| To the last man, remembering Gettysburg
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ST. PAUL, Minn. - Minnesota National Guard's Adjutant General, Army Maj. Gen. Richard C. Nash is scheduled to retrace the steps of the First Minnesota Regiment in Pennsylvania for the 150th Anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg from Monday to Wednesday.
"I will meet Alabama National Guard's Adjutant General, Maj. Gen. Perry Smith, at the exact spot that Minnesota and Alabama soldiers met each other 150 years ago on the Gettysburg Battleground," said Nash.
"To stand where the First Minnesota fought valiantly for the Union effort is a way to honor our state's first federally recognized soldiers and to represent those who serve Minnesota today," said Nash.
"Maj. Gen. Nash is a member of an official 80-member Minnesota Historical Society Civil War Commemoration Task Force, led by Minnesota's Secretary of State Mark Richie," said Army Maj. Kristen L. Auge, Minnesota National Guard's Deputy Director of Public Affairs.
"While Maj. Gen. Nash is in Gettysburg, a ceremony will occur at Cannon Falls Cemetery with approximately 30 soldiers comprised mostly of Minnesota National Guard's 2nd Battalion, 135th Infantry Regiment" said Auge. "This battalion traces its linage to the First Minnesota."
"The event will include a description of the battle by reading the Plum Run report," said Auge. "It will be followed by a wreath laying ceremony on Col. William Colvill's Memorial and conclude with a traditional rifle salute. Colvill led the First Minnesota in the Battle of Gettysburg."
"Our predecessors had no way of knowing that 150 years later a new breed of citizen-soldier would continue to answer the call to preserve freedom for our state and nation," said Nash.
Members of the media and the general public are invited to attend the commemorative ceremony Tuesday, July 2 at 7:30 p.m. at the Cannon Falls Cemetery located across the street from the Cannon Falls Elementary School. Please see the attached map. Event parking will be located at the Cannon Falls Elementary School, 820 E. Minnesota St., Cannon Falls, Minn. Members of the media are invited for live remotes beginning at 4 p.m. with Jeff Hohman, producer of the First Minnesota documentary and Bill Semans, director of the film. Please contact Maj. Aug? at 952-913-5979 or Kristen.firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule an interview.
Follow the 150th Anniversary events occurring at Gettysburg and Cannon Falls at http://picasaweb.google.com/minnesotanationalguard
FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT: Minnesota National Guard Public Affairs at email@example.com or call 651-282-4410.
Photo caption: Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton held a press conference at the state capitol to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the battle of Gettysburg and the sacrifice of the First Minnesota Volunteer Regiment. As part of the celebration a delegation of Minnesotans will travel to the battlefield in Gettysburg, Penn. to rededicate the memorial statue of the First Minnesota.Speakers also included Secretary of State Mark Ritchie, Rep. Dean Urdahl and Minnesota National Guard Adjutant General Maj. Gen. Richard Nash. Photo by Master Sgt. Daniel Ewer, Minnesota National Guard
Minnesota Guard leaders inducted into Court of Honor
Posted: 2015-10-07 11:02 AM
CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - Seven retired members of the Minnesota National Guard were recognized before their fellow service members as they were inducted into the Court of Honor, Oct. 4, 2015, at Camp Ripley.
"It is our pleasure to have the opportunity to recognize these select leaders who have served our communities, state and nation with distinction," said Col. John Kolb, chief of staff for Joint Force Headquarters.
The Memorialization Board selects individuals for their service to the Minnesota National Guard as well as continued service to their communities. The board reviews the nominations received and forwards their recommendations to the Minnesota Adjutant General for approval. These inductees join the names of more than 300 others, since 1933, who have demonstrated their unwavering dedication, loyalty and distinguished service to the Minnesota National Guard.
Willmar National Guard Unit Set To Deploy
Posted: 2015-10-05 11:04 AM
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 5, 2015
More than 150 Soldiers from the Minnesota Army National Guard's Willmar-based 682nd Engineer Battalion will deploy for an eleven-month mobilization in support of Operation Spartan Shield.
"The deploying Soldiers of the 682nd Engineer Battalion are eager to begin the deployment to Kuwait. This will be the first deployment for two-thirds of the unit, they are ready to create their own deployment experience," said Lt. Col. Keith Ferdon, battalion commander.
"Our battalion will be part of Task Force Wild in Kuwait. As a Minnesota hockey fan that is pretty cool. Our battalion has the mission of managing engineer sustainment operations throughout the Middle East, meaning we manage road and building infrastructure maintenance for coalition forces," said Ferdon.
Minnesota combat medic training center named for famous WWII nurse
Posted: 2015-10-05 09:26 AM
CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - The Minnesota National Guard on Sunday dedicated its new combat medical training center in honor of Brainerd-native and famous WWII nurse Hortense McKay. She is the first female soldier to have a building named for her at Camp Ripley.
The Medical Simulation Training Center, which opened in May of 2014, specializes in training soldiers how to treat wartime wounded. It caters both to soldiers whose main role is being a combat medic (called "68Ws" in Army parlance) and to regular frontline soldiers looking to learn rudimentary lifesaving skills. Eventually, staff hope to train 2,500 people a year in the art of repairing bodies broken by combat.
Like the rest of Camp Ripley, the MSTC puts soldiers through the most stressful testing simulation possible. Strobe lights and loudspeakers recreate the distracting stimuli of combat, and the mannequins soldiers operate on display gruesome wounds that spew blood.
Last 133rd Airlift Wing Vietnam-Era Veteran Retires
Posted: 2015-09-30 01:56 PM
ST. PAUL, Minn. - Master Sgt. Michael Stephen Phillips, the last Vietnam-era veteran to actively serve in the 133rd Airlift Wing, was honored for his 35 years of service at a retirement ceremony at the 133rd's dining facility, Aug. 23, 2015.
An 18-year-old Phillips first joined the active-duty Air Force on Sep. 18, 1973, as a security police specialist and was stationed at the 148th Fighter Wing (when it was still an active duty base) in Duluth. Following a seven-year break in service after his initial four-year enlistment ended, Phillips' wife saw an ad on television for a special program in the National Guard, prompting his return to service.
"Back then they had what was called the Try-1 program for prior active duty members to join the Guard. It allowed you to sign up for a year and see if you liked it," said Phillips. "If it didn't work out, you could get out, and if it did ... well, I ended up staying for another 31 years!"