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Minnesota National Guard
Lt. Tara Robertson - A Story of Service

Minnesota National Guard Growing up in Britt, Minn, Tara Robertson had no idea that she would spend a year of her life in austere Afghanistan, fighting to prove herself as a strong woman in the US Army Her adult life did not start with the heroics of her military service; it started like many of her peers at college

As a young student starting off at Saint Cloud State University, she picked up an Emergency Medical Technician certification and worked as a public safety officer on campus

During a break in academic life, she paused to find her true path  Empathetically drawn towards helping others, as well as high-operational tempo situations, it seemed natural when she decided to join the Army

"My father was in the Army, a Vietnam Veteran, and he talked about it growing up," she said "I also knew that the military had a lot to offer and I really wanted to do something more  I had always looked at people in the military as something really great- and I wanted to be a part of it"

She enlisted in 2005 and was inspired to re-enroll back at Saint Cloud State University, this time, in the Amy ROTC program While there, she was introduced to several inspiring cadre that not only positively impacted her military career, but her life as well She earned her bio-medical science degree, and received an Army commission as a Second Lieutenant in May 2009

Throughout her service Robertson has served in leadership roles in both enlisted and commissioned positions During this time she has met many important leaders and advisers One of her military role models is her company commander, Army Maj Danelle Jones Robertson explains that Jones has set an example of strong leadership for her and furnishes the challenges she had been seeking through the military Equipped with the skills and knowledge gained from her mentors 1st Lt Roberson says she was well prepared for her first deployment to Mizan, Afghanistan in the Babual Province While there, she faced the adversity of being a female at a remote combat outpost otherwise staffed entirely by men

"It was both a challenge and a rewarding experience Nobody knew what to expect as I was the first (and only) female at this particular Forward Operating Base and experienced a standoffish demeanor in the beginning It wasn't until after I had asserted my abilities as a fellow Soldier that I really felt accepted there," she said  "Once proving that, they saw pretty quickly that they had nothing to worry about"

Following her successful deployment to Afghanistan, Robertson was awarded a Bronze Star Medal as well as a Combat Action Badge When asked about her successes she said, "It basically comes down to doing the right thing Women have been offered to serve in the same capacity as our male counterparts We need to maintain our integrity, drive forward and take advantage of the opportunities that have been recently granted"

Robertson is currently based out of the 682nd Engineer Battalion out of Wilmar, Minn and serves as an Assistant Operations Combat Engineering Officer Full time she serves as the Deputy Program Manager for the Resilience, Risk, Reduction and Suicide Prevention Program (R3SP) for the Minnesota National Guard

By Staff Sgt Paul Santikko
Minnesota National Guard Public Affairs
March 27, 2013

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