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Minnesota National Guard
The conflict at home: Substance Abuse Awareness Month

Minnesota National Guard ST PAUL, Minn- Not only a time for jumping into piles of red- and gold-colored leaves, October is also Substance Abuse Awareness Month

For nearly twenty years, the US has recognized Red Ribbon Week, an event to conduct drug prevention education and advocacy For several years, Minnesota National Guard members have participated in community events to support the initiative The campaign runs through the final week of October each year

"With the Red Ribbon Campaign we're going to take every opportunity that we can to promote what we're trying to do in the National Guard and highlight some of the community resources and partners that we've been working with as well," said Capt Tara Robertson, substance abuse prevention program manager for the Minnesota National Guard

The state's legislative objectives for 2014 included an emphatic care initiative for Soldiers and Airmen of the Minnesota National Guard though improvements in the process of substance abuse assessment and referral

"We're pretty fortunate here in Minnesota because the leadership has been so supportive," said Robertson

This year, the Minnesota National Guard secured funding to contract two licensed alcohol and drug counselors who work specifically for and with the state's troops No other state in the National Guard has this sort of asset

"Minnesota is really leading the way in a lot of areas with where we've come with the program in just the last year," said Robertson "A lot of states are still just trying to figure out how to do more than just drug testing We're taking it to a whole new Soldier wellness level"

The Minnesota National Guard also partnered with the Department of Human Services and several other state agencies in a comprehensive substance abuse strategy to address and prevent impacts of drug and alcohol abuse

Through partnerships with various community programs across the state, the substance abuse prevention program is working to proactively identify the issues related to getting Service members help By considering in-house initiatives coupled with legislative options, the Minnesota National Guard is working on all fronts to combat substance abuse among troops and around the community

"We need to reduce the stigma around getting substance abuse help," Robertson emphasized "If you do the right thing and you're proactive, then you're going to reduce the issues that you've got in the long run"

October 1, 2014
by Sgt Linsey Williams
Minnesota National Guard Public Affairs



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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.



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