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Minnesota National Guard
Minnesota National Guard senior enlisted leaders share leadership knowledge and tools

Senior Enlisted Conference CAMP RIPLEY, Minn- Senior enlisted leaders from the Minnesota Army and Air National Guard gathered at Camp Ripley, October 25-26 to discuss leadership, mentorship, career development and the way ahead for Soldiers and Airmen of the Minnesota National Guard

Along with discussions about leadership, the focus of many discussions was the changing environment due to military budget cuts and what that means for Service members As budgets dwindle, personnel cuts are a very real threat that will force the Minnesota National Guard and all military organizations to identify and maintain only the best of the best

"We are going to a shift in mentality of our force that goes from fully qualified to best qualified," said Command Sgt Maj Douglas Wortham, the state's senior enlisted advisor "In our formation we need the best qualified"

Budget shortfalls are also forcing the Active Army, Army Reserve and National Guard to work more closely together to more efficiently and effectively support federal and state missions Command Sgt Maj Sam Young, First Army command sergeant major, spoke to the group about First Army's role in the Total Force Policy and how all components of the military will work together in the future

"What I've found over the last eight months that I've been in this position is we're all fighting the same fight, every one of us," said Young "We're all taking care of Soldiers and Airmen; we're all representing the country we're all struggling with young Soldiers and Airmen understanding what it means to be a part of this organization, regardless of what organization it is"

The Army's Total Force Policy provides for a better integration of the components of the Army to promote a more balanced total force What this will mean for Service members is more opportunities to train together in an environment similar to what they would encounter in a real, large-scale deployment or response

"The vision is every single culminating training event will be multi-component and multi-service, as much as possible, because that's how we fight," said Young

Maj. Gen. Richard C Nash, adjutant general of the Minnesota National Guard, spoke about current worldwide threats that could impact the Minnesota National Guard, reminding the leaders that while resources may be declining, there will most likely not be a decrease in the demands that could be placed on Soldiers and Airmen and their families

"Today's threats such as ISIS, Ukraine, Russia, Korea, Iran, Somalia, South Sudan, Syria and now the Ebola response crisis will set the tone for the Minnesota National Guard," said Nash "And these are only the threats we know about today A year ago we were not even talking about Russia and Ukraine, Isis or Ebola"

October 26, 2014
by Master Sgt Blair Heusdens
Minnesota National Guard Public Affairs



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