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Minnesota National Guard
Climbing Stairs for Charity

Minnesota National Guard MINNEAPOLIS, Minn- Seven firefighters from the 148th Fighter Wing, Duluth, Minn, participated in the 5th annual Big Climb-Minneapolis, April 5, 2014 The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS) held the event to raise lifesaving funds for blood cancer research and help patients live better, longer lives

The climb was held at the Capella Tower and consisted of 47 stories worth of stairs The stair climb encompassed a full range of people; from the casual walker to those that wanted to "race to the top" Needless to say, since firefighters are all about competition, the 148th firefighters decided to race to the top

"This was a difficult challenge that was made even more difficult by wearing 60 pounds worth of firefighting gear," said Senior Airman Joel Waters "We all worked as a team to raise as much money as we could for the event and also motivated each other during the event so we would all complete the climb and not leave an Airman behind"

The 148th firefighters came in third overall, with the top four individual times being averaged for top team honors Out of 275 climbers the 148th FW had four climbers in the top 20, with Senior Master Sgt Mark Watczak posting the best time for the 148FW at nine minutes and twenty-seven seconds Watczak's time was good for fifth overall in the individual competition

Besides the competition, the primary reason the 148FW firefighters participated was to raise money for a great cause "The charity did play a big role in our department's participation but I think it played an even bigger part for me," said Staff Sgt Nathan Brown "My wife has been battling cancer for four years now and I know the importance and significance of these fundraisers and the public's attention to this disease My wife is not battling Lymphoma or Leukemia but it is still extremely important to support people and groups that are battling cancer Cancer should not be a burden carried by one person; it should be carried by many to lighten the load Needless to say, we have been on an emotional rollercoaster and when I see people donating money and time like this it does nothing but make us feel better due to having such a tremendous support system"

The competition also provided a great way for the firefighters to spend time together and boost morale "Once we got to the top you can imagine how tired we were but as soon as you got there, teammates were greeting you and helping you take your gear off, giving you water and a congratulatory slap on the back," said Brown "Plus, it feels great to be able to raise money for such a great cause and really opens your eyes to how many people out there need your help no matter how small or insignificant the gesture seems"

"I have a lot of family and friends that suffer from cancer," said Staff Sgt Brad Richgels "This was my way to help raise money for cancer research" The 148 FW firefighters raised more than $2,100 for the LLS

May 8, 2014
by Master Sgt Ralph Kapustka
148th Fighter Wing 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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