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Minnesota National Guard
Minnesota National Guard works to expand female inclusion opportunities

Female Inclusion ST PAUL, Minn- The Minnesota National Guard is working toward integrating females in previously all-male units state wide This spring female non-commissioned officers between the ranks of sergeant and sergeant first class are sitting down with their leadership to learn about the opportunity for them to be on the front lines of female inclusion

Military personnel office operations non-commissioned officer-in-charge 1st Sgt Hunter Hilten, is charged with ensuring female inclusion in the Minnesota National Guard

"The greatest thing about this is career diversity opportunities," said Hilten "The first females to go into these units will have a unique advantage in future promotions or assignment"

Doors officially opened to women in Army ranks on Jan 24, 2013, when then Defense Secretary Leon Panetta rescinded the 1994 Direct Ground Combat Assignment Restriction regarding the assignment of women The policy, which was put in place in 1994, barred women, regardless of their military occupational specialty, from being assigned to combat units below the brigade level

This change opened about 33,000 positions to females Army-wide To the Minnesota National Guard this meant the possibly of nearly 800 new positions for women

"The process is to identify the vacancies that could potentially be filled by females, then identify females who are interested," said Hilten "There will not be involuntary reassignments or transfers"

While the Minnesota National Guard had already been attaching women to all-male units as part of a pilot program, actually assigning women into those units required a deliberate process As positions opened in leadership positions, qualified women interested in paving the way were assigned Nearly 20 women are currently serving in these units as officers and non-commissioned officers

In January, Minnesota National Guard Adjutant General Richard Nash opened the lowest skill level positions in units previously all-male for the first time Now the organization is working to ensure each female serving is aware that inclusion is underway

This spring, with more than 70 vacancies now available to female Soldiers, females are being counseled one-on-one Volunteering to transfer to a previously all-male unit may provide a promotion opportunity or a chance for the Soldier to belong to a unit closer to their home While many females have yet to be counseled, so far one in four women are interested in this new opportunity

"The Minnesota National Guard is on course to meet Panetta's original deadline for full integration of women on Jan 1, 2016," said Hilten

February 19, 2015
by 1st Lt Melanie Nelson
Minnesota National Guard 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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