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Minnesota National Guard
Minnesota National Guard celebrates Black History Month

Minnesota National Guard ST PAUL, Minn- The Minnesota National Guard recognized and celebrated Black History Month, February 19, at Metro State University's St Paul campus Military members from the Minnesota National Guard hosted, participated and attended the event to show their support and emphasize the importance of diversity within the force The partnership of the Minnesota National Guard, Metro State University, the Council on Black Minnesotans, and the National Association of Black Military Women (NAB) generated an environment that not only acknowledged Black and African American contributions during the Civil Rights Era, but also fostered a sense of belonging and love in the community

"NAB has been around since 1953," said Staff Sgt Kimberly Dobler, a member of the NAB "But this chapter was actually started in April 2011, so it's fairly new in this state This is a great opportunity for us to work with the Council on Black Minnesotans because they are telling the story of the black caucus as a whole This offers a platform for us to ensure our message and history as veterans, and as black women in the military, is included"

The opening message by Chaplain Ray Rangle called for an open heart, patience and tolerance In her opening remarks, Lt. Col. Angela Steward-Randall, a key leader in organizing the event, said, "Diversity is not a new concept to citizens," but collaboration can enhance capabilities and add value to our communities She also noted that, "Today Black Americans serve then they do now- proudly and with honor"

Minnesota Human Rights Commissioner Kevin Lindsey focused closely on the term "allophilia," which is having a positive attitude toward a group that is not one's own He described the difference between tolerance and allophilia as, "the way to get to the mountain top," with the step in-between being respect

"Veterans help move us as a country from tolerance, to respect, to allophilia," Lindsey said "Black veterans came home from the battlefield and showed us what democracy could look like, often putting themselves back in harm's way on the homefront while defending civil rights Love has redemptive power, and when you seek love you prevent hate"

Lindsey recognized a local Civil Rights legend and WWII Veteran, Matthew Little, who recently passed away Lindsey speculated that a tradition long held among black veterans is a pride in not being satisfied for what is, but a longing for what could be

Purple Heart recipient, Reverend Richard Jenkins was drafted into the military in 1964 and was with the first Infantry Division to land in Vietnam In a tragic event and traumatic experience, he witnessed the death of 29 of his fellow soldiers In his search for meaning in his survival he underlined that "before you can love someone, you must love yourself" Jenkins also addressed the different types of love and encouraged Agape love, a love that gives without expecting anything in return Jenkins emphasized that, "Everybody has something to offer"

The underlining message was that Black History is strong in American History, that we rise or fall as one people, and the power of human unity must prevail Along with messages imparted on participants, food, camaraderie and an interpretive dance performance by New Bethel Baptist Church Praise Team was shared

"This was an opportunity to reach out into the community to meet local cultural leaders," said Master Sgt David Paynter, Recruiting and Retention Superintendent for the Minnesota Air National Guard "We have a goal in the National Guard; to make sure the members of the National Guard match the community We are not an exclusive club, and we want to make sure our Service members reflect that This is an opportunity to reach out to the community and celebrate Black History"

February 27, 2014
by Staff Sgt Jennifer Rechtfertig
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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