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History
Minnesota National Guard
A First Sergeant's Surprise

Minnesota National Guard BLOOMINGTON, Minn- The Mall of America in Bloomington, Minn, became a Yellow Ribbon company earlier this year, which proclaims the company's dedication to past and present Service members and their families To celebrate this, they held its first Holiday for Heroes event at the Mall the morning of Dec 14

The event shut down the park for a few hours on Sunday to allow veterans and their families to come and enjoy all the rides for free, as well as some food and giveaways More than 3,000 took part in the event, but the day will be the most unforgettable for family and friends of 1st Sgt Robert Renning of the 133rd Airlift Wing in St Paul, Minn

The Minnesota National Guard partnered with the Mall of America to give this 133rd Airlift Wing Outstanding First Sergeant of 2014 a chance to show his longtime girlfriend his dedication and love to her by giving her a surprise proposal in front of thousands of people

Near the end of the event, a short ceremony was held in the middle of the Mall's Nickelodeon's Universe Along with passersby, veterans and their families witnessed a very special moment for this couple

The cover story was the first sergeant was receiving accolades from the Mall of America for his lifesaving efforts last summer when he saved a man from his Chevy Trailblazer that caught on fire on the side of the highway His girlfriend Asea was by his side during the event, as well as at many award presentations thereafter Again, she was in tow during Sunday's event, oblivious that this award presentation was going to be focused entirely on her

Jill Renslow, Mall of America's Senior Vice President of Business Development and Marketing, and Rich Hoge, Vice President of Operations, spoke to the crowd Maj. Gen. Richard Nash, Adjutant General of the Minnesota National Guard then took the podium He thanked the veterans in attendance for their service, and made a point to emphasize the importance of family time and serving

Then 1st Sgt Renning was able to take the microphone

As part of the cover story, Command Chief Master Sgt of the 133rd Airlift Wing Chief Master Sgt Paul Kessler told a short story about the importance of the diamond on the rank of the first sergeant, emphasizing how they take care of people After this, Renning presented his girlfriend with his coin in appreciation for all of her support

This is where the surprise started for Asea After this presentation, Nash told Renning he happened to have "another diamond for him" Renning, dressed in his blues uniform, got on one knee in front of their family and friends and the entire crowd in attendance, in the largest mall in all of America, and confessed his love for Asea and asked the highly anticipated question, "Will You Marry Me?"

To everyone's delight, she said 'yes'

December 16, 2014
by Tech Sgt Lynette Olivares
133rd Airlift Wing 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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