/*********************************************** * 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 ***********************************************/
Minnesota National Guard
Minnesota National Guard promotes career development for females

Minnesota National Guard ST PAUL, Minn- The Minnesota National Guard's top female enlisted leaders held a seminar March 8, 2014, for career development focused on addressing barriers that may prevent females from rising to the organization's highest ranks Fostering a diverse workforce and ensuring the right mix of people to complete the mission are top priorities of the Minnesota National Guard leadership

"The data is pretty conclusive," said Brig Gen Neal Loidolt, Commander of the 34th Infantry Division "As diverse a work group as you can create will out-perform a homogeneous workgroup every time Now I find myself doing what I can related to mentoring great female leaders or adjusting our business processes to better support that system because I know we'll be better organizationally"

The seminar was led by the organization's four female sergeant majors with a combined military experience of nearly 100 years: Command Sgt Maj Cynthia Kallberg, Minnesota National Guard Senior Enlisted Advisor; Sgt Maj Tiffany Mills, manpower and personnel directorate sergeant major; Sgt Maj Lynne Nelson, logistics directorate sergeant major and Sgt Maj Raeline Davis, operations sergeant major for the 347th Regional Support Group

As more and more positions in the military become open to both genders, the Minnesota National Guard is preparing females to be successful in these future positions Females currently represent 16 percent of the Minnesota Army National Guard, but only eight of 100 management positions in the organization are filled by women Recent recruiting efforts have been successful in increasing the racial and gender diversity in the Minnesota National Guard Over time and through dedicated mentorship efforts, the organization hopes to grow these diverse individuals into future leaders

"We have to recognize that if we want more female leaders represented in the ranks of our leadership that this is hard and we have to do this consciously," Loidolt said "What we're doing relative to events like this and others, is trying to beat down the barriers so that we can actually identify who the competent leaders are Because we're not selecting incompetent people from the ranks of female leaders; we're selecting equally qualified, equally competent people Our system just doesn't allow us to find them"

Confidence, adaptability and teamwork were some of the main points of discussion throughout the seminar A challenge many females identified with was a lack of confidence to step up and demand a seat at the table

"Taking the initiative pays off," Kallberg said "Don't wait for someone to come and put their hand on you and say, 'Hey, I'd like you to do this' That might happen, but it might not If you're waiting for that to happen, you may be sadly disappointed in where you get"

Flexibility and agility are also key to career advancement, especially as the military force draws down Broadening experiences and taking challenging assignments help to set individuals apart from their peers when it comes to competing for promotions

"The environment is changing so much," Kallberg said "The atmosphere that we're working in, the threat out there, what we're being asked to do, how we're being asked to do it - is so complex, that if you can only do one thing, we can't use you You have to be adaptable"

In addition to pursuing more challenging assignments, it might be necessary to move to another position of the same grade or take a position a grade lower in order to eventually move up the ladder

"Unfortunately at some point in your career - in everybody's career - you're hanging out here on a rung and you look up and there's somebody who's not going anywhere fast," Nelson said "So you may have to take a step to the side and look at a different way of getting past that point and moving up"

The seminar addressed many perceptions that exist about female leaders in the workplace For instance, many women view other women in the workplace as threats, rather than peers

"Women need to stick together," said Davis "They need to perceive each other as non-threats, they need to quit bullying each other in the workplace and they need to form a team"

Another challenge many women face in the workplace is balancing work and family commitments In an organization like the military where promotions might mean extended work hours and responsibility, require a move across the state or deployment to another country, professional decisions are often personally driven

"You may think that you're giving things up," said Mills, a mother of four "But you don't necessarily realize what you're giving to them by serving and sitting at that table and showing them how being a strong role model and going through your career actually teaches those kids"

As three of the four women prepare to retire in the next year, the seminar was a chance to impart wisdom and knowledge on the next generation of female soldiers and non-commissioned officers

"You can do whatever you want to do in your life - there are no limits," Kallberg said "But you can't necessarily do them all at the same time Life is about sequencing but you can eventually do all the things you want to do"

March 10, 2014
by Sgt. 1st Class Blair Heusdens
Minnesota National Guard Public Affairs

Download photos

Articles archive

In The News archive

Media Advisory archive

Latest News

Governor Mark Dayton installs new Minnesota National Guard Adjutant General

Posted: 2017-11-04  04:16 PM
TAG installation ST. PAUL, Minn. - Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton administered the oath of office to Maj. Gen. Jon A. Jensen, installing him as the Minnesota National Guard's 31st Adjutant General during a ceremony in St. Paul, November 4, 2017.

"General Jensen has been a tremendous leader of the Minnesota National Guard throughout his years of dedicated service," said Governor Dayton. "He has served in two top leadership positions, as the Commanding General of the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division, and also as the Chief of Staff at the Guard's Joint Force Headquarters. I am confident that he will continue to provide the same outstanding leadership as his predecessor, General Rick Nash."

Jensen most recently served as the Commanding General of the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division. He previously held positions as Deputy Commanding General, United States Army Africa and Southern European Task Force, Minnesota National Guard Director of the Joint Staff and Minnesota National Guard Assistant Adjutant General - Army.

Guard Heritage Suffers with Loss of Artillery Unit

Posted: 2017-10-04  11:22 AM
ETAB ANOKA, Minn. - The Minnesota National Guard lost one of its most historically significant units when the 151st Artillery's E Battery, (Target Acquisition) cased its colors in a ceremony at the Anoka High School Aug. 19, 2017.

The Target Acquisition Battery (ETAB), 151st Field Artillery is one of the oldest and most decorated units in the Minnesota National Guard and the 34th Infantry Division. "Both Minnesota and the Division lose the proud lineage that goes back to Civil War days, through WW1 and WW2, and had a significant amount of battle streamers," said 151st Field Artillery Battalion Commander, Lt. Col. Patrick Cornwell.

The 151st Field Artillery draws its lineage from the 1st Regiment, Minnesota Heavy Artillery of 1864 which fought two major campaigns in Tennessee during the Civil War.

In one month: Minnesota Guardsmen support Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria

Posted: 2017-09-29  02:25 PM
Minnesota National Guard ST. PAUL, Minn. - In the span of a few weeks, three major hurricanes hit different parts of the southern United States, causing widespread damage and destruction and requiring the response of agencies around the country. The Minnesota National Guard is one of the many organizations that have responded, sending Soldiers and Airmen to Texas, Florida, the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

"This is the most gratifying deployment of my career," said Capt. Jeremy Maxey with the 133rd Airlift Wing who was called back from his vacation early to go to the Virgin Islands. "It means a lot to be able to actually directly help people. It's why I serve. Throughout my career I've deployed numerous times, but this is the one where you actually see the people you serve."

The start of the month brought the first request for assistance. On Sept. 1, two CH-47 Chinook helicopters and 11 personnel from the St. Cloud-based B Company, 2nd General Support Aviation Battalion, 211th Aviation Regiment left for Texas following Hurricane Harvey to transport personnel and equipment in support of response efforts.

Finding fellowship in the sacred mission

Posted: 2017-09-26  12:02 PM
Minnesota National Guard CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - One of the most difficult, most sacred, honorable duties in the military is one that people don't often think about. It takes compassion, empathy, care, and requires great resilience. It is one that when called upon to train for, they hope to rarely perform because it means another Soldier has been lost. It is the duty of casualty notification officer and casualty assistance officer.

About 45 Minnesota Army National Guard Soldiers came to Camp Ripley, Minnesota, on September 21-22, 2017, for a Reset Seminar to find fellowship in one specific thing they have in common: delivering the worst news in the Army.

When a Soldier dies at home or overseas, CNOs and CAOs must notify and help families through the process, including paperwork, benefits, and funeral arrangements.

Article archive