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Minnesota National Guard
Minnesota Soldiers compete for spot on Combatives Team

Minnesota National Guard Over 40 Soldiers participated in the Minnesota Army Combatives Team's Third Annual Combatives Tryout Tournament at Camp Ripley in February Between competitors and tournament workers, this year's tournament drew more participation than previous years 

This year's tournament featured 36 Soldiers from across the state vying for a shot on the elite team to represent Minnesota at the National Guard Tournament and the All Army Combatives Tournament  Soldiers competing had varying levels of experience, and ranged in rank from private to captain 

The youngest competitor was Pvt Thomas Herrera from the Recruit Sustainment Program Herrea enlisted in the Minnesota Army National Guard in November and is scheduled to go to Infantry Basic Training in April  Herrera has a background in jiu-jitsu and mixed martial arts and said this was one of the best tournaments he's ever competed in

"I learned many new techniques and the competition was phenomenal," said Herrea  "I can't wait for next year's tournament and will continue to train hard to make the team in the future" 

As the Army form of hand-to-hand combat, combatives is unique as it pairs up competition between both male and female Soldiers  This year Spc Linsey Williams, of headquarters 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, competed in the Bantam weight class  She first took interest in combatives during her 2011-2102 deployment to Kuwait While stationed at Camp Arifjan she and many of her peers started training in order to maintain physical fitness and breaking up the monotony of being deployed 

"Now I'm hooked," Williams said "Combatives isn't how big you are or how much muscle you have  It's training techniques and most importantly the ability to adapt and flow as the situation develops  Next year I will be even more prepared to win my weight class"

As the reigning back-to-back National Guard champions, the Minnesota team has quickly become the leader in National Guard combatives and is consistantly ranked among the best teams in the Army 

Minnesota Army Combatives Team's third annual combatives tryout tournament  was a joint effort, with support from C Company, 1-194 Combined Arms Battalion for manning the score tables, 204th Area Support Medical Company for medical support, and Camp Ripley for providing personnel and facilities support 

Soldiers who made the Minnesota National Guard Combatives Team include: heavy weight: Frankie Barth, Headquarters 2-136 Combined Arms Battalion; 205 pounds: Jesse Laugen, Headquarters 2-136 Combined Arms Battalion; 185 pounds: Matthew Jukkala, 849 Mobility Augmentation Company; 170 pounds: Cody Lincoln, E  Company 134th Brigade Support Battalion; 155 pounds: Benjamin Keen, Headquarters 2-136 Combined Arms Battalion; 140 pounds: Erik Cabral-Garibay, B Company 1-194 Combined Arms Battalion;  125 pounds: Sean Stebbins, Headquarters 1-125 Field Artillery; 110 pounds: Blong Kong, 851 Vertical Engineers

Minnesota Army Combatives Team's Fourth Annual Combatives Tryout Tournament is tentatively scheduled at Camp Ripley in February 2014

By Capt Joachim Eitenmiller
Minnesota Combatives Officer in Charge
Feb 11, 2013




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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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