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Minnesota National Guard
Minnesota National Guard to Promote First Female General

Minnesota National Guard FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 23, 2016

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn.- Air Force Col. Sandra L. Best will be promoted to the rank of Brigadier General during a pinning ceremony, Feb. 25 in Minneapolis. Best is the first woman to achieve the rank of Brigadier General in the Minnesota National Guard.

"I congratulate Colonel Sandra L. Best for her well-deserved promotion to the rank of Brigadier General," said Governor Mark Dayton. "Colonel Best has proven her deep commitment to our state and country through her many years of dedicated service in the Minnesota National Guard. Her accomplishments as a leader in our Armed Forces should be celebrated by all Minnesotans."

Originally from North East Minneapolis, Best joined the 133rd Airlift Wing, Minnesota Air National Guard in 1984, as a Personnel Specialist and progressed through the enlisted ranks to Technical Sergeant. She was commissioned in 1991 through the Academy of Military Science at McGhee Tyson Air National Guard Base, Tennessee. Best has deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in 2008.

Best received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Human Resources Management from Metropolitan State University followed by a Masters of Business Administration in Human Resource Management at the University of St. Thomas in 2000. She is a graduate of the Air Command and Staff College, and Air War College. She was a Policy Fellow at the University of Minnesota's Humphrey School of Public Affairs. In 2015 she attended the Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Leadership in Homeland Security Program.

"For more than 30 years, Air Colonel Sandra Best has served our country with distinction in a variety of senior leadership roles, including a tour of duty in Afghanistan with the 101st Airborne Division," said Lt. Governor Tina Smith. "I am confident that as a Brigadier General, she will continue to be a great asset to the Minnesota National Guard and our state."

Brig. Gen. Best will serve as the Chief of Staff, Minnesota Air National Guard, responsible for command supervision, oversight and leadership of the 133rd Airlift Wing and 148th Fighter Wing to include all items pertaining to manning, operations, readiness, training and equipping of units in the Minnesota Air National Guard.

"Col. Best is an extraordinary leader in the Minnesota National Guard, she excels at bringing groups together and communicating the priorities of our organization to our government and community partners," said Minnesota National Guard Adjutant General, Maj. Gen. Richard C. Nash. "Best's talent and skills make her an incredible asset to not only our organization, but to the community as a whole."

For more information on the Minnesota National Guard, visit www.MinnesotaNationalGuard.org.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Minnesota National Guard Public Affairs at mn.ng.web@mail.mil or call 651-282-4410.





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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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