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Minnesota National Guard
Veteran Reintegration Focus of Central Minnesota Forum

Minnesota National Guard ST CLOUD, Minn- US Army (Ret) Col David Sutherland made an appearance in Central Minnesota Mar 13 to discuss and explore innovative ways and means to deliver services to military veterans and their families 

A decorated veteran of two wars, Sutherland, the director of the Staff Sgt Donnie Dixon Center in Washington DC, had this to say “While public-private partnerships can be powerful private, civic, and community partnerships can often be accomplished quicker and be more effective”

Sutherland gave an impassioned plea for a call to action at the conclusion of his hour-long presentation  He urged the audience of over 100 people not to repeat the mistakes from the Vietnam era by shunning and ignoring returning vets  He said, “The number one cure for a vet who is feeling disconnected when returning from combat is integration into the community” 

The director added, “It is about abilities and not disabilities” He stressed that too often people focus on what may be wrong with a veteran instead of focusing on what unique skills and attributes she/he may add to an employment setting, workforce or community 

Sutherland’s presentation was sponsored in part by Goodwill-Easter Seals – Minnesota and the Newman’s Own Foundation  According to conference literature the overarching goal of the program is to mobilize communities nationwide by mapping, planning, assessing and evaluating the current state of veterans and military family services or lack thereof  The end-state of the effort is to increase services and access to education, employment and healthcare for veterans and their families 

The Central Minnesota area has been involved in reintegration efforts since 2007  Six years ago the Warrior to Citizen group was formed after a series of public forums spearheaded by community and civic leaders who wanted to do more for returning Iraq and Afghanistan veterans  Three years later, Central Minnesota became the first Beyond the Yellow Ribbon region in the State of Minnesota tying together the cities of Cold Spring, Richmond, Rockville, Sartell, St Augusta, St Cloud, St Joseph, Sauk Rapids and Waite Park in outreach efforts to all veterans and their families 

By  Maj John Donovan
Camp Ripley Public Affairs Office
March 13, 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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