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The inheritance of over 70 years of deployments, challenges and achievements resonated in the several events executed by the men and women of the battalion.
"The trials this unit lived through since its creation are inspirational for all of us ... no matter what you are doing," said Capt. Joe Howe, commander of Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Combined Arms Battalion, 194th Armor Regiment.
The battalion's lineage traces back to the Brainerd-based 34th Tank Company of the Minnesota National Guard which on Feb. 10, 1941, was federalized under the command of Maj. Ernest B. Miller. The Minnesotans joined other National Guard tank companies and combined to form the 194th Tank Battalion before being deployed to the Philippines in the fall of that same year. When the Japanese attacked in early December, the battalion fought bravely throughout the Battle of Bataan and the defense of Manila Bay, inevitably enduring the disreputable Bataan Death March following the surrender of Allied forces.
It was these events that inspired the battalion motto: "Remember Bataan ... Never Forget!"
During their August drill weekend the battalion welcomed a new commander, Lt. Col. Tadd Vanyo, and thanked Lt. Col. Joshua Simer for his dedicated service to the Battalion, 34th Infantry Division and the Minnesota National Guard. As part of his speech to the soldiers, families and guests in attendance, Simer referred to the situation of then Brig. Gen. Charles D.W. Canham, assistant division commander, 8th Infantry Division, during World War II.
"Brig. Gen. Canham received the German surrender from an officer annoyed at the prospect of surrendering to an officer of lower rank," said Simer. "He asks, 'I am to surrender to you. Let me see your credentials.' An unruffled Canham motioned behind to the several battle-hardened American GIs, and replied, 'These are my credentials,'" Simer related that story to the successful standings of his own soldiers.
Following the change of command ceremony, the battalion organized and conducted the 19th Annual Bataan Memorial March, regimental reunion and unit formal dining out.
"We had another great turnout at the Bataan Memorial March this year," said Sgt. 1st Class Nathan Porisch. "It was an honor to host over 300 participants with many more family, friends and supporters, including Bataan survivor Mr. Walt Straka."
Remember Bataan... Never forget!
August 17, 2016 by Staff Sgt. Anthony Housey
Camp Ripley Public Affairs
Posted: 2017-04-28 12:38 PM MANKATO, Minn. - Commissioned leaders of the Minnesota National Guard convened for the 112th General Conference of the National Guard Association of Minnesota at the Verizon Wireless Center and Hilton Garden Inn, Mankato, on April 22, 2017.
The annual gathering of association members - who serve as advocates for the needs of Soldiers, Airmen and their families - includes a business meeting, commanders march, formal dining event and transfer of responsibility to the chapter's new president.
The day's event began with a business meeting, which focused on the association's mission of educating and informing legislators on the issues facing the current and future role of the National Guard in serving Minnesota communities. The strategic planning meeting was attended by Minnesota National Guard Adjutant General Maj. Gen. Richard Nash, his staff and unit commanders.
Posted: 2017-04-26 02:09 PM CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - The Department of Defense announced that Camp Ripley was selected as the winner of the Secretary of Defense Environmental Award for Natural Resources Conservation, Large Installation.
The awards recognize individuals, teams and installations for their exceptional environmental achievements and innovative, cost-effective environmental practices.
"The winners' efforts strengthen the Department of Defense's position as a resourceful environmental steward, both at home and abroad, and demonstrate our continued commitment to fulfilling mission needs through advanced environmental practices and technologies," stated James A. MacStravic, performing the duties of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics.
Posted: 2017-04-26 10:57 AM COTTAGE GROVE, Minn. - Staff Sgt. Nicquie Neely has been working with victims of sexual assault for four years in the Minnesota National Guard and also volunteers as a victim advocate in the community. As a victim advocate, it's her job to believe and support victims through a difficult process that can often involve extensive medical care and legal proceedings.
"Ever since I joined the Guard and heard about the SHARP program and learned what a victim advocate was, I always wanted to be one," said Neely. "And then I learned that you had to be an E-6 to be in that position, so the minute I got promoted I asked my commander if I could go to the training."
Neely is a combat medic and the full-time training and administration NCO with Company C, 134th Brigade Support Battalion. In addition to military victim advocate training, Neely also attends regular training with the civilian organization she volunteers for - SOS Sexual Violence Services in Ramsey County.
Posted: 2017-04-24 10:43 AM Washington - Members of the Minnesota National Guard and the Air Force Reserve traveled to Washington D.C. with the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas (also known as the JCRC), to visit the Holocaust Museum, April 4, 2017, to honor the victims of the Holocaust. Also, traveling with this group were St. Paul and Minneapolis police officers along with students from various high schools around the state. For those in uniform that day, it was an opportunity to see, hear and experience the stories of victims and survivors of the Holocaust.
Each Service member who attended was asked to bring back a summary of their experience in the form of a presentation, professional discussion or briefing to their respective unit in order to help other Guard members better understand and remember that horrible event, to honor the courage of the victims and survivors, and to remain vigilant as members of the U.S. military.
"The honor and privilege of accompanying members of the Minnesota National Guard to the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. met so many goals," said Steve Hunegs, the executive director of the JCRC. "I wanted to reinforce the importance of the commitment of the U.S. military to democracy. After all, it was the Allies that defeated Nazi Germany and ultimately put an end to the Holocaust."