/*********************************************** * Chrome CSS Drop Down Menu- (c) Dynamic Drive DHTML code library (www.dynamicdrive.com) * This notice MUST stay intact for legal use * Visit Dynamic Drive at http://www.dynamicdrive.com/ for full source code ***********************************************/
History
Minnesota National Guard
New Special Victims Counsel to Assist Victims of Sexual Assault

Minnesota National Guard ST PAUL, Minn- Soldiers and Airmen in the Minnesota National Guard now have an additional resource in the fight against sexual assault Minnesota is one of the first states to implement putting a Special Victims' Counsel into place to provide legal assistance to victims of sexual assault The Minnesota National Guard recently hired Capt Peter Williams to serve in this new position

"The special victims' counsel are advocates for the victims to hopefully speak for them when they can't, to empower them and to give them the strength to make it through so we can bring their perpetrators to justice," said Williams

Special victims' counsel have experience trying cases in both military and civilian trials They understand the legal process and are able to guide victims through what can often be a long and difficult fight to bring a perpetrator to justice

"It's strengthening what we can and can't do and how much more we'll be able to protect our victims legally from being taken advantage of," said Rae Schwartz, the Minnesota National Guard Joint Force Headquarters Sexual Assault Response Coordinator assistant

One thing the Special Victims Counsel will work to minimize is how many times the victim will have to tell their story During the trial process, victims often have to re-live the experience several times in interviews with medical, legal and law enforcement The Special Victims Counsel will work to support victims through the legal process and inform them of their rights

"The problem was that when we were trying these people for sexual assault, these victims had to go through multiple interviews, they had to relive their story multiple times," said Williams "Part of our job is to step in and say, 'You'll still have to tell you story, you're the key witness in a trial,' but we're trying to limit some of the impact on those victims by assisting them through the process"

The legal process for prosecuting sexual assault cases can often be daunting and confusing for victims Most Judge Advocate General, or JAG, officers in the military work for commanders and are required to inform them of incidents that happen within their command The Special Victims Counsel, however, has the ability to keep the confidentiality of the victim and advise victims even if they want to keep their case restricted

"We're able to explain to victims how the process works," said Williams "When it comes to how a court martial works, how an administrative separation works or a criminal trial works, I think I'm able to answer some of those questions and then they don't have to go through the chain of command to talk to the JAGs, they can come right to me"

For Williams, this new role is something he is passionate about He wants to make sure every victim is heard and every perpetrator knows that this position is a sign that the Minnesota National Guard is serious about prosecuting offenders

"If you sign up to defend your country and to risk your own life, we're going to do what we can to protect you," said Williams "You shouldn't have to be running from your fellow Soldiers and Airmen, that is inexcusable"

To contact Capt Peter Williams, call 651-282-4683 or email peterawilliams39mil@mail.mil

December 5, 2013
by Sgt. 1st Class Blair Heusdens
Minnesota National Guard Public Affairs



Download photos





Articles archive

In The News archive

Media Advisory archive

Latest News

Minnesota Guardsmen learn survival skills, train with Norwegian counterparts

Posted: 2018-07-03  01:36 PM
NOREX 45 Over the course of 10 days, 100 Soldiers and Airmen from the Minnesota National Guard who traveled to Norway June 17-26, 2018, for the 45th Norwegian Reciprocal Troop Exchange learned valuable survival skills and shared their knowledge with members of the Norwegian Home Guard. This year's exchange was the second to take place during the summer months in the history of the longest-running military partnership between two nations.

"It was a great experience for both the Minnesota National Guard and the Norwegian Home Guard," said Capt. 'Kiwi' HorgA�ien, the senior Norwegian instructor. "A cultural exchange, a social exchange and military exchange all packed into one."

The 45th exchange got off to a late start, with flight delays causing the trip to be shortened from its normal length of two weeks. The delay meant that the Minnesota Guardsmen jumped right into training, heading out to the field after just a few hours of sleep.



133rd Airlift Wing Emphasizes Combat Readiness Training

Posted: 2018-06-29  10:48 AM
Alpena ALPENA, Michigan - Approximately 300 U.S. Air Force Airmen from the 133rd Airlift Wing participated in a readiness exercise at the Alpena Combat Readiness Training Center, Alpena, Mich.

The exercise, tagged as Iron Ore, was designed test the Airmen abilities to set up operations at an unfamiliar location and receive in depth training on Ability-To-Survive and Operate (ATSO) principles while supporting airlift and aeromedical flight operations.

To ensure mission success and readiness, Airmen had to complete training at home station prior to leaving for Alpena. Some of this training included weapons qualification, gas mask fit testing, Mission Oriented Protective Posture (MOPP) familiarization, self-aid and buddy care and career field training.



Red Bulls Kickoff Division Warfighter

Posted: 2018-06-13  01:38 PM
DIV WFX CAMP ATTERBURY, Ind. - "A Warfighter is an exercise that allows the Division to evaluate their ability to maneuver assets in a battle," said Master Sgt. Greg Weaver, the Operations Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge for the Division Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion. "It is designed to focus on particular areas and specific objectives to be evaluated or tested."

The Division has geared its' planning and training efforts in preparation for Warfighter since July 2017. Coordinating transportation for Soldiers and equipment was often on the mind of Maj. David Johansson, the logistics officer for the 34th ID. With the coordination of Johansson and his team, troops and equipment all converged on Camp Atterbury, enlisting the help of 89 railcars, 280 tractor-trailers, and nearly 50 buses for the movement.

"I like to say my job is to 'quiet the noise'". Johansson continued, "The noise being a real life logistical problem that could impede the exercise."



Minnesota-based aviation unit takes part in Warfighter Exercise

Posted: 2018-06-08  11:59 AM
34ECAB WFX CAMP ATTERBURY, Ind. - More than 150 Soldiers of the Minnesota National Guard's 34th Expeditionary Combat Aviation Brigade are here participating in a multi-echelon training event, Warfighter Exercise 18-5, May 30 to June 15.

The exercise, which is part live and part virtual, is testing the St. Paul, Minnesota-based aviation unit's ability to conduct operations and mission command in a high-intensity, complex operating environment. Soldiers are being challenged to take decisive action as they focus on air-ground operations -- or synchronizing and integrating aviation operations into the scheme of maneuver planned and conducted by forces on the ground.

In this case, the units on the ground are being commanded by the Rosemount, Minnesota-based 34th Red Bull Infantry Division, which is also participating in the exercise.



Article archive
 
top