/*********************************************** * Chrome CSS Drop Down Menu- (c) Dynamic Drive DHTML code library (www.dynamicdrive.com) * This notice MUST stay intact for legal use * Visit Dynamic Drive at http://www.dynamicdrive.com/ for full source code ***********************************************/
History
Minnesota National Guard
Litchfield and Local Veteran Honor Gen. John Vessey at Armory Open House

Vessey Bust 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.

Cottington is a well-known supporter of veteran's organizations and Bravo Company. "Bruce has a very good relationship with our full-timer, Sgt. 1st Class McCann, and is constantly pushing for recognition and benefits for veterans of all branches, but specifically the Minnesota Army National Guard" said Goreham. Cottington is also very proud of the 34th Infantry Division and his brother Keith who was a Red Bull in WWII, serving alongside Vessey.

Cottington was a Navy Radioman 3rd Class in WWII where he served with the 4th Marine Division at Camp Pendleton, California and also volunteered for service in Korea.

Veterans of Underage Military Service represents all branches of the US military. There are an estimated 2,500 "VUMS" still living in the US. The organization's mission is to protect VUMS rights, enjoy their camaraderie, and preserve their history.

Cottington enjoys telling the story about Vessey addressing a military audience. Vessey asked all the enlisted members to stand up and to the officers he said "Gentlemen, here is my Army." "I thought that was fantastic," said Cottington, "There was a real man. He really got respect from the troops."

Vessey received a battlefield commission during the Battle of Anzio while serving in the 34th Infantry Division in World War II. He also served during the Korean and Vietnam Wars. In 1982, President Ronald Reagan appointed him Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He was the last four star general who was also a combat veteran of World War II on active service. When he retired in 1985 at the age of 63, Vessey was the longest-serving active duty member in the United States Army. He was laid to rest Sept. 1, 2016 near Camp Ripley next to his wife Avis.

The late Roger Brodin, of Brodin Studios, Kimball, Minn. created the GEN Vessey bust based on life studies of Vessey. Cottington and a 682nd Engineer Battalion family modeled for a Brodin sculpture installed at Fort Hood, Texas. Brodin Studios is currently working on a Red Bull Memorial statue for the planned Freedom Walk of America in Rosemount, Minnesota.

March 10, 2017
by Master Sgt. Daniel Ewer
Minnesota National Guard Public Affairs


Further reading:

Serving his country at 16
http://www.crowrivermedia.com/independentreview/news/community/serving-his-country-at/article_35ca46a7-3b0b-56f3-80a6-83aee6c8ca04.html

Large military statue to be erected at Fort Hood has local ties
http://www.srperspective.com/2013/07/large-military-statue-to-be-erected-at-fort-hood-has-local-ties/

Cast in bronze: Minnesota residents serve as models for statues honoring veterans
http://www.dglobe.com/news/3897837-cast-bronze-minnesota-residents-serve-models-statues-honoring-veterans

Cottington named Legionnaire of the Year
http://www.crowrivermedia.com/cottington-named-legionnaire-of-the-year/article_f0b75c3c-b0be-5f92-be54-b0d1f8609107.html

'I'm proud of all of you veterans'
http://www.crowrivermedia.com/independentreview/news/i-m-proud-of-all-of-you-veterans/article_6f63b11a-7cce-5d00-9e9e-70b765bb24ef.html




Download best photos





Articles archive

In The News archive

Media Advisory archive

Latest News

Governor Mark Dayton installs new Minnesota National Guard Adjutant General

Posted: 2017-11-04  04:16 PM
TAG installation ST. PAUL, Minn. - Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton administered the oath of office to Maj. Gen. Jon A. Jensen, installing him as the Minnesota National Guard's 31st Adjutant General during a ceremony in St. Paul, November 4, 2017.

"General Jensen has been a tremendous leader of the Minnesota National Guard throughout his years of dedicated service," said Governor Dayton. "He has served in two top leadership positions, as the Commanding General of the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division, and also as the Chief of Staff at the Guard's Joint Force Headquarters. I am confident that he will continue to provide the same outstanding leadership as his predecessor, General Rick Nash."

Jensen most recently served as the Commanding General of the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division. He previously held positions as Deputy Commanding General, United States Army Africa and Southern European Task Force, Minnesota National Guard Director of the Joint Staff and Minnesota National Guard Assistant Adjutant General - Army.



Guard Heritage Suffers with Loss of Artillery Unit

Posted: 2017-10-04  11:22 AM
ETAB ANOKA, Minn. - The Minnesota National Guard lost one of its most historically significant units when the 151st Artillery's E Battery, (Target Acquisition) cased its colors in a ceremony at the Anoka High School Aug. 19, 2017.

The Target Acquisition Battery (ETAB), 151st Field Artillery is one of the oldest and most decorated units in the Minnesota National Guard and the 34th Infantry Division. "Both Minnesota and the Division lose the proud lineage that goes back to Civil War days, through WW1 and WW2, and had a significant amount of battle streamers," said 151st Field Artillery Battalion Commander, Lt. Col. Patrick Cornwell.

The 151st Field Artillery draws its lineage from the 1st Regiment, Minnesota Heavy Artillery of 1864 which fought two major campaigns in Tennessee during the Civil War.



In one month: Minnesota Guardsmen support Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria

Posted: 2017-09-29  02:25 PM
Minnesota National Guard ST. PAUL, Minn. - In the span of a few weeks, three major hurricanes hit different parts of the southern United States, causing widespread damage and destruction and requiring the response of agencies around the country. The Minnesota National Guard is one of the many organizations that have responded, sending Soldiers and Airmen to Texas, Florida, the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

"This is the most gratifying deployment of my career," said Capt. Jeremy Maxey with the 133rd Airlift Wing who was called back from his vacation early to go to the Virgin Islands. "It means a lot to be able to actually directly help people. It's why I serve. Throughout my career I've deployed numerous times, but this is the one where you actually see the people you serve."

The start of the month brought the first request for assistance. On Sept. 1, two CH-47 Chinook helicopters and 11 personnel from the St. Cloud-based B Company, 2nd General Support Aviation Battalion, 211th Aviation Regiment left for Texas following Hurricane Harvey to transport personnel and equipment in support of response efforts.



Finding fellowship in the sacred mission

Posted: 2017-09-26  12:02 PM
Minnesota National Guard CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - One of the most difficult, most sacred, honorable duties in the military is one that people don't often think about. It takes compassion, empathy, care, and requires great resilience. It is one that when called upon to train for, they hope to rarely perform because it means another Soldier has been lost. It is the duty of casualty notification officer and casualty assistance officer.

About 45 Minnesota Army National Guard Soldiers came to Camp Ripley, Minnesota, on September 21-22, 2017, for a Reset Seminar to find fellowship in one specific thing they have in common: delivering the worst news in the Army.

When a Soldier dies at home or overseas, CNOs and CAOs must notify and help families through the process, including paperwork, benefits, and funeral arrangements.



Article archive
 
top