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Minnesota National Guard
Cooks Get Fired Up for Competition Comeback

Cooks Get Fired Up for Competition Comeback CAMP RIPLEY, Minn - Culinary sections of the Minnesota National Guard and Army Reserve participated in the 48th Annual Philip A Connelly Regional Competition July 10, 2015

"It is a culinary competition, where the section is evaluated not just on food preparation and quality, but on field site layout, food service and sanitation, as well as maintenance of equipment and training," said Chief Warrant Officer 2 Paul Erickson, food program manager for the Minnesota National Guard

The Department of the Army and the International Food Service Executives Association established the Phillip A Connelly Memorial Awards Program in 1968 The program is designed to improve food service operations Army wide and recognize the achievements of superb unit performance and stellar management practices

Each October, the competition is announced and the menu is sent out Army-wide This year's menu is savory baked chicken, spicy brown rice, and herbed broccoli The unit culinary sections had the choice of what they serve for dessert along with warm and cold beverages

"This is the one competition where the culinary sections, from around the state, can show their expertise in the area of field kitchen operations," said Erickson

Staff Sgt Dawn Mahon, acting culinary management supervisor for D Company, 134th Brigade Support Battalion, showed her culinary expertise with a meal that evaluator Keith Mackie said was the best he has seen so far in his evaluations D Company, placed second in last year's state competition

"It's a story of the comeback kid," said Mahon "It's a challenge that any Soldier would aspire to, this is where we get to make a difference within our organization," she added

First Cook Sgt Brian Hacken, prepared a Florida Lemon cake garnished with candied lemon rinds He is not only a trained Army cook, but is also a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts Spec Vicki Greene knocked it out of the park with the savory baked chicken Greene used progressive cooking techniques to ensure the Soldiers at the end of the line received the same great quality of chicken as the first in line

The regional competition ends on July 31, 2015 The winners of the regional will move on to the Department of the Army competition The winners will receive $50,000 dollars in kitchen equipment for their armory and the bragging rights of being the best in the nation


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Camp Ripley strikes first before wildfire season

Posted: 2017-03-24  10:19 AM
Controlled burn CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - Every spring Camp Ripley begins its annual controlled burn program to help reduce the risk of wildfire during training.

"Usually the burns are completed every spring before the summer annual training season begins," said Tim Notch, training area coordinator on Camp Ripley. "However, the warmer weather conditions provide a nice opportunity for preventative burns earlier this season."

As in years past Camp Ripley will conduct controlled burns on approximately 13,000 acres of the 53,000-acre military reservation. The burns are done in coordination with the staffs of the Camp Ripley Department of Public Works and the Camp Ripley Environmental Department along with support from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.



Minnesota Guardsman earns recognition through Leads 2 Enlistment program

Posted: 2017-03-23  09:46 AM
Pfc Trevor Nelson DULUTH, Minn. - Pfc. Trevor Nelson received the Minnesota Distinguished Recruiting Ribbon and a Minnesota Recruiting and Retention Battalion medallion for excellence from Command Sgt. Maj. Curtis Serbus, March 18, 2017, at the Duluth Armory. Nelson earned these awards as part of the online referral system, Leads 2 Enlistment for referring four friends who have joined the Minnesota National Guard.

"I talked to some buddies in my school about the Guard. They liked the benefits, so I put their info in the app and let my recruiter take over." said Nelson. "I thought it would be fun to serve with friends and help them figure out their path in life."

Nelson is currently a senior at Cloquet Senior High School and assigned to the Recruit Sustainment Program in Duluth. He attended basic training at Fort Benning in the summer of 2016 with follow-on training in the summer of 2017 to become an infantryman.



Litchfield and Local Veteran Honor Gen. John Vessey at Armory Open House

Posted: 2017-03-10  08:50 AM
Vessey Bust LITCHFIELD, Minn. -Bruce Cottington, a Navy veteran of WWII and Korea, donated a bronze bust of Gen. John W. Vessey, Jr. to the Litchfield National Guard unit during the armory's public open house event March 4. Cottington, a Litchfield resident, commands the Minnesota Chapter of the Veterans of Underage Military Service. VUMS members enlisted in the military prior to the minimum age requirement in order to serve their country during WWII. Cottington received the bust from Vessey, a fellow VUMS member. Both enlisted in the military at the age of 16.

The highlight of the 334th Brigade Engineer Battalion open house was the unveiling of the sculpture. The unit was very supportive when Cottington proposed donating the sculpture. The Litchfield community has always been very supportive of the National Guard over the years, so the open house was a chance to say 'thanks' to their neighbors. "This was a great opportunity to honor Bruce and to honor Gen. Vessey," said B Co., 334th Brigade Engineer Battalion Commander, Capt. Seth Goreham. Bravo Company also has a tight relationship with the local American Legion and VFW. Many Litchfield citizens are former members of Bravo Company, or the unit's predecessors A Co, 682nd Engineer Battalion, and the 849th Mobility Augmentation Company.



Camp Ripley welcomes new command sergeant major

Posted: 2017-03-08  03:29 PM
CSM Erickson CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - The garrison command team of Camp Ripley, family, friends and colleagues from the Minnesota National Guard attended a Change of Responsibility ceremony between Command Sgt. Maj. Mike Worden and Command Sgt. Maj. Matt Erickson, March 5, 2017, at Camp Ripley.

The ceremony was an official "passing of the sword" from one senior noncommissioned officer to the next and assumption of the duties and responsibilities that go along with the position of Garrison Command Sergeant Major.

As with many military ceremonies those in attendance welcomed Erickson as a new member of the team and bid farewell, recognized and thanked Worden for his service.



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