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Minnesota National Guard
Minnesota Guardsmen receive engaging presentation on sexual assault, culture change

Russel Strand ST. PAUL, Minn. - Russel W. Strand spoke to more than 400, full-time Minnesota National Guard Soldiers and Airmen about the prevalence of sexual assault in the military and throughout the nation - and how to foster a new culture that blames the perpetrator, not the victim - during a two-hour, engaging presentation at the 133rd Airlift Wing's dining facility, Nov. 4, 2015.

"We were extremely fortunate to have Mr. Strand talk to our Soldiers and Airmen on culture change and sexual assault," said Chief Warrant Officer Jennifer Diaz, Minnesota Army Guard Sexual Assault Response Coordinator. "He is the forefront leader and subject matter expert on this topic. His energetic approach I feel was well received by all and brings a different perspective to the issues we face trying to combat this crime."

Sexual assault and harassment in the military has been a silent problem for many years, said Diaz, but in recent years leaders in all branches have taken greater strides in combatting it. Strand's no-nonsense approach to the subject made a different impact than the regular military briefings and computer-based training many of the Guardsmen have gone through before.

"I found the Russell Strand presentation to be extremely impactful," said Maj. Ann Todd, Minnesota Air National Guard Sexual Assault Response Coordinator. "The point that stood out the most for me is the incredible impact we can each individually have on the culture and climate of our unit, especially when it comes to the prevention of sexual assault. We are all leaders and we all need to step up and stand up for our fellow Wingmen. It takes a village."

Strand used shocking videos, statistics and emotional personal experiences intended to make the audience uncomfortable - an attention-grabbing tactic to relay the message that sexual assault and harassment in the military is a problem and everyone's business.

"His message of creating a culture change and supporting the victims needs to be implemented at every level. His idea that this needs to be leader-led and peer-driven really puts the responsibility on all of us to do the right thing," said Diaz. "There will be no change in this area if we continue to ignore the "small" things on a daily basis. That change starts with us standing up and stopping comments or stopping actions when we see it.

"Our senior leaders haven given wonderful support to the Minnesota National Guard SAPR program and our victims, now it is time for us, as peers, to step up and continue that change. Mr. Strand is truly inspirational and my goal is that our Soldiers and Airmen will really think about what they heard, take it to heart and put it into action to make a better and safer environment for those around them," said Diaz.

Strand is the current chief of the U.S. Army Military Police School Behavioral Sciences Education and Training Division, with specialized expertise, experience and training in the area of domestic violence intervention, critical incident peer support and sexual assault. He has established, developed, produced and conducted U.S. Army sexual assault investigations, domestic violence intervention training, sexual assault investigations and child abuse prevention. Strand has also assisted in the development and implementation of Department of Defense training standards, programs of instruction and lesson plans for Sexual Assault Response Coordinators, victim advocates, chaplains, criminal investigators, first responders, commanders and health professionals.

November 7, 2015
by Tech Sgt. Lynette Olivares
133rd Airlift 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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