| 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
Camp Ripley strikes first before wildfire season
Posted: 2017-03-24 10:19 AM
CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - Every spring Camp Ripley begins its annual controlled burn program to help reduce the risk of wildfire during training.
"Usually the burns are completed every spring before the summer annual training season begins," said Tim Notch, training area coordinator on Camp Ripley. "However, the warmer weather conditions provide a nice opportunity for preventative burns earlier this season."
As in years past Camp Ripley will conduct controlled burns on approximately 13,000 acres of the 53,000-acre military reservation. The burns are done in coordination with the staffs of the Camp Ripley Department of Public Works and the Camp Ripley Environmental Department along with support from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.
Minnesota Guardsman earns recognition through Leads 2 Enlistment program
Posted: 2017-03-23 09:46 AM
DULUTH, Minn. - Pfc. Trevor Nelson received the Minnesota Distinguished Recruiting Ribbon and a Minnesota Recruiting and Retention Battalion medallion for excellence from Command Sgt. Maj. Curtis Serbus, March 18, 2017, at the Duluth Armory. Nelson earned these awards as part of the online referral system, Leads 2 Enlistment for referring four friends who have joined the Minnesota National Guard.
"I talked to some buddies in my school about the Guard. They liked the benefits, so I put their info in the app and let my recruiter take over." said Nelson. "I thought it would be fun to serve with friends and help them figure out their path in life."
Nelson is currently a senior at Cloquet Senior High School and assigned to the Recruit Sustainment Program in Duluth. He attended basic training at Fort Benning in the summer of 2016 with follow-on training in the summer of 2017 to become an infantryman.
Litchfield and Local Veteran Honor Gen. John Vessey at Armory Open House
Posted: 2017-03-10 08:50 AM
LITCHFIELD, Minn. -Bruce Cottington, a Navy veteran of WWII and Korea, donated a bronze bust of Gen. John W. Vessey, Jr. to the Litchfield National Guard unit during the armory's public open house event March 4. Cottington, a Litchfield resident, commands the Minnesota Chapter of the Veterans of Underage Military Service. VUMS members enlisted in the military prior to the minimum age requirement in order to serve their country during WWII. Cottington received the bust from Vessey, a fellow VUMS member. Both enlisted in the military at the age of 16.
The highlight of the 334th Brigade Engineer Battalion open house was the unveiling of the sculpture. The unit was very supportive when Cottington proposed donating the sculpture. The Litchfield community has always been very supportive of the National Guard over the years, so the open house was a chance to say 'thanks' to their neighbors. "This was a great opportunity to honor Bruce and to honor Gen. Vessey," said B Co., 334th Brigade Engineer Battalion Commander, Capt. Seth Goreham. Bravo Company also has a tight relationship with the local American Legion and VFW. Many Litchfield citizens are former members of Bravo Company, or the unit's predecessors A Co, 682nd Engineer Battalion, and the 849th Mobility Augmentation Company.
Camp Ripley welcomes new command sergeant major
Posted: 2017-03-08 03:29 PM
CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - The garrison command team of Camp Ripley, family, friends and colleagues from the Minnesota National Guard attended a Change of Responsibility ceremony between Command Sgt. Maj. Mike Worden and Command Sgt. Maj. Matt Erickson, March 5, 2017, at Camp Ripley.
The ceremony was an official "passing of the sword" from one senior noncommissioned officer to the next and assumption of the duties and responsibilities that go along with the position of Garrison Command Sergeant Major.
As with many military ceremonies those in attendance welcomed Erickson as a new member of the team and bid farewell, recognized and thanked Worden for his service.