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A family separation is without a doubt one of the toughest challenges a Service member will face, especially on a deployment to the Middle East
Monty and Dusty Greydanus avoided this challenge by enlisting in the Minnesota National Guard with the understanding that they were doing it together
"Monty joined after me," said 1st Sgt Dusty Greydanus with Company D, 2nd Combined Arms Battalion, 136th Infantry "I don't think I talked him into it, but know he joined after talking to him about everything I got to do If anyone talked me into joining, it was my dad, as he was in the airborne during World War II"
"We did not see much of each other during the year as we were in different platoons and stayed busy leading our own Soldiers," said Dusty "However, we knew each others schedule--it would have been harder if we went on missions at different times"
This family may have known each other well before joining the military, but this unique experience is definitely bringing them closer together
"It would not have been the same without him," Dusty said while thinking back on his shared military experience with his brother
Despite the increase of tempo felt by most first-time deployers, the Greydanus brothers embraced their active duty roles with the support of each other
"It's a great benefit that we are able support each other," said Monty who is currently the first sergeant for Company D, 1st Squadron, 94th Cavalry "One of us is always there to calm the other one down--you need to have support doing this job"
While being deployed, these brothers adopted many Service members into their extended family
"It does not matter where you are when you are in the Armed Forces, you are always surrounded by family," said Dusty
Eight years after their deployment to Iraq, the Greydanus brothers are still serving as first sergeants in the 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 34th Red Bull Infantry Division
"The first sergeant position is one of the ranks that you don't get that much training for--to have someone to talk to and can get ideas from is great," Dusty said
Monty added, "We use each other for our ideas--we don't necessarily make the same decision but we talk to each other about those decisions"
As brothers, these two have always held a competitive spirit between them for the Army's standard for physical fitness, marksmanship and promotions, but when it comes down to it, being a Soldier is always first
"As far back as I can remember, we've always been competitive," said Dusty "Don't get me wrong, we work great together, but when it comes down to the mission, that will always come first"
December 4, 2013 by Sgt Trisha Betz
1st Armored Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs
Posted: 2017-04-26 02:09 PM CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - The Department of Defense announced that Camp Ripley was selected as the winner of the Secretary of Defense Environmental Award for Natural Resources Conservation, Large Installation.
The awards recognize individuals, teams and installations for their exceptional environmental achievements and innovative, cost-effective environmental practices.
"The winners' efforts strengthen the Department of Defense's position as a resourceful environmental steward, both at home and abroad, and demonstrate our continued commitment to fulfilling mission needs through advanced environmental practices and technologies," stated James A. MacStravic, performing the duties of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics.
Posted: 2017-04-26 10:57 AM COTTAGE GROVE, Minn. - Staff Sgt. Nicquie Neely has been working with victims of sexual assault for four years in the Minnesota National Guard and also volunteers as a victim advocate in the community. As a victim advocate, it's her job to believe and support victims through a difficult process that can often involve extensive medical care and legal proceedings.
"Ever since I joined the Guard and heard about the SHARP program and learned what a victim advocate was, I always wanted to be one," said Neely. "And then I learned that you had to be an E-6 to be in that position, so the minute I got promoted I asked my commander if I could go to the training."
Neely is a combat medic and the full-time training and administration NCO with Company C, 134th Brigade Support Battalion. In addition to military victim advocate training, Neely also attends regular training with the civilian organization she volunteers for - SOS Sexual Violence Services in Ramsey County.
Posted: 2017-04-24 10:43 AM Washington - Members of the Minnesota National Guard and the Air Force Reserve traveled to Washington D.C. with the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas (also known as the JCRC), to visit the Holocaust Museum, April 4, 2017, to honor the victims of the Holocaust. Also, traveling with this group were St. Paul and Minneapolis police officers along with students from various high schools around the state. For those in uniform that day, it was an opportunity to see, hear and experience the stories of victims and survivors of the Holocaust.
Each Service member who attended was asked to bring back a summary of their experience in the form of a presentation, professional discussion or briefing to their respective unit in order to help other Guard members better understand and remember that horrible event, to honor the courage of the victims and survivors, and to remain vigilant as members of the U.S. military.
"The honor and privilege of accompanying members of the Minnesota National Guard to the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. met so many goals," said Steve Hunegs, the executive director of the JCRC. "I wanted to reinforce the importance of the commitment of the U.S. military to democracy. After all, it was the Allies that defeated Nazi Germany and ultimately put an end to the Holocaust."
Posted: 2017-04-19 02:15 PM CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - It was a challenging and rewarding two weeks for members attending the Army National Guard Funeral Honors Instructor Course, April 1-14, at Camp Ripley.
Soldiers of National Guard units from all over the United States took part in the course designed to educate team leaders in a variety of funeral honor detail tasks, traditions and responsibilities.
"It's a stressful course, but for our job, we have to be prepared to do our job under stress; and we all really benefitted from that," said Class Honor Grad, Sgt. Ryan Valline of the 2nd Combined Arms Battalion, 136th Infantry.