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Minnesota National Guard
Winter Warrior Sled Dog Race

Minnesota National Guard CAMP RIPLEY, Minn - The North Star Sled Dog Club hosted multiple sled-dog races in the first ever 'Spirit of the North' Winter Warrior sled dog race held Feb16 - 17 at Camp Ripley 

"Mushers and teams came from all over the state to take part in 10, 25 and 40-mile races around the Camp Ripley Training Center," said Camp Ripley spokesperson Maj John Donovan

"This two day event is new to the variety of activities conducted on Camp Ripley," said Col Scott St Sauver, post commander for Camp Ripley  "It's exciting to watch the racers and teams test their skills in this challenging sport," added St Sauver

Early risers were able to enjoy the view from the grand stand while they sipped hot chocolate  The races started at 9 am on both days and lasted through the early afternoon 

"It's great having so many people out here to see what we do and learn about sled dogs," said Bob Bzdok, event co-organizer   "We are so pleased to be out here on Camp Ripley  It was great not having to worry about running into hazards on the trail" 

Most sled-dog races are held in state parks or along connecting trails accessible to snowmobilers and skiers  Occasionally, the sled-dog trails will cross roads which cause a safety hazard for the racers and their teams according to Bzdok  Although Camp Ripley is open to the public, the trails utilized by the racers were closed to foot and vehicle traffic 

Of course, the dogs are the most popular aspect of the sport 

"Most folks have never seen this kind of thing before; we get a lot of questions asking about how friendly the dogs are," said Club Veterinarian Jerry Vanek  "They are excited athletes, but they'll be just as happy to lick your face as anything else," he added 

The event put on by the North Star Sled Dog Club was the first of its kind in Morrison County and drew an estimated crowd of 500 people   According to Bzdok, everyone involved stressed how impressed they were with the support from Camp Ripley and the racers are looking forward to coming back next year   

Feb 17, 2012
Photos and story by Sgt Anthony Housey
Camp Ripley Public Affairs Office



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Month of the Military Child recognizes contributions of military kids

Posted: 2018-04-07  01:54 PM
Minnesota National Guard FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 7, 2018

ST. PAUL, Minn.- The month of April is designated as the Month of the Military Child to recognize the contributions and sacrifices military children make so their family members can serve. An estimated 15,000 children in Minnesota have been affected by the deployment of a parent.

"Military children bear a lot while their family members serve," said Maj. Gen. Jon Jensen, Adjutant General of the Minnesota National Guard. "It is up to us to support these resilient kids and help to lessen their burden."

An event to honor military kids in Minnesota will take place April 13, 2018, at the Mall of America rotunda from 2:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Activities will include appearances by the Teddy Bear Band and meet and greets with Nickelodeon characters.



Forging a path to career success

Posted: 2018-03-16  08:45 AM
Col. Angela Steward-Randle ST. PAUL, Minn. - Col. Angela Steward-Randle grew up in a military family - her father served in the Army on active duty - but it was a chance encounter with a friend at college that led her to want to make the military a career.

"My story is no different than many others," Steward-Randle, the Director of Human Resources, Manpower and Personnel for the Minnesota National Guard said. "I was in college and looking for financial resources to help pay for it."

Her college friend suggested they attend a summer training with the Reserve Officer Training Corps that had no obligation and could earn them some money. The friend never ended up going, but Steward-Randle did. After earning recognition as the top honor graduate and receiving an offer of a scholarship, she was hooked.



Minnesota Guardsman Receives Award for Combating Drugs in his Community

Posted: 2018-03-09  03:13 PM
Counterdrug WOODBURY, Minn. - Staff Sgt. Benjamin Kroll, an analyst with the Minnesota National Guard's Counterdrug Task Force who is assigned to work with the Hennepin County Sherriff's Office was recognized for his achievements as the Analyst of the Year during the 2018 Minnesota Association of Crime and Intelligence Analysts Training Symposium in Woodbury, Minnesota, March 7, 2018.

Through a partnership with Minnesota law enforcement agencies throughout the state, the Minnesota National Guard Counterdrug Task Force (MNCDTF) supports the anti-drug initiatives to counter all primary drug threats and vulnerabilities through the effective application of available assets, said Maj. Jon Dotterer, Counterdrug Coordinator for the State of Minnesota. The goal for the program is to support federal, state, tribal, and local agencies in the detection, disruption, interdiction, and curtailment of illicit drugs.

Kroll is one of sixteen service members on the Counterdrug Task Force that provides this force-multiplying service to our communities against illicit drug-use. With the information that law enforcement provide through their patrols and daily operations, Kroll and his colleagues across the state assist by putting together a figurative picture with all of the gathered information which aids in identifying how to move forward with legal action to deter or prevent the sale or use of illegal narcotic drugs.



Women Opened Doors in Minnesota National Guard

Posted: 2018-03-08  09:05 AM
Minnesota National Guard ST. PAUL, Minn. - "The battlefront is no place for women to be," said Command Sgt. Maj. Earl Kurtzweg, 125th Field Artillery, in an article published in 1976. "There are certain jobs girls say they can do, but they just can't do ... the battlefront is no place for women to be. Other countries in the world use women in combat, but the U.S. has not come around to that way of thinking." Kathy Berg, a New Ulm reporter summarized at the time. "So women in the New Ulm unit take care of personnel files and pay records and leave the fighting to the men."

The Minnesota National Guard has "come around to that way of thinking" since those early days of gender integration. In the last 44 years women have made momentous strides toward inclusion and acceptance. Their accomplishments are testimony to their fortitude and the progressive development of the Minnesota National Guard.

When an accomplished female Soldier is credited with breaking barriers she will often pass that honor to the women that preceded her. Brig. Gen. Johanna Clyborne is such a leader. She acknowledges that she is one of the first females in the Minnesota National Guard who has held key leadership roles, however she sees it differently. "I feel responsible for all women in uniform," said Clyborne. "Women before me opened the door, now I've cleared the room. It's up to the women behind me to hold the room."



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