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Minnesota National Guard
MPD Sgt. Blackwell: 'We're human, we have hearts, we care about people'

Minnesota National Guard MINNEAPOLIS, Minn(KMSP)- Talking with Minneapolis police Sgt Katie Blackwell, it's clear she truly cares about her job and the people who live and work in the first precinctWhen a man was sexually assaulting women in Ramp C downtown last week Sgt Blackwell took it personally, making his arrest a top priority The suspect was in custody within 48 hours

"We just won't tolerate predators walking through our city and our communities, so yeah, I took it pretty personally," Sgt Blackwell said

To understand why she cares so much, one has to know where she's coming from, and it's quite a story She grew up one of 10 kids in northeast Minneapolis, something Sgt Blackwell says helps her connect with her community

"When you put yourself in their shoes, or like, I understand what it's like to come from poverty, and then I grew up in the inner city, and I moved around a lot," she said

Sgt Blackwell joined the Minnesota National Guard when she was 17 as a convoy commander in Iraq, and she was also in charge of the scout vehicle She earned a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star leading her unit through danger; her convoy was blown up three times She ended up surviving a head and leg injury

"I put my flashlight down on my leg and asked them to look at my leg to make sure it was still there He said it was," she remembered

Back here at home with the Minneapolis Police Department, she has won numerous awards A commendation in 2010 for chasing down the Powderhorn rape suspect right as he was ready to attack again She has won two lifesaving awards, two more commendations for chasing down robbery suspects, and with a bow and arrow pointed right at her, she talked a man out of shooting her so she didn't have to shoot him She's also the leader of the negotiation team However, one of the especially important roles she's taken on is teaching fellow cops how to respond when they encounter veterans

"Their survival instincts kick in because they're in crisis, and we, as police officers, surround them and you know, they're trained to fight, so teaching officers how to de-escalate the situation and how to come up peacefully instead of ramping them up," she explained

Back out on the beat, Sgt Blackwell is quick to talk about the good work of her team She may be the leader, but she says success is all teamwork

"We wear bulletproof vests, but we're not bulletproof We're human, we have hearts, we care about people," she said "I love that for one minute you can be handing out baseball cards to kids And then you might be chasing down a criminal and putting them away, you might be consoling a victim"

October 15, 2014
Karen Scullin
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Iowa Red Bull takes command of 34th Infantry Division

Posted: 2017-12-13  10:11 AM
Minnesota National Guard JOHNSTON, Iowa - Brig. Gen. Benjamin J. Corell, Deputy Adjutant General of the Iowa National Guard, assumed command of the 34th Infantry Division "Red Bulls" during a ceremony in Rosemount, Minnesota, on December 9, 2017.

Headquartered in Minnesota, the division has been commanded almost-exclusively by members of the Minnesota National Guard since 1968.

"Typically there's been very few people who have been allowed to command the 34th Infantry Division that didn't come from the state of Minnesota," Corell said.

Minnesota-based aviation unit honors storied division, enters into new, 'expeditionary' era

Posted: 2017-12-12  11:29 AM
Minnesota National Guard ST. PAUL, Minn. - Soldiers of the Minnesota National Guard's 34th Expeditionary Combat Aviation Brigade (ECAB), who recently celebrated a year full of achievements, have embraced a new name: Red Devils.

The St. Paul-based unit hosted its annual aviation brigade ball Dec. 9, at the Envision Event Center in Oakdale, Minnesota, where the unit's new logo was unveiled.

Soldiers of the 34th ECAB, which falls under and supports the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division, will continue to wear the Red Bull insignia on their uniforms. However, they will now be known and referred to as the Red Devils, a name that pays homage to the division's historical accomplishments and fierce warfighting.

Minnesota Nice Extends to Puerto Rico

Posted: 2017-12-08  12:08 PM
Minnesota National Guard CAMP SANTIAGO, Puerto Rico - It has been more than two months since Hurricane Maria stuck Puerto Rico, leaving a trail of disaster behind it. The island was in dire need of some extra help. More than 230 Air National Guardsmen from 29 states have been deployed to the island and are helping in any way they can.

Eleven of those Airmen are from the Minnesota National Guard's 148th Fighter Wing out of Duluth, Minn. and the 133rd Airlift Wing out of St. Paul, Minn., are no exception in their desire to lend a helping hand. They have been at Camp Santiago, Puerto Rico, since before Thanksgiving and will leave around mid-December. Their mission is to feed military and civilian hurricane relief workers, giving them the much-needed fuel to complete their mission throughout the day.

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.

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