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A retreat often associated with couples, Strong Bonds broadened to include those who are not in relationships with a program called Strong Bonds Alpha The unit-based and chaplain-led program assists commanders in building individual resiliency, resulting in a stronger unit, and a stronger Army
To maximize the training effect of Strong Bonds, it is usually conducted on an off-site "getaway" This provides a fun, safe and secure environment in which participants can address the impact of military lifestyle stressors
For the single Soldiers of the 1/34th BSTB, their getaway consisted of a two-and-a-half hour canoe trip down the Mississippi inside the boundaries of Camp Ripley
"The whole canoe trip was well planned," said Spc Jeff Fleishman of Alpha Co, 1/34th BSTB "It was really fun"
Immediately following the canoe trip, the Soldiers were bused to Camp Ripley's Education Center for the classroom portion of the event While eating their prepackaged military meals, the group was introduced to the various components that would make up the instruction
Though the discussion included heavy topics such as warning signs of difficult partners, how a family background affects relationships, attitudes and actions of conscience, self-awareness, and interaction between trust and reliance "It wasn't dry It was funny when it needed to be," added Fleishman
"If I would have had this class [in the past], had the book, and had the tools I think it would have given me a different perspective," Spc Rachel Clark reflected, a Signal Support Systems Specialist from the 1st ABCT headquarters "I thought both events were great It kept my attention"
Though this Strong Bonds Alpha event could only reach 30 Soldiers, there will certainly be more events to serve single Soldiers in the future The Chaplain Corps runs the Strong Bonds program which is supported by Beyond the Yellow Ribbon, an organization designed to help Service members and their families For information on how to participate in Strong Bonds events, see your unit chaplain or chaplain's assistant You can also learn more at wwwBeyondTheYellowRibbonorg/strong-bonds-marriage-retreats
15 Aug 2013
Spc Linsey Williams
1st Armored Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs
Posted: 2017-03-24 10:19 AM CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - Every spring Camp Ripley begins its annual controlled burn program to help reduce the risk of wildfire during training.
"Usually the burns are completed every spring before the summer annual training season begins," said Tim Notch, training area coordinator on Camp Ripley. "However, the warmer weather conditions provide a nice opportunity for preventative burns earlier this season."
As in years past Camp Ripley will conduct controlled burns on approximately 13,000 acres of the 53,000-acre military reservation. The burns are done in coordination with the staffs of the Camp Ripley Department of Public Works and the Camp Ripley Environmental Department along with support from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.
Posted: 2017-03-23 09:46 AM DULUTH, Minn. - Pfc. Trevor Nelson received the Minnesota Distinguished Recruiting Ribbon and a Minnesota Recruiting and Retention Battalion medallion for excellence from Command Sgt. Maj. Curtis Serbus, March 18, 2017, at the Duluth Armory. Nelson earned these awards as part of the online referral system, Leads 2 Enlistment for referring four friends who have joined the Minnesota National Guard.
"I talked to some buddies in my school about the Guard. They liked the benefits, so I put their info in the app and let my recruiter take over." said Nelson. "I thought it would be fun to serve with friends and help them figure out their path in life."
Nelson is currently a senior at Cloquet Senior High School and assigned to the Recruit Sustainment Program in Duluth. He attended basic training at Fort Benning in the summer of 2016 with follow-on training in the summer of 2017 to become an infantryman.
Posted: 2017-03-10 08:50 AM LITCHFIELD, Minn. -Bruce Cottington, a Navy veteran of WWII and Korea, donated a bronze bust of Gen. John W. Vessey, Jr. to the Litchfield National Guard unit during the armory's public open house event March 4. Cottington, a Litchfield resident, commands the Minnesota Chapter of the Veterans of Underage Military Service. VUMS members enlisted in the military prior to the minimum age requirement in order to serve their country during WWII. Cottington received the bust from Vessey, a fellow VUMS member. Both enlisted in the military at the age of 16.
The highlight of the 334th Brigade Engineer Battalion open house was the unveiling of the sculpture. The unit was very supportive when Cottington proposed donating the sculpture. The Litchfield community has always been very supportive of the National Guard over the years, so the open house was a chance to say 'thanks' to their neighbors. "This was a great opportunity to honor Bruce and to honor Gen. Vessey," said B Co., 334th Brigade Engineer Battalion Commander, Capt. Seth Goreham. Bravo Company also has a tight relationship with the local American Legion and VFW. Many Litchfield citizens are former members of Bravo Company, or the unit's predecessors A Co, 682nd Engineer Battalion, and the 849th Mobility Augmentation Company.
Posted: 2017-03-08 03:29 PM CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - The garrison command team of Camp Ripley, family, friends and colleagues from the Minnesota National Guard attended a Change of Responsibility ceremony between Command Sgt. Maj. Mike Worden and Command Sgt. Maj. Matt Erickson, March 5, 2017, at Camp Ripley.
The ceremony was an official "passing of the sword" from one senior noncommissioned officer to the next and assumption of the duties and responsibilities that go along with the position of Garrison Command Sergeant Major.
As with many military ceremonies those in attendance welcomed Erickson as a new member of the team and bid farewell, recognized and thanked Worden for his service.