| 1-34th BCT surpasses $15 million in reenlistment bonuses
CAMP ADDER, Iraq " A Minnesota Army National Guard unit surpassed $15 million in reenlistment bonuses awarded to Soldiers in the unit who have extended their military obligations since deploying here less than a year ago
More than 1,100 Soldiers in the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division have reenlisted since the unit arrived in Iraq last April, some of them even taking the oath within a few days of reaching their stopover in Kuwait the month before, said Sgt 1st Class John McCann, 1/34th's brigade retention noncommissioned officer
"It's awesome because it shows that we still have people who want to stay in the National Guard even though we got extended and we're in the middle of a war," said McCann "It's pretty patriotic"
Soldiers who reenlist while in a deployed area receive tax-free bonuses of varying amounts, depending on how many years they commit to, said McCann Those who reenlisted for three years were awarded $7,500, while six-year commitments garnered $15,000, he said In addition, the state of Minnesota gave Soldiers who reside there and have between six to 12 years of service an extra $3,000 or $5,000 for extending their enlistment by three or six years, respectively, said McCann
Despite reaching the $15 million milestone, McCann said he believed the majority of Soldiers who made the choice to extend their military service did not do so for financial reasons
"It means they believe in service to their country," said McCann "They understand the money is out there, but they keep reenlisting because they really enjoy doing what they do This is what they joined for"
The $15 million mark was surpassed when, during the week of Feb 19, five Soldiers reenlisted in five days: Spcs Dustin Hunter and Tyler Klotz, 259th Forward Support Company; Spc Travis Miens and Sgt Greta Weiss, 1/34th Brigade Support Battalion; and Sgt Sao Xiong, 1st Battalion, 125th Field Artillery
The 1,100 reenlistees committed a total of more than 4,700 years of additional military service, which is an average of about four years per Soldier, McCann said
March 5, 2007
By Spc Dustin Perry
1/34th BCT Public Affairs
Officers convene for 112th Meeting of the National Guard Association of Minnesota
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.
Camp Ripley earns top environmental award
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.
Minnesota Guardsman finds work with victims in the military and the local community rewarding
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.
Minnesota National Guard Remembers the Holocaust with Jewish Community Relations Council
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."