.

On Jan. 7, 2015, Twining and other members of the fire department responded to a call for help at a local business establishment. Upon their arrival, a male in his mid-fifties was collapsing from a heart attack. After a quick medical assessment, Twining and other team members set up a defibrillator and began to administer cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).



Sentry Savannah brings Minnesota brothers together

Posted: 2015-02-20  10:41 AM
Savannah Sentry SAVANNAH, Ga.- In the Guard, it is not unusual to have family members in the same unit. It is unusual, however, to have three brothers doing the same job for the same unit.

Staff Sgt. Michael Sirois, Senior Airman Patrick Sirois and Airman 1st Class Nicholas Sirois are F-16 Fighting Falcon crew chiefs with the 148th Fighter Wing, Duluth, Minn. and are participating in the 2015 Sentry Savannah 15-1 training exercise taking place Feb. 7-20 in Savannah, Ga.

Nicholas just got back from Crew Chief Technical School in July 2014 and Sentry Savannah was the first deployment the brothers had an opportunity to go on together.



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