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Minnesota National Guard
First Timers

For some of the Soldiers of the 34th Annual Norwegian Exchange Contingent this marks the first time they have ever adventured outside the United States boarders

"I love it; it is a really fun experience," Private First Class Shane A Lang, Artilleryman 1st Battalion 125th Battery, Leverne, Minn "Not everyone can do it, because of their job and other things in their civilian life It is a once in a lifetime opportunity to get paid to go to another country"

Other Soldiers still are experiencing the effects of traveling to another country

"It is wonderful, I think the training has been great," said Private First Class, Daniel L Gronewold, cannon-crew member, Company A 1st Battalion 125th Leverne, Minn, "I am still taking it all in"

Private First Class Justin G Donnell, Infantryman, 2nd Battalion 135th Infantry, Owatonna, Minn experienced his birthday during the exchange "I am not homesick because the cadre and people in the platoons seems really nice and they make me feel at home," said Donnell "The country is warmer, even though it is farther north, that seems kind of odd"

A lot of the Soldiers in the Exchange Contingent are enjoying many different aspects of traveling overseas

"I get to see different landscape, different scenery and get to train totally different than usually, it's a good change of pace," said Private First Class Travis J Thiner, Artilleryman, 1st Battery 125th Field Artillery, Leverne, Minnesota," I like meeting other people Norway is a beautiful country The food is different, but you can get use to it It is kind of a cultural shock"

Regardless of the cultural barriers with daily living and training, all the Soldiers are finding ways to enjoy their time in Norway

"The uniforms are different from ours, I like the layers, but I will enjoy getting back into my Army Combat Uniform (ACUs)," said Donnell "I really like the country side and it is really quite This exchange is like being on vacation, being infantry I thought I would never get to experience something like this"

"It is really cold here!" Spec Kelli J Zellner, combat medic, 834th Aviation Support Company, St Paul, Minn "All the people from Norway are very hospitable The training is beneficial to this point and I look forward to the training to come"

The Soldiers and Airmen of the 34th Annual Norwegian Exchange Contingent will be back in Minnesota in late February

By Sgt Lynette Hoke

Main Effort:
Norwegian Reciprocal Troop Exchange

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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."

Securing the Bold North: Minnesota National Guard supports Super Bowl LII

Posted: 2018-02-02  10:45 PM
Super Bowl 52 MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. - More than 400 Minnesota National Guardsmen are supporting security efforts in Minneapolis ahead of Super Bowl 52.

"This is what we do," said Maj. Gen. Jon Jensen, Adjutant General of the Minnesota National Guard. "When the local community can't meet the public safety needs, they come to the Guard. We're their normal partner, we're a natural partner, and we're their preferred partner when it comes to filling in the gaps that they can't fill."

At the request of the city, Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton authorized the Minnesota National Guard to provide support to security efforts leading up to and during Super Bowl 52. The Guardsmen are providing direct support to and working alongside law enforcement officers from across the state. Like their civilian law enforcement partners, Minnesota Guardsmen are focused on ensuring a safe experience for the residents and visitors who are attending the Super Bowl festivities.

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