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Minnesota National Guard
Minnesota National Guard Gets Lean on Process Improvement

Minnesota National Guard ST PAUL, Minn- The end of the war in Iraq and the budget constraints of the military have begun a time of trimming the fat, getting lean and maximizing more with less The Minnesota National Guard has been training Soldiers and Airmen in process improvement for years using Certified Process Improvement (CPI) courses as a way of creating the mindset of continuous improvement In January, eight more members of the Minnesota National Guard attended a Certified Process Improvement course at the 133rd Airlift Wing, Fort Snelling

"The training prepares the students to solve complex problems," said Reed Mick, Lean Six Development Director, Minnesota National Guard "This problem solving allows the organization to conserve resources, achieve strategy, and provide improved services to leaders and Soldiers"

According to Army G1, Lean Six Sigma is a process improvement methodology that focuses on eliminating waste and reducing variation 'Lean' refers to removing non-value added steps, or cutting out steps that provide no benefit The "Six Sigma" portion is statistically-based and represents an occurrence rate of only 34 defects per million opportunities When you combine the two, the result is a process that saves time and money and improves customer satisfaction It is appropriate to apply the principles of LSS when working with a repeatable process

Within the LSS world, there are varying levels of certification Similar to martial arts, LSS uses the belt system to distinguish between different levels of knowledge The highest-ranking belt is a Master Black Belt, while the lowest ranking belt is a White Belt

Sgt Stephanie Malm, Administrative Non-Commissioned Officer, 34th Infantry Division, attended the Intro to Certified Process Improvement course at the 133rd in November and was highly impressed with what she took away from the training

"CPI, to me, isn't just a onetime project where you collaborate with co-workers and spend hours upon hours trying to fix massive issues," said Malm "CPI is a way of thinking and can, and should, be implemented with day-to-day processes to - this is my favorite - do less with less!"

CPI/LSS can be used in all processes of the military from deployments to the motor pool The Minnesota National Guard and the military overall is using CPI/LSS training to transform its business processes to become more streamlined, agile and efficient For this to be the most effective, it needs to gain commitment and dedication from each and every member across the organization

"This really is about developing a culture of continuous improvement throughout the organization," said Mick "The training then, provides the adequate skills to do that"

"While the fiscal challenges facing the Department of Defense are great, I am convinced that the Minnesota National Guard can provide maximum effects while minimizing costs," said Maj. Gen. Richard C Nash, Minnesota National Guard Adjutant General

January 16, 2014
by Sgt John Angelo
Minnesota National Guard Public Affairs



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Month of the Military Child recognizes contributions of military kids

Posted: 2018-04-07  01:54 PM
Minnesota National Guard FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 7, 2018

ST. PAUL, Minn.- The month of April is designated as the Month of the Military Child to recognize the contributions and sacrifices military children make so their family members can serve. An estimated 15,000 children in Minnesota have been affected by the deployment of a parent.

"Military children bear a lot while their family members serve," said Maj. Gen. Jon Jensen, Adjutant General of the Minnesota National Guard. "It is up to us to support these resilient kids and help to lessen their burden."

An event to honor military kids in Minnesota will take place April 13, 2018, at the Mall of America rotunda from 2:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Activities will include appearances by the Teddy Bear Band and meet and greets with Nickelodeon characters.



Forging a path to career success

Posted: 2018-03-16  08:45 AM
Col. Angela Steward-Randle ST. PAUL, Minn. - Col. Angela Steward-Randle grew up in a military family - her father served in the Army on active duty - but it was a chance encounter with a friend at college that led her to want to make the military a career.

"My story is no different than many others," Steward-Randle, the Director of Human Resources, Manpower and Personnel for the Minnesota National Guard said. "I was in college and looking for financial resources to help pay for it."

Her college friend suggested they attend a summer training with the Reserve Officer Training Corps that had no obligation and could earn them some money. The friend never ended up going, but Steward-Randle did. After earning recognition as the top honor graduate and receiving an offer of a scholarship, she was hooked.



Minnesota Guardsman Receives Award for Combating Drugs in his Community

Posted: 2018-03-09  03:13 PM
Counterdrug WOODBURY, Minn. - Staff Sgt. Benjamin Kroll, an analyst with the Minnesota National Guard's Counterdrug Task Force who is assigned to work with the Hennepin County Sherriff's Office was recognized for his achievements as the Analyst of the Year during the 2018 Minnesota Association of Crime and Intelligence Analysts Training Symposium in Woodbury, Minnesota, March 7, 2018.

Through a partnership with Minnesota law enforcement agencies throughout the state, the Minnesota National Guard Counterdrug Task Force (MNCDTF) supports the anti-drug initiatives to counter all primary drug threats and vulnerabilities through the effective application of available assets, said Maj. Jon Dotterer, Counterdrug Coordinator for the State of Minnesota. The goal for the program is to support federal, state, tribal, and local agencies in the detection, disruption, interdiction, and curtailment of illicit drugs.

Kroll is one of sixteen service members on the Counterdrug Task Force that provides this force-multiplying service to our communities against illicit drug-use. With the information that law enforcement provide through their patrols and daily operations, Kroll and his colleagues across the state assist by putting together a figurative picture with all of the gathered information which aids in identifying how to move forward with legal action to deter or prevent the sale or use of illegal narcotic drugs.



Women Opened Doors in Minnesota National Guard

Posted: 2018-03-08  09:05 AM
Minnesota National Guard ST. PAUL, Minn. - "The battlefront is no place for women to be," said Command Sgt. Maj. Earl Kurtzweg, 125th Field Artillery, in an article published in 1976. "There are certain jobs girls say they can do, but they just can't do ... the battlefront is no place for women to be. Other countries in the world use women in combat, but the U.S. has not come around to that way of thinking." Kathy Berg, a New Ulm reporter summarized at the time. "So women in the New Ulm unit take care of personnel files and pay records and leave the fighting to the men."

The Minnesota National Guard has "come around to that way of thinking" since those early days of gender integration. In the last 44 years women have made momentous strides toward inclusion and acceptance. Their accomplishments are testimony to their fortitude and the progressive development of the Minnesota National Guard.

When an accomplished female Soldier is credited with breaking barriers she will often pass that honor to the women that preceded her. Brig. Gen. Johanna Clyborne is such a leader. She acknowledges that she is one of the first females in the Minnesota National Guard who has held key leadership roles, however she sees it differently. "I feel responsible for all women in uniform," said Clyborne. "Women before me opened the door, now I've cleared the room. It's up to the women behind me to hold the room."



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