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Minnesota National Guard
Minnesota National Guard Remembers the Holocaust with Jewish Community Relations Council

Holocaust Museum 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."

The U.S. National Holocaust Museum focuses not just on the Holocaust event itself but it also tells the story and recreates the experience of the slow, methodical and systematic process that ultimately led to the concentration camps. The efforts to dehumanize fellow citizens, institute laws that reduced rights and destroyed their livelihoods was not a sudden event. It was a build up to something more ominous.

Spc. Nikita Wilmers of the Minnesota National Guard's 134th Brigade Support Battalion, went in to the trip with a basic understanding of the Holocaust, but was surprised at the information she learned at the museum.

"I thought it was great to learn about the events leading up to the mass killings and what happened and how these little things that people overlooked or didn't do anything about, can turn into something massive," said Wilmers. "It really goes to show you really have to stand up for what's right and moral no matter what. Fear isn't an excuse for what happened and you need do what is right at all times."

"This could have been stopped if somebody would have done that; if some people would have bonded together," Wilmers added. "But it wasn't, and people overlooked it, or they just said 'It's not happening to me. It's fine. It's happening to somebody else', but what happens when it does happen to you? It shouldn't matter who its happening to. You should always do what is right."

"The whole goal of the diversity and inclusion office is to broaden the minds and thoughts and experiences of all our Guardsmen," said Lt. Col. Jeffery Merricks, Commander of the 834th Aviation Support Battalion and the Director of the Minnesota National Guard's Diversity and Inclusion team who led the military contingent.

"We are very proud of our relationship with the Guard; it's wonderful that we had this first opportunity to travel with the Guard and with this diverse group of 160 people, said Hunegs. "I would hope [this partnership] would continue from year to year. It would be fantastic."

April 24, 2017
by Sgt. Brent Ostrowski
34th Red Bull Infantry Division Public Affairs



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Posted: 2017-12-13  10:11 AM
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Posted: 2017-12-12  11:29 AM
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Soldiers of the 34th ECAB, which falls under and supports the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division, will continue to wear the Red Bull insignia on their uniforms. However, they will now be known and referred to as the Red Devils, a name that pays homage to the division's historical accomplishments and fierce warfighting.



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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.



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