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Minnesota National Guard
Crossing the Line

Minnesota National Guard In the ranks of the Army, no one is more professional than the non-commissioned officer NCOs are charged with upholding the traditions and standards of the Army

At Camp Ripley, Minn, the 1/34th Brigade Special Troops Battalion held an induction ceremony on Aug 9, to welcome 35 Soldiers into the NCO Corps

"Today, our newest non-commissioned officers will affirm their commitment to the professionalism of our Corps, and become a part of the backbone of the Army," declared 1st Sgt Justin Meyer, of Charlie Company, 1/34th BSTB

The figurative 'crossing the line' from Soldier to NCO is a time-honored tradition which can be traced back to the Army of Fredrick the Great Historically, a Soldier was to stand four watches before he could cross the line and join the Corps of the NCO

"Today we commemorate this rite of passage as a celebration of the newly promoted who are joining the ranks of professionals in the non-commissioned officer corps We emphasize and build on the pride we all share as members of such an elite corps," said Staff Sgt John Indrehus, emcee for the event

Official party members for the event consisted of Command Sgt Maj John Lepowski, of the 1/34th Armored Brigade Combat Team and Command Sgt Maj Joseph Hjelmstad of the 1/34th BSTB Each individual company of the battalion also had representation 1st Sgt William Potts of Headquarters, Headquarters Company 1/34th ABCT; and from the 1/34th BSTB, 1st Sgt Rick Lindner of HHC; 1st Sgt David Denton of Alpha Company, 1st Sgt Richart Eggert of Bravo Company; and 1st Sgt Justin Meyer of Charlie Company

Each of these first sergeants presented Soldiers from their respective companies to Command Sgt Maj Hjelmstad so that they could, with the support of a sponsoring NCO in attendance, cross the figurative line and become a true non-commissioned officer

Ready to assume the duties and responsibilities of the non-commissioned officer; ready to always lead by example and lead from the front; the inductees all raised their right hands to swear to the charge of the NCO

"In so doing, I will fulfill my greatest obligation as a leader and thereby confirm my status as a Noncommissioned Officer"

September 5, 2013
by Spc Linsey Williams
1st Armored Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs



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Operation Future Warrior, rain or shine

Posted: 2017-05-24  01:12 PM
Operation Future Warrior More than 900 recruits from the Minnesota National Guard came to Camp Ripley Friday through Sunday for Operation Future Warrior.

Young men and women who volunteered to join the Minnesota Army National Guard got to experience a small taste of basic training and military training during the three-day event.

"The intent of Operation Future Warrior is removing the mystery of the training recruits will experience when attending Basic Combat and Advance Individualized Training," said Lt. Col. Eduardo Suarez, recruiting and retention battalion commander.



St. Paul-based Combat Aviation Brigade welcomes new senior enlisted leader

Posted: 2017-05-23  08:03 AM
Hellkamp ARDEN HILLS, Minn. - The Minnesota National Guard's 34th Combat Aviation Brigade welcomed a new senior enlisted leader during a change of responsibility ceremony, May 21, 2017, at the Arden Hills Army Training Site.

Command Sgt. Maj. Mitchell Hellkamp assumed duties as the unit's senior noncommissioned officer (NCO) from Command Sgt. Maj. Stephen Cunnien, who served in the position for the past two years and will be retiring from the military later this year.

"Command Sgt. Maj. Cunnien is one of the finest leaders that I have worked with in my career," said Col. Shawn Manke, commander of the 34th CAB. "He sets the example for all noncommissioned officers and Soldiers to emulate. He is a true professional, as a visible leader and teacher for the Soldiers of the combat aviation brigade. We're grateful for his many years of service, and we wish him well as he closes out his military career and enters the next chapter in his life."



Families recognized for sacrifices during Guard deployment

Posted: 2017-05-22  10:57 AM
Welcome Home ST. CLOUD, Minn. - Soldiers of B Co., 2-211th General Support Aviation Battalion were welcomed home May 20, 2017, at the River's Edge Convention Center in St. Cloud, Minnesota. During the ceremony, families were recognized for their sacrifices during the year-long deployment.

"I often tell Soldiers and truly believe that as hard as our jobs are at times, our families have the harder job at home," said Lt. Col. Kevin O'Brien, commander of the 2-147 Assault Helicopter Battalion. "Because Army family members have a unique burden that many of their friends and families cannot understand, they form family readiness groups, or FRGs, to share information and provide support to one another."

The company's FRG leader, Rhiannon Knutson, wife of Chief Warrant Officer 2 Tom Knutson, was in constant contact with the unit's families and went above and beyond what is normally expected of FRG leaders, said the unit's readiness non-commissioned officer, Sgt. 1st Class Mark Wood.



Camp Ripley's Training Support Unit keeps the base running

Posted: 2017-05-16  12:41 PM
Camp Ripley CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - The Camp Ripley Training Support Unit is designated to the care, upkeep and assistance to the installation and those utilizing the facility.

"The Training Support Unit's (TSU) primary focus is to support unit training requirements and ensure smooth operations here on Camp Ripley and the Arden Hills Army Training Site in the metro," said Sgt. 1st Class Terry Clabo, Training Support Unit Readiness NCO.

Camp Ripley features numerous ranges and state-of-the-art training facilities to support military, law enforcement, first responder and inter-agency partner training requirements. The installation is structured to have a full complement of automated small arms and large caliber weapon ranges as well as several specialized training facilities.



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