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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 US Department of Labor’s Bureau of Statistics, as of December 2012, the unemployment rate for civilians is 75 percent, while people who have served in the last decade have 108 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

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347th RSG's top Soldiers gut it out for title of Best Warrior

Posted: 2016-10-17  03:24 PM
347 RSG BWC CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - The 347th Regional Support Group hosted a brigade-level Best Warrior Competition at Camp Ripley Training Center from Oct. 14 to 16, 2016, to select the brigade's Best NCO and Best Soldier - both of whom will represent the brigade at the state-level competition in 2017.

"We made a point to make this event challenging, and it has been," said Sgt. 1st Class Mark Shields, assistant operations NCO for the brigade. "Regardless of the outcome, the Soldiers competing for the title of Best Warrior are getting great training value."

Ten Soldiers made up this year's field, representing 5 of the 9 units that make up the brigade. The contestants are supported by nearly forty Soldiers participating as sponsors, evaluators and staff to provide direction, motivation and support.

Minnesota National Guard celebrates Hispanic heritage month

Posted: 2016-10-16  10:46 AM
Hispanic Heritage ARDEN HILLS, Minn. - The Minnesota National Guard celebrated Hispanic Heritage month by inviting two members of the Hispanic community to share their stories during a potluck lunch at the Arden Hills Army Training Site, Oct. 11, 2016.

First to speak was Minnesota State Senator Patricia Torres Ray, one of two Latinas out of 67 senators in the Minnesota Senate. She spoke about her experience coming to the U.S. from Colombia and how not being able to speak the language made it a challenge to connect with people in her new country.

"I was not a minority in my country, because everybody that I knew looked like me," said Torres Ray. "I was not connected to the multi-cultural global world that you live in."

Major General Nash to Continue Service as Adjutant General of Minnesota

Posted: 2016-10-12  01:57 PM
October 12, 2016

ST. PAUL, Minn.- After a successful appeal by Governor Mark Dayton to former National Guard Bureau Chief General Frank J. Grass, Major General Richard C. Nash will continue serving the state of Minnesota as Adjutant General until the state's mandatory retirement, through October 31, 2017. Without Governor Dayton's action, Major General Nash would have faced retirement under the national requirement, which would have taken effect September 30, 2016.

"Major General Nash is an exceptional leader who has served our state and nation with great distinction," said Governor Dayton. "His leadership and experience are invaluable to the Minnesota National Guard and the citizens of our state. I thank General Grass and Secretary of Defense Ash Carter for granting this extension, and I thank Major General Nash for continuing his outstanding service to Minnesota."

Care of injured bird comes full circle

Posted: 2016-10-12  12:45 PM
Eagle release CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - An eagle was released back in the wild Oct. 4, 2016, at Camp Ripley following three months of rehabilitation.

"We'd like to thank the team at Camp Ripley for rescuing and bringing this bald eagle to the Raptor Center for care," said Amber Burnette, program associate with the Raptor Center University of Minnesota. "It was our pleasure to be a part of bringing this bird back home."

The bald eagle was found along a Morrison County highway by a soldier working at Camp Ripley in mid-July, 2016. At first glance, the bird appeared to be injured and not responding to the traffic that was driving by.

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