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Minnesota National Guard
Minnesota Guard recruiter named top in the nation

SFC Matt Jasper ROSEVILLE, Minn- Sgt 1st Class Matt Jasper, the training non-commissioned officer for the Minnesota National Guard's Recruiting and Retention Battalion recently won top honors as the number one National Guard recruiter in the nation, Dec 17, 2014

Jasper, who has been in recruiting since 2008, has developed skills and relationships that have helped him to be successful as a recruiter He feels that taking care of the recruits he puts in is an important part of his success

"Instead of just rapidly enlisting people in, make sure you're taking care of them after enlistment and all the way throughout their career If you take good care of them they will take good care of you and bring their friends and family in to join," said Jasper

Minnesota National Guard recruiters are working to increase the diversity in the organization by focusing their recruiting efforts on groups of people who are currently underrepresented, including females and ethnic minorities

"We're just trying to make sure that we are able to provide these individuals an opportunity just as everyone else," said Jasper

In speaking to potential recruits and their families the major challenge Jasper encounters is the lack of knowledge that people have on the National Guard and what we actually do

"A lot of times the only thing they know about the military what they see on the news," said Jasper "Just trying to get them past that stigma and see what the National Guard can offer them; see how they can go to college, come out debt free, have on-the-job experience so that they are prepared for the positions in the civilian sector they are applying for"

Jasper highlights different aspects of the National Guard to prospective recruits, depending on what they are looking to get from military service

"If you've got a college kid, it's definitely our benefits," said Jasper "Nobody can touch our benefits we receive the same federal benefits as everyone else plus we get great benefits from the state of Minnesota - state tuition reimbursement"

"For those who aren't interested in going to college, we're usually just selling service to country," said Jasper "Being able to say that you're part of that on percent that serves something bigger than themselves, carries on the legacy of the United States"

Currently, Jasper works as the training non-commissioned officer for the Recruiting and Retention Battalion and hopes to put the knowledge he's gained in recruiting into standard operating procedures that new recruiters can follow to be successful

"I don't want to get stagnant," said Jasper "I want to be able to always learn something new and not only be an asset to the Recruiting and Retention Battalion but also the Minnesota Army National Guard as a whole"

January 13, 2015
by Master Sgt Blair Heusdens
Minnesota National Guard Public Affairs



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"Command Sgt. Maj. Cunnien is one of the finest leaders that I have worked with in my career," said Col. Shawn Manke, commander of the 34th CAB. "He sets the example for all noncommissioned officers and Soldiers to emulate. He is a true professional, as a visible leader and teacher for the Soldiers of the combat aviation brigade. We're grateful for his many years of service, and we wish him well as he closes out his military career and enters the next chapter in his life."



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The company's FRG leader, Rhiannon Knutson, wife of Chief Warrant Officer 2 Tom Knutson, was in constant contact with the unit's families and went above and beyond what is normally expected of FRG leaders, said the unit's readiness non-commissioned officer, Sgt. 1st Class Mark Wood.



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