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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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Local rails get Guard to mission

Posted: 2015-07-02  01:09 PM
Ripley Rails CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - Across the state of Minnesota, more than 4,500 miles of active railroad track is used to move material, equipment and passengers - an extension of a system which started on May 22, 1857.

"Burlington Northern - Santa Fe Railway has a rich history supporting our military, reaching back to the Civil War. Today BNSF still works closely with the Department of Defense to coordinate movement of large equipment by rail, including to and from Camp Ripley, near Little Falls," said Amy McBeth, a spokesperson for Burlington Northern - Santa Fe.

In addition to three classifications of railway systems, the federal government identified a system of railroads for the purpose of moving government equipment to support the defense of the United States.



851st Vertical Engineer Company Raises the Roof

Posted: 2015-07-01  08:49 AM
Croatia RACINOVIC, Croatia -Members of the 851st Vertical Engineer Company, in conjunction with the Croatian Army and United States European Command, have partnered together to help the small village of Racinovic, Croatia.

The area was hit last year by disastrous flooding that destroyed many of the homes and farms. The closest dam broke, leaving the area under many feet of water and nearly everyone stranded and forced to evacuate.

The Office of Defense Cooperation and Humanitarian Civic Assistance Program helped provide labor, supplies and the people for communities in need all over the world. For this particular project, more than 30 Minnesota National Guardsmen have joined forces with their Croatian counterparts to rebuild the roof of the community center in less than three weeks.



Minnesota National Guard participates in Pride Festival

Posted: 2015-06-30  09:49 AM
Pride Festival MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. - In observance of LGBT Pride Month the Minnesota National Guard's 347th Regional Support Group hosted a booth at the Minneapolis Pride Festival in Loring Park, June 27-28, 2015, with volunteers from the 147th/247th Financial Management Support Detachments.

According to tcpride.org, "Twin Cities Pride is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit Minnesota corporation that brings the greater LGBT community together to commemorate our diverse heritage, foster inclusion, educate and create awareness of issues, and celebrate achievements in equality."

For many onlookers at the festival, there was an element of surprise with the Minnesota National Guard's presence, but it didn't take long for the outpouring of appreciation and support from the community.



Large-scale exercises test 1/34th ABCT

Posted: 2015-06-29  08:42 AM
XCTC CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - In a simultaneous fashion while rolling up to the firing line, Soldiers man the crew-served and main gun weapon systems onboard their M1A1 Abrams tanks and identify targets at Camp Ripley Training Center on June 16, 2015 - the first drill of its kind for some Soldiers of the 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division.

"While my gunner is firing on a target, my tank commander is engaging a truck using his .50 cal., and I see rounds flying from our wingman who's engaging a tank way out there," said Spc. Ted Coy, an Abrams driver with 2nd Combined Arms Battalion, 136th Infantry Regiment. "Seeing all the tracer rounds cross while our platoon is firing at different targets at the same time is one of the coolest things I've ever seen."

The gunnery and maneuver exercise that Coy and his platoon conducted was one of the many integrated training events the 1st ABCT has been conducting during its Exportable Combat Training Capabilities exercises - a training period spanning from May 2015 to August 2015.



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