| Wal-Mart Says Its Hiring 100,000 Returning Veterans In Next 5 Years
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.
Camp Ripley sets the stage for major training exercise
Posted: 2015-05-28 12:33 PM
CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - Soldiers of the 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division, are taking part in a mass training exercise integrated with the Army's eXportable Combat Training Capabilities from May 15, 2015 through Aug. 18.
"The exercises organized by First Army are to help prepare units for rotations at major training centers to ensure mission readiness," said Capt. Brett Farniok, projects officer at Camp Ripley.
The eXportable Combat Training Capabilities, or XCTC, program provides soldiers with an experience similar to real-life missions. XCTC is a command and control as well as a field-training instrument designed to certify proficiencies in specific tasks.
Minnesota's 133rd Airlift Wing Practices Precision Cargo Drops
Posted: 2015-05-25 09:30 AM
In a nation struggling with war fatigue, it's important to pause on Memorial Day and recognize the Minnesotans still answering their country's call: men and women who leave their jobs and families to put on a military uniform.
Few military units have seen more activations and deployments since 9/11 than Minnesota's 133rd Airlift Wing -- its 1,200 members are essential to moving supplies and soldiers to wherever they're needed.
On part of Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport where few civilian passengers step, families feel the anxiety of separation as they say goodbye again to air crew flying far, far away.
Minnesota National Guard and central Minnesota communities honor Memorial Day together
Posted: 2015-05-22 11:44 AM
CAMP RIPLEY - Garrison staff of Camp Ripley and other members of the Minnesota National Guard will take part in events this weekend honoring those who died in service to the United States.
"As members of the local community, we are honored to participate in Memorial Day events," said Lt. Col. Chad Sackett, deputy garrison commander at Camp Ripley. "It is right and fitting that we recognize and honor the service and sacrifice of those who died in service to our nation."
Minnesota National Guard members are speaking at events throughout the Memorial Day weekend. For those interested in attending a Memorial Day ceremony, here are a few of the listings for central Minnesota:
Fort Hood shooting victim's family receives posthumous Purple Heart medal
Posted: 2015-05-22 08:00 AM
ST. PAUL, Minn. - More than five years after Pfc. Kham See Xiong lost his life in a mass shooting at Fort Hood, Texas, the Xiong family received his Purple Heart in a Ceremony during Hmong American Day in St. Paul, Minn.
"Kham was an American Solider, a Hmong-American who raised his right hand and swore to defend the constitution of the United States, a Hero," said keynote speaker Brig. Gen. Kent D. Savre, Fort Leonard Wood commanding general. Savre served as commander of the 36th Engineer Brigade at Fort Hood during the attack.
Four hundred members of the Hmong and St. Paul community crowded into the Harriet Island Pavilion as rain fell, May 14, 2015, to witness the Purple Heart Ceremony.