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34th Red Bull Infantry Division Recognizes New Commander
ROSEMOUNT, Minn - In a ceremony rich with military tradition, the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division command was passed at the Rosemount National Guard Armory, Dec 7 The occasion marks the beginning of a new era in 34th Red Bull Infantry Division history
Brig Gen Neal Loidolt assumed command of the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division from Maj Gen David Elicerio who held the position since November 2010 The Change of Command ceremony symbolized the official transfer of individual authority and responsibility of an organization from the outgoing to the incoming commander
"Under Elicerio's command, our time-tested reputation for excellence [was] maintained in a splendid fashion, thanks to the hard work and dedication of nearly 23,000 Citizen-Soldiers aligned for training across eight different states," said Maj Gen Richard Nash, the Minnesota National Guard adjutant general, who was the presiding officer for the ceremony "It is now General Loidolt's opportunity to lead our exceptional men and women as the Red Bulls prepare to enter a century of service to our state and nation"
The 34th Red Bull Infantry Division will celebrate its 100th Birthday in 2017
"It is not lost on me that I am taking command of a storied Army division," said Loidolt, alum of St Cloud State University and Hamline University School of Law "Formed by Citizen-Soldiers from Minnesota, Iowa and other plains states in 1917, the "Sandstorm Division," as it was known then, laid a foundation that would shape the future of our nation's military
"I am both humbled and proud to be considered worthy to lead this great division and its great Soldiers," he said as he ended his speech "The challenges and opportunities before us are great and we are ready to excel"
During the ceremony, Elicerio spoke of the many accomplishments celebrated and also the challenges endured by the division over the time of his command Additionally, he spoke of the current preparedness of its Soldiers and the challenges that lie ahead
"There are many challenges that face us as we move forward into the coming years," he cautioned "Force structure adjustments, shrinking budgets, resiliency in the force the list goes on In this, the division is lucky to have the right person in Brig Gen Neal Loidolt to lead them in a turbulent time The Soldiers of this division will be lead by the best for the foreseeable future"
The official party also included Minnesota National Guard Adjutant General Richard Nash and Chap (Maj) Michael Crawford Attending the event was the tenth Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen John Vessey, First Army Commander Lt Gen Michael Tucker, Maj Gen Harry Sieben, Maj Gen Jerry Lang, representatives for US Senators Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken, Minn Sec of State Mark Ritchie and Rosemount Mayor Bill Droste
Loidolt joined the Minnesota National Guard in 1984 and served in numerous senior staff positions and commanded troop units at the company, battalion and brigade levels, according to Lt Col Kevin A Olson, Minnesota National Guard's public affairs director He is a two-time combat veteran deploying to Iraq in 2006 as the Iraq Reconstruction Management Office's deputy director of operations and again in 2009 as the United States Division - South Chief of Staff
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.