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Minnesota National Guard
Sentry Savannah brings Minnesota brothers together

Savannah Sentry SAVANNAH, Ga- In the Guard, it is not unusual to have family members in the same unit It is unusual, however, to have three brothers doing the same job for the same unit

Staff Sgt Michael Sirois, Senior Airman Patrick Sirois and Airman 1st Class Nicholas Sirois are F-16 Fighting Falcon crew chiefs with the 148th Fighter Wing, Duluth, Minn and are participating in the 2015 Sentry Savannah 15-1 training exercise taking place Feb 7-20 in Savannah, Ga

Nicholas just got back from Crew Chief Technical School in July 2014 and Sentry Savannah was the first deployment the brothers had an opportunity to go on together

Michael was the first to join the 148th FW back in 2009

"My grandpa was a crew chief at the 148th for over 30 years," Michael said "Growing up and listening to his stories on how the 148th FW was a family and how everyone treated each other so well made me want to join It was a great career field for my grandpa"

Their grandpa and Michael were big influences on Patrick and Nicholas joining the unit as well Michael was able to tell his brothers the benefits of joining from first-hand experience That guidance, along with their grandpa's input, made the decision easy for the younger brothers

"When I came to the 148th FW, I wanted to work with the jets," Patrick said "The recruiter said there was a crew chief opening and I said, 'yes' I just wanted to be a crew chief"

When it came time for Nicholas to join he gave the fire department a quick look but ultimately decided he wanted to follow in his grandpa's and brother's footsteps and became a crew chief as well

"I could not see myself doing anything else It's a fun job to be able to work on the jets," said Nicholas

The brothers are close outside of the Guard as well, racing cars in the Duluth, Minn area Michael drives, while the two younger brothers work on his pit crew Unlike some brothers, these three get along well and enjoy spending as much time as they can together whether it be working on jets or racing cars

The experiences of working with their grandpa and dad on cars while growing up coupled with their love for racing has helped them in performing their job as crew chiefs

"I love working on the jets," said Patrick "We all grew up working on cars and four wheelers, we're all very mechanical This job suits all three of us very well"

Their supervisor has nothing but good things to say about them "It's unique, entertaining and creates a lot of good camaraderie," said Senior Master Sgt David Ritsche, 148th FW flightline flight supervisor "All three are go-getters and hard-chargers, they're wonderful people to work with and supervise"

All three brothers plan on re-enlisting and making a career out of the Guard For now, they'll finish training together at Sentry Savannah while doing what they've grown to love - launching jets

"When I send a pilot out and salute him it's just a good feeling knowing that I'm sending him up in a safe aircraft," Nicholas said

February 17, 2015
by Master Sgt Ralph Kapustka
148th Fighter 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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