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Minnesota National Guard
Commanders prepare for daunting desert challenge

NTC FORT IRWIN, Calif. - More than 40 of the company commanders that comprise the eight battalions under the 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division, joined brigade and battalion staff for the Leadership Training Program at the National Training Center in Fort Irwin, California, from Feb. 16 to Feb. 23, 2016.

For six of the eight days of LTP, company commanders are coached on all of the essential tasks they will need to excel at in order to effectively lead their companies during their National Training Center rotation in June.

"Our program is based on some of the most important things they will do here," said Mike Pemrick, senior company commander coach. "There are lots of lessons learned from previous rotations - this will help them in the way they perform."

Topics covered in classroom training, seminars, reconnaissance and practical exercises include sustainment, breaching, establishing an assembly area, direct fire planning, obstacle integration and operation orders, to name a few. The lessons, based off of Army doctrine, are integrated with the actual problem sets they will see during their rotation.

"It's like drinking through a firehose," said Capt. Justin Windschitl, commander of Alpha Battery, 1st Battalion, 125th Field Artillery. "And we're trying to figure out the details like how do we do casualty evacuations with only two litter vehicles that are full of supplies, and how to get resupply."

Included in the program were at least two tours of "The Box," the term used for the massive, desert training area the brigade will operate in during their rotation. During the tour, company commanders experience firsthand the difficulties the unforgiving landscape will present while going toe-to-toe with a modern opposition force.

"You figure the enemy gets the home field advantage," said Eric Vaught, battery commander coach. "The recons give a good idea of what the terrain is like, what the routes are going to be like."

For brigade Soldiers here, the reality and enormity of their rotation has begun to sink in. Following the LTP, only six complete training days remain to impart their new-found knowledge on their leaders, peers and subordinates back in Minnesota.

"This environment is unforgiving," said Col. Robert Intress, 1/34th ABCT commander. "NTC is a test of character, it's how you do you deal with adversity and embrace the experience as a world-class training opportunity."

February 25, 2016
by Staff Sgt. Patrick Loch
1st Armored Brigade Combat Team 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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