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Minnesota National Guard
Department of Defense Recognizes Metro Region Minnesota Employers

ESGR Banquet ST PAUL, Minn - - Minnesota Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) State Chair Nick Ostapenko recognized Metro area employers as outstanding employers of Minnesota National Guard and Reserve members, at the Minnesota ESGR Region 7 annual employer support awards banquet, May 11, at the Minneapolis/St Paul Airport Hilton Hotel in Bloomington, Minn

"Our Nation has relied heavily on Guard and Reserve Service members since entering continuous operations more than a decade ago Employer support enhances retention rates in the Armed Forces and in the end, strengthens our national security," said Ostapenko "Recognizing supportive employers is vital to ESGR's mission Our ESGR members actively promote awards as a key element in furthering employer support, while strengthening relationships between Service members and employers We are here today to award and honor the sacrifices made by so many employers year after year"

Approximately 200 military, government and business people attended the event which recognized employers who have provided exceptional support for the men and women who serve in the Guard and Reserves The award winners were chosen from a pool of over 350 nominations submitted by military members who felt that their employers had gone beyond their legal obligations in supporting them and their families

The "Seven Seals" award is the broadest and most inclusive award given by ESGR and is presented at the discretion of the State Chair or by ESGR senior leadership The Seven Seals award is in recognition of significant individual or organizational achievement, initiative, or support that promotes the ESGR mission Mike Bray of Bray Leather Studio in Monticello, Minn, was recognized with the Seven Seals award

The "Above and Beyond" award is given in limited numbers by state and territory ESGR committees It recognizes employers at the state and local level who have gone above and beyond the legal requirements for granting leave and providing support for military duty by their employees The following companies were recognized for the ESGR Above and Beyond award for providing exceptional support to their military employees:

BAE Systems
Bolton & Menk
Children's Specialty Center Children's Hospitals & Clinics of MN
Compass Airlines (Spouse Above and Beyond award)
Dakota Truck
Drake Equity
Hartford Group Benefit Claims Long Term Disability
Kroll Ontrack
Maple Grove Hospital
Minneapolis Parks and Recreation Board
Minnesota Attorney General
PCL Construction
St Paul Police Department
Thomson Reuters
United Health Group
Verizon Wireless
Washington County Sheriff's Office
Wells Fargo
Xcel Energy
Zlimen & McGuiness, PLLC

ESGR's "Pro Patria" award is presented annually by each ESGR State Committee to one small, one large and one public sector employer in their state or territory Recipients have demonstrated the greatest support to Guard and Reserve employees through their progressive leadership and practices over time This is the highest level award that may be bestowed by a state ESGR committee Pro Patria award honorees are employers who show exceptional support for the nation's defense by adopting personnel policies that make it easier for employees to participate in the National Guard and Reserve The following employers were recognized with the ESGR Pro Patria award:

Cargill Incorporated - Large Employer
Ramsey County Sheriff's Office - Public Sector Employer
(There was no Small Employer recipient this year)

ESGR facilitates and promotes a cooperative culture of employer support for National Guard and Reserve service by developing and advocating mutually beneficial initiatives, increasing awareness of applicable laws and policies, recognizing outstanding employer support, and resolving potential conflicts between employers and their Service members

For further information, please visit wwwesgrmil or contact Eric Rolstad at (320) 616-3198 or erictrolstadctr@mail.mil For additional photos of the award ceremony, please visit http://bitly/1G6q6HX

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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."

Securing the Bold North: Minnesota National Guard supports Super Bowl LII

Posted: 2018-02-02  10:45 PM
Super Bowl 52 MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. - More than 400 Minnesota National Guardsmen are supporting security efforts in Minneapolis ahead of Super Bowl 52.

"This is what we do," said Maj. Gen. Jon Jensen, Adjutant General of the Minnesota National Guard. "When the local community can't meet the public safety needs, they come to the Guard. We're their normal partner, we're a natural partner, and we're their preferred partner when it comes to filling in the gaps that they can't fill."

At the request of the city, Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton authorized the Minnesota National Guard to provide support to security efforts leading up to and during Super Bowl 52. The Guardsmen are providing direct support to and working alongside law enforcement officers from across the state. Like their civilian law enforcement partners, Minnesota Guardsmen are focused on ensuring a safe experience for the residents and visitors who are attending the Super Bowl festivities.

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