/*********************************************** * Chrome CSS Drop Down Menu- (c) Dynamic Drive DHTML code library (www.dynamicdrive.com) * This notice MUST stay intact for legal use * Visit Dynamic Drive at http://www.dynamicdrive.com/ for full source code ***********************************************/
Minnesota National Guard
Female Soldier Answers Call to Fire

2LT Andrea Peterson ST PAUL, Minn- When 2nd Lt Andrea Petersen joined the Minnesota National Guard as an officer candidate in 2011, her goals were slightly less lofty than breaking new ground in a military occupation that was previously off limits to female Soldiers

"I wanted to become a better leader, to strengthen myself both physically and mentally," Petersen said "I felt that being an officer would present challenges I wouldn't otherwise experience, which was exciting to me"

It wouldn't be until Phase II of Officer Candidate School, however, that Petersen got the idea to push herself even further

"One of my classmates, who had came to OCS after being a sergeant in a field artillery unit, arranged a training experience to view a live fire exercise," said Petersen "I think this really sealed the deal on which branch I wanted to be a part of"

The camaraderie and excitement Petersen felt as gunnery crews fired artillery rounds downrange was unlike anything she had experienced And with the Department of Defense having just rescinded the Ground Combat Exclusion Rule, which barred female Soldiers from combat units, Petersen would be able to pursue her new passion

"It was everything I wanted, and it was a chance to step out of my comfort zone even more," Petersen said

Her standout performance throughout OCS led to direct recommendations from her leadership to re-branch into one of the Army's most challenging fields After OCS, she would be one of five female Soldiers accepted into a class of 140 young officers attempting to complete the Army's Field Artillery Basic Officer Leader Course at Fort Sill, Okla

"It was really intense, long days and very exhausting," Petersen said of the training "It is so involved, and there is so much to learn with all the calculations and variables needed to fire artillery safely and effectively"

After five months of intensive training, Petersen graduated in May 2014 Nearly 10 percent of the students didn't complete the school, but Petersen and the other four females all did

Her first assignment after receiving her field artillery qualifications would be as a Fire Direction Officer in Battery A, 1st Battalion, 151st Field Artillery - a unit that had never had a female Soldier serve in this kind of leadership role Petersen was well aware that earning her Soldiers' respect and performing her duties at a high level would be a challenge, albeit one that was becoming less of a burden

"As a female, I joined knowing that I would be in the minority," Petersen said "Knowing that would be the normal for me, however, made it less difficult to transition to a mostly-male unit

"The real challenge now is that I'm no longer in training," Petersen continued "I'm an officer, and I don't have the experience that long-time members of this unit have I'm driven in that I don't want to let anyone down, and Soldiers in my unit know that I'm here to learn"

Currently Petersen is developing her leadership skills as a platoon leader in the battery's maintenance platoon while preparing to serve as the battalion's Fire Direction Officer for an upcoming National Training Center rotation in June at Fort Irwin, Calif

"My experience with the unit has been very positive," Petersen said "I feel I belong here"

January 14, 2015
by Staff Sgt Patrick Loch
Minnesota National Guard Public Affairs

Download photos

Article source

Articles archive

In The News archive

Media Advisory archive

Latest News

Minnesota Guardsmen learn survival skills, train with Norwegian counterparts

Posted: 2018-07-03  01:36 PM
NOREX 45 Over the course of 10 days, 100 Soldiers and Airmen from the Minnesota National Guard who traveled to Norway June 17-26, 2018, for the 45th Norwegian Reciprocal Troop Exchange learned valuable survival skills and shared their knowledge with members of the Norwegian Home Guard. This year's exchange was the second to take place during the summer months in the history of the longest-running military partnership between two nations.

"It was a great experience for both the Minnesota National Guard and the Norwegian Home Guard," said Capt. 'Kiwi' HorgA�ien, the senior Norwegian instructor. "A cultural exchange, a social exchange and military exchange all packed into one."

The 45th exchange got off to a late start, with flight delays causing the trip to be shortened from its normal length of two weeks. The delay meant that the Minnesota Guardsmen jumped right into training, heading out to the field after just a few hours of sleep.

133rd Airlift Wing Emphasizes Combat Readiness Training

Posted: 2018-06-29  10:48 AM
Alpena ALPENA, Michigan - Approximately 300 U.S. Air Force Airmen from the 133rd Airlift Wing participated in a readiness exercise at the Alpena Combat Readiness Training Center, Alpena, Mich.

The exercise, tagged as Iron Ore, was designed test the Airmen abilities to set up operations at an unfamiliar location and receive in depth training on Ability-To-Survive and Operate (ATSO) principles while supporting airlift and aeromedical flight operations.

To ensure mission success and readiness, Airmen had to complete training at home station prior to leaving for Alpena. Some of this training included weapons qualification, gas mask fit testing, Mission Oriented Protective Posture (MOPP) familiarization, self-aid and buddy care and career field training.

Red Bulls Kickoff Division Warfighter

Posted: 2018-06-13  01:38 PM
DIV WFX CAMP ATTERBURY, Ind. - "A Warfighter is an exercise that allows the Division to evaluate their ability to maneuver assets in a battle," said Master Sgt. Greg Weaver, the Operations Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge for the Division Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion. "It is designed to focus on particular areas and specific objectives to be evaluated or tested."

The Division has geared its' planning and training efforts in preparation for Warfighter since July 2017. Coordinating transportation for Soldiers and equipment was often on the mind of Maj. David Johansson, the logistics officer for the 34th ID. With the coordination of Johansson and his team, troops and equipment all converged on Camp Atterbury, enlisting the help of 89 railcars, 280 tractor-trailers, and nearly 50 buses for the movement.

"I like to say my job is to 'quiet the noise'". Johansson continued, "The noise being a real life logistical problem that could impede the exercise."

Minnesota-based aviation unit takes part in Warfighter Exercise

Posted: 2018-06-08  11:59 AM
34ECAB WFX CAMP ATTERBURY, Ind. - More than 150 Soldiers of the Minnesota National Guard's 34th Expeditionary Combat Aviation Brigade are here participating in a multi-echelon training event, Warfighter Exercise 18-5, May 30 to June 15.

The exercise, which is part live and part virtual, is testing the St. Paul, Minnesota-based aviation unit's ability to conduct operations and mission command in a high-intensity, complex operating environment. Soldiers are being challenged to take decisive action as they focus on air-ground operations -- or synchronizing and integrating aviation operations into the scheme of maneuver planned and conducted by forces on the ground.

In this case, the units on the ground are being commanded by the Rosemount, Minnesota-based 34th Red Bull Infantry Division, which is also participating in the exercise.

Article archive