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History
Minnesota National Guard
Diversity from within the ranks

1ABCT CAMP RIPLEY, Minn- Throughout the history of the United States, African Americans and women have played a pivotal role in the success of the military Since 1776, when President George Washington lifted a ban on their enlistment into the Continental Army to fight against the British, African Americans have fought bravely for their freedom and the freedom of their fellow countrymen

Women have developed an increasingly larger role as time has passed from serving as nurses in the revolutionary war to being able to serve in combat roles today Warrant Officer Mary Touch, an electronic warfare officer for 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division stated women have proven to be just as important as their male counterparts

"Cultural diversity isn't going out on Monday nights for tacos and Friday nights for Chinese food, or watching a movie with Denzel Washington in it," 1st Lt Michael Griffis, the logistics planner for the 1/34th ABCT said "Cultural diversity is learning by sitting and spending time with members outside of what your ethnic group is"

To highlight cultural diversity, the Minnesota National Guard recognizes February as Black History month and March as Women's History month African Americans and women alike have played a significant role in every war and conflict in US history from the American Revolution to Afghanistan and Iraq

Diversity helps the Minnesota National Guard as an organization better itself in the sense that each individual brings with them their own background allowing different perspectives to be seen From the top leadership and down, Touch says there are steps being taken in the right direction towards diversity by recruiting both women and people of different ethnic backgrounds

"National Guardsmen and women, active Army and Service members across the board share the kinship that the uniform brings with it and that's the tie that binds us," said Griffis

The Minnesota National Guard provides a sense of brotherhood, family and camaraderie for its' Soldiers and Airmen, which allows them to look past each other's differences

"I can make an opportunity for myself on a level playing ground; I can serve as a mentor for not only young Soldiers of color, but any Soldier in general," continued Griffis "At every point in your career, whether civilian or military, we should be a seeker of knowledge from our mentor and pass that knowledge on to a mentee of our own"

The Minnesota National Guard has created a mentorship program where Soldiers can establish these relationships with other Soldiers to further their development and growth, not only professionally but also personally

"We can all learn together as we serve together," said Griffis Minnesota National Guard Soldiers are able to further refine their skills, not only on their drill weekends but also on the civilian side This is a unique advantage that has allowed Griffis the freedom and flexibility to pursue his civilian education while serving his country

From one race and gender to the next, the Minnesota National Guard and the 1/34th ABCT will continue its efforts to maintain a diverse force within its ranks

February 17, 2015
by Spc William Boecker
1st Armored Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs



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Minnesota National Guard leaders visit traveling tribute in Austin

Posted: 2018-05-22  10:16 AM
Traveling Wall AUSTIN, Minn. - A replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial was on display May 16-20, in Austin and leaders of the 347th Regional Support Group took the opportunity to visit during the event's closing ceremony.

The display, dubbed the American Veterans Traveling Tribute, was hosted by Beyond the Yellow Ribbon Austin and featured a near-replica of the memorial in Washington, D.C.

"It was an honor to be part of this humbling and moving tribute to our Vietnam veterans," said Col. Stephen Schemenauer. "The traveling Vietnam Wall is a powerful display, and this event provided an opportunity to meet, and thank, service members from WWII to present-day conflicts. Regardless of their branch of service, or the era or conflict in which they served, we all share a common bond."



Minnesota Aviators lead multi-state National Guard partnership for NTC rotation

Posted: 2018-05-21  03:51 PM
2-147 NTC FORT IRWIN, Calif. - The Minnesota National Guard's 2nd Battalion, 147th Assault Helicopter Battalion is working together with aviation units from four different states to provide support to the Tennessee-based 278th Armored Calvary Regiment during a rotation at National Training Center in Fort Irwin, California.

Making up Task Force Ragnar is Utah-based B Company, 1st Battalion, 211th Assault Reconnaissance Battalion; Nevada-based B Company, 1-189th General Support Aviation Battalion; Michigan-based C Company, 3-238th GSAB; and Minnesota-based A, D, E and Headquarters Companies, 2-147th AHB and F Company, 1-189th GSAB.

"Early coordination with the units across four states combined with exceptional unit leadership and motivated Soldiers helped us to quickly build the task force when we closed on Fort Irwin," said Lt. Col. Kevin O'Brien, Task Force Commander. "I was thoroughly impressed with the professionalism and teamwork of task force Soldiers. This was an outstanding training opportunity that challenged every Soldier to grow as individuals and units daily."



Deployed Minnesota Guardsman honors grandfather, Hmong heritage

Posted: 2018-05-17  09:57 AM
Brandon Xiong CAMP BUEHRING, Kuwait - "My heritage is Hmong," said 21 year-old Minnesota National Guard Spec. Brandon Xiong from his desk at Camp Buehring, Kuwait. "A low-key culture that originated from southern Asia. Hmong is not a place, but it is a people."

Xiong, the eldest grandson of the late Col. Song Leng Xiong, is deployed in Kuwait as an information technician for Area Support Group - Kuwait.

"We were not nomadic, but have been in many different conflicts," said Xiong. "Many places I go, I am questioned about my nationality and when answered, end up being even more confused. There is a movie called, "Gran Torino", where Clint Eastwood is introduced to the Hmong culture and I think it portrays the Hmong people not so terribly."



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.



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