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Minnesota National Guard
Regional Support Group welcomes new commander

Minnesota National Guard CAMP RIPLEY, Minn - Col Johanna P Clyborne assumed command of the Roseville-based 347th Regional Support Group from Col Steve S Hanson during a ceremony at Camp Ripley, September 7, 2013

Hanson, who works full-time as a financial analyst at Camp Ripley, took command of the 347th in 2011

"In the past two years, the 347th RSG has improved personnel readiness across all elements," said Maj Gen David Elicerio, commander of the 34th Infantry Division "[Hanson] oversaw the mobilization, deployment and redeployment of multiple units All served honorably; bringing home accolades from the units they served with and supported"

During the ceremony, Hanson took time to recognize the Soldiers of the 347th RSG for their contributions during his time in command

"I'm pleased to acknowledge the Soldiers, NCOs and officers in the RSG for all the hard work you have done," said Hanson "Your readiness ratings have never been higher"

Elicerio offered high praise of Hanson's performance over the past three years and observed that one's time in command, while rewarding, can also be fleeting

"In my 33 years of service in this Army, I have never met a more tenacious, dogged individual than Steve Hanson," said Elicerio "He understands the importance of standards; he realizes that results matter and that despite obstacles, his units must perform"

Clyborne, a Minnetonka native and founding partner at the law firm of Brekke, Clyborne and Ribich, LLC, joined the National Guard in 1989 and served in several positions of leadership throughout her 23-year career

"We are given rank to serve, not to be served," said Clyborne "I fully recognize that I have been given and entrusted with America's most prized asset: her sons and daughters I promise that I will be a good steward of our assets and our resources We will not break America's trust in us"

In her newest role, Clyborne will oversee more than 750 Soldiers assigned to a variety of specialized units including the 147th and 247th Finance Detachments, the 147th Human Resources Company, the 204th Area Support Medical Company, and the 114th and 224th Transportation Companies

"You are being provided a unique opportunity at a very challenging time in our force's history," said Elicerio "You are required to be flexible, creative, focused, determined, intelligent and compassionate at the right times and in the right manner I can think of no one better to accept this challenge at this time"

Clyborne accepted the challenge and made a promise to her Soldiers about what to expect in the months ahead
"We will be flexible, we will be creative, we will work hard, we will train hard, we will continue to grow and we will develop together," said Clyborne "And we are going to have fun doing it So buckle up, 'cause it's going to be wild ride the next three years"

Sep 7, 2013
By Sgt 1st Class Blair Heusdens
Minnesota National Guard Public Affairs



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Gen. John W. Vessey Jr. General John W. Vessey, Jr., a former member of the Minnesota National Guard's 34th Red Bull Infantry Division and the 10th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, passed away August 18, 2016, at the age of 94.

General John W. Vessey, Jr. was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on 29 June 1922. He enlisted in the Minnesota National Guard in May 1939 while still in high school, becoming a member of Headquarters, 59th Field Artillery Brigade, 34th Infantry Division. He was only 16 and fibbed about his age to join. With other members of his unit he was called to active duty in February 1941. When war came, the 34th became the first American division sent to Europe, where it initially fought in North Africa and then in Italy. A natural leader, Vessey rose quickly in the enlisted ranks until 6 May 1944 when, pinned down on the Anzio Beachhead amidst high casualties, the 21-year old battery first sergeant was given a battlefield commission and sent forward to direct artillery fire.

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He attended the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, the Armed Forces Staff College, and the Industrial College of the Armed Forces. He also graduated from the University of Maryland. His love of flying prompted him to earn his wings, which he always wore proudly. When he graduated from the Army Helicopter School in 1970, he was 15 years older than the next oldest student.



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