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Minnesota National Guard
Deploying Soldiers and families honored with steak lunch

Minnesota National Guard ST PAUL, Minn- More than 200 Soldiers and families from the Minnesota National Guard's 34th Combat Aviation Brigade Headquarters Company and 2nd Battalion, 147th Assault Helicopter Battalion were honored, May 17, 2014, at the St Paul River Centre prior to deploying to Kuwait

Serving Our Troops, a Minnesota-based volunteer group, showed its gratitude to the deploying Soldiers and their families by providing them with a steak lunch This event was the organization's tenth event serving steaks for Soldiers overseas and stateside

"Thank you, Serving our Troops, for exemplifying the Best of Minnesota," said Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton

While deployed, the Soldiers will conduct aviation operations and security cooperation activities as part of a task force of more than 1,200 Soldiers from the National Guard, Army reserve and active Army

"We've had one or more aviation units from this state deployed to places like Iraq, Afghanistan, Kuwait, Bosnia, and even a deployment here in the United States every year since 2003," said Col Gregory Thingvold, 34th Combat Aviation Brigade commander "For the past 12 years, we've been in a constant state of deploying or preparing units for return"

The units recently completed two weeks of training at Camp Ripley, Minn, and will head to Fort Hood, Texas, in June for additional training prior to their departure for Kuwait In addition to its several previous federal deployments, the 34th Combat Aviation Brigade regularly supports domestic response missions including wildfire suppression, flood response and search and rescue

"Our track record of being an interchangeable, accessible, and highly professional, successful component of the total Army has been proven time and again," said Thingvold

Maj. Gen. Richard Nash, the Adjutant General of the Minnesota National Guard spoke about the unique qualities that National Guardsmen bring to this type of mission

"You have something that many of our active component brothers and sisters do not possess, and that's a practical knowledge and experience building relationships to achieve a common goal," said Nash "Just look at what the 34th Combat Aviation Brigade does in peacetime here in Minnesota, working side-by-side with local, county, state and federal officials to ensure the safety of our fellow citizens They don't teach that skill set during basic training You learned it through being a citizen-Soldier and combining what you learned in your hometown connections with your families, your schools, your businesses, your faith and your community"

Governor Dayton praised the Soldiers for their service and dedication to the state and nation

"You were raised to believe that heroic service is your responsibility as citizens of this great nation -whether it was convenient or not," said Dayton "And you answered this call to service It is for this reason we your fellow citizens honor you, admire you and thank you"

"Our country is free today; our country is strong today; our country exists today; because for almost two and a half centuries, men and women like you have answered that call," said Dayton

May 19, 2014
by Sgt. 1st Class Blair Heusdens
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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