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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
Medtronic
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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Minnesota State Fair Military Appreciation Day to recognize women veterans

Posted: 2018-08-27  12:34 PM
Minnesota National Guard FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 27, 2018

ST. PAUL, Minn.- The Minnesota State Fair's eighth annual Military Appreciation Day will take place Tuesday, August 28, and provide an educational opportunity for all fairgoers to learn about Minnesota's military community. This year's theme is honoring Minnesota's women veterans.

"The Minnesota State Fair is a great opportunity to bring our community together to show appreciation for the service and sacrifice of our state's veterans," said Maj. Gen. Jon Jensen, The Adjutant General of the Minnesota National Guard. "This year, I am proud to stand with women veterans as we highlight their stories and contributions to our armed forces."



Minnesota Guardsmen learn survival skills, train with Norwegian counterparts

Posted: 2018-07-03  01:36 PM
NOREX 45 Over the course of 10 days, 100 Soldiers and Airmen from the Minnesota National Guard who traveled to Norway June 17-26, 2018, for the 45th Norwegian Reciprocal Troop Exchange learned valuable survival skills and shared their knowledge with members of the Norwegian Home Guard. This year's exchange was the second to take place during the summer months in the history of the longest-running military partnership between two nations.

"It was a great experience for both the Minnesota National Guard and the Norwegian Home Guard," said Capt. 'Kiwi' HorgA�ien, the senior Norwegian instructor. "A cultural exchange, a social exchange and military exchange all packed into one."

The 45th exchange got off to a late start, with flight delays causing the trip to be shortened from its normal length of two weeks. The delay meant that the Minnesota Guardsmen jumped right into training, heading out to the field after just a few hours of sleep.



133rd Airlift Wing Emphasizes Combat Readiness Training

Posted: 2018-06-29  10:48 AM
Alpena ALPENA, Michigan - Approximately 300 U.S. Air Force Airmen from the 133rd Airlift Wing participated in a readiness exercise at the Alpena Combat Readiness Training Center, Alpena, Mich.

The exercise, tagged as Iron Ore, was designed test the Airmen abilities to set up operations at an unfamiliar location and receive in depth training on Ability-To-Survive and Operate (ATSO) principles while supporting airlift and aeromedical flight operations.

To ensure mission success and readiness, Airmen had to complete training at home station prior to leaving for Alpena. Some of this training included weapons qualification, gas mask fit testing, Mission Oriented Protective Posture (MOPP) familiarization, self-aid and buddy care and career field training.



Red Bulls Kickoff Division Warfighter

Posted: 2018-06-13  01:38 PM
DIV WFX CAMP ATTERBURY, Ind. - "A Warfighter is an exercise that allows the Division to evaluate their ability to maneuver assets in a battle," said Master Sgt. Greg Weaver, the Operations Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge for the Division Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion. "It is designed to focus on particular areas and specific objectives to be evaluated or tested."

The Division has geared its' planning and training efforts in preparation for Warfighter since July 2017. Coordinating transportation for Soldiers and equipment was often on the mind of Maj. David Johansson, the logistics officer for the 34th ID. With the coordination of Johansson and his team, troops and equipment all converged on Camp Atterbury, enlisting the help of 89 railcars, 280 tractor-trailers, and nearly 50 buses for the movement.

"I like to say my job is to 'quiet the noise'". Johansson continued, "The noise being a real life logistical problem that could impede the exercise."



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