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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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Iowa Red Bull takes command of 34th Infantry Division

Posted: 2017-12-13  10:11 AM
Minnesota National Guard JOHNSTON, Iowa - Brig. Gen. Benjamin J. Corell, Deputy Adjutant General of the Iowa National Guard, assumed command of the 34th Infantry Division "Red Bulls" during a ceremony in Rosemount, Minnesota, on December 9, 2017.

Headquartered in Minnesota, the division has been commanded almost-exclusively by members of the Minnesota National Guard since 1968.

"Typically there's been very few people who have been allowed to command the 34th Infantry Division that didn't come from the state of Minnesota," Corell said.

Minnesota-based aviation unit honors storied division, enters into new, 'expeditionary' era

Posted: 2017-12-12  11:29 AM
Minnesota National Guard ST. PAUL, Minn. - Soldiers of the Minnesota National Guard's 34th Expeditionary Combat Aviation Brigade (ECAB), who recently celebrated a year full of achievements, have embraced a new name: Red Devils.

The St. Paul-based unit hosted its annual aviation brigade ball Dec. 9, at the Envision Event Center in Oakdale, Minnesota, where the unit's new logo was unveiled.

Soldiers of the 34th ECAB, which falls under and supports the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division, will continue to wear the Red Bull insignia on their uniforms. However, they will now be known and referred to as the Red Devils, a name that pays homage to the division's historical accomplishments and fierce warfighting.

Minnesota Nice Extends to Puerto Rico

Posted: 2017-12-08  12:08 PM
Minnesota National Guard CAMP SANTIAGO, Puerto Rico - It has been more than two months since Hurricane Maria stuck Puerto Rico, leaving a trail of disaster behind it. The island was in dire need of some extra help. More than 230 Air National Guardsmen from 29 states have been deployed to the island and are helping in any way they can.

Eleven of those Airmen are from the Minnesota National Guard's 148th Fighter Wing out of Duluth, Minn. and the 133rd Airlift Wing out of St. Paul, Minn., are no exception in their desire to lend a helping hand. They have been at Camp Santiago, Puerto Rico, since before Thanksgiving and will leave around mid-December. Their mission is to feed military and civilian hurricane relief workers, giving them the much-needed fuel to complete their mission throughout the day.

Governor Mark Dayton installs new Minnesota National Guard Adjutant General

Posted: 2017-11-04  04:16 PM
TAG installation ST. PAUL, Minn. - Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton administered the oath of office to Maj. Gen. Jon A. Jensen, installing him as the Minnesota National Guard's 31st Adjutant General during a ceremony in St. Paul, November 4, 2017.

"General Jensen has been a tremendous leader of the Minnesota National Guard throughout his years of dedicated service," said Governor Dayton. "He has served in two top leadership positions, as the Commanding General of the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division, and also as the Chief of Staff at the Guard's Joint Force Headquarters. I am confident that he will continue to provide the same outstanding leadership as his predecessor, General Rick Nash."

Jensen most recently served as the Commanding General of the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division. He previously held positions as Deputy Commanding General, United States Army Africa and Southern European Task Force, Minnesota National Guard Director of the Joint Staff and Minnesota National Guard Assistant Adjutant General - Army.

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