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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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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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