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History
Minnesota National Guard
Forging a path to career success

Col. Angela Steward-Randle ST. PAUL, Minn. - Col. Angela Steward-Randle grew up in a military family - her father served in the Army on active duty - but it was a chance encounter with a friend at college that led her to want to make the military a career.

"My story is no different than many others," Steward-Randle, the Director of Human Resources, Manpower and Personnel for the Minnesota National Guard said. "I was in college and looking for financial resources to help pay for it."

Her college friend suggested they attend a summer training with the Reserve Officer Training Corps that had no obligation and could earn them some money. The friend never ended up going, but Steward-Randle did. After earning recognition as the top honor graduate and receiving an offer of a scholarship, she was hooked.

Steward-Randle is now nearing the end of a 30-year military career as one of the most senior African American women in the history of the Minnesota National Guard. It's a career she's found rewarding, not because of the rank she's achieved, but because of the people she's been able to impact along the way.

Steward-Randle's accomplishments show how hard work, determination and commitment can help service members be successful in their military careers.

Early on, Steward-Randle wanted to make sure she was judged on her merit rather than her differences. She worked hard so that she wouldn't be seen by others in the organization as an anchor.

"When I came on, I didn't want to be seen as a female, because I'm a soldier, and then that separates me from my male counterparts," Steward-Randle said. "I didn't want to have that be a reason why they treated me differently. I tried hard to make sure that I met all the standards so if I was denied something it was because the organization didn't see fit for me to do it, not because I was deficient in any area."

Throughout her career, Steward-Randle served in key positions such as equal opportunity advisor, inspector general, sexual harassment and assault response coordinator, diversity and inclusion officer and suicide intervention officer. Many of these assignments involved working closely with, and helping, her fellow service members. With a degree in psychology and a personality that draws people in, she found fulfillment in jobs that made her feel like she was adding value to the organization.

"[The opportunities I've had] took shape around me, for me, or based on the need of the organization," Steward-Randle said. "Inherent traits and abilities that I have that worked well with those positions and the organization saw that's what they needed, so those were the ones that cultivated for me."

Now she is in a position to impact the careers of other soldiers. As a senior officer, Steward-Randle works to mentor others - especially females and minorities - to help them progress in the organization. In her position as director of human resources, Steward-Randle blends her commitment to the organization with her drive to help others to ensure talented people find meaningful career paths.

"What makes Col. Steward-Randle successful is that she knows the needs of the Minnesota National Guard and the goals of individual soldiers and airmen and is a master at marrying the two," Lt. Col. Cheryl Wachenheim, 34th Infantry Division Public Affairs Officer said.

In the time she's been in the organization, Steward-Randle has seen a shift in how service members are valued. An emphasis has been placed on recruiting and retaining diverse individuals, but at the end of the day selecting the most qualified person for the job.

"We put more focus on the talent that we have," Steward-Randle said. "It's not whether you're male or female or black or white, it's the talent that the person has and what they can bring to the table, regardless of who they are. I think we've changed from that when I came in a long time ago. It starts from the leadership understanding that the community and the world is changing and we need to change with it if we're going to continue to be a viable force."

Three decades later, the college student who couldn't picture herself in the military, is now having a hard time picturing herself outside the military. As she transitions to a new career in the civilian world, Steward-Randle says her biggest challenge is finding an organization to work for outside of the military where she feels like she's contributing to something as meaningful as her time in the military.

March 16, 2018
by Master Sgt. Blair Heusdens
Minnesota National Guard Public Affairs



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Month of the Military Child recognizes contributions of military kids

Posted: 2018-04-07  01:54 PM
Minnesota National Guard FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 7, 2018

ST. PAUL, Minn.- The month of April is designated as the Month of the Military Child to recognize the contributions and sacrifices military children make so their family members can serve. An estimated 15,000 children in Minnesota have been affected by the deployment of a parent.

"Military children bear a lot while their family members serve," said Maj. Gen. Jon Jensen, Adjutant General of the Minnesota National Guard. "It is up to us to support these resilient kids and help to lessen their burden."

An event to honor military kids in Minnesota will take place April 13, 2018, at the Mall of America rotunda from 2:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Activities will include appearances by the Teddy Bear Band and meet and greets with Nickelodeon characters.



Forging a path to career success

Posted: 2018-03-16  08:45 AM
Col. Angela Steward-Randle ST. PAUL, Minn. - Col. Angela Steward-Randle grew up in a military family - her father served in the Army on active duty - but it was a chance encounter with a friend at college that led her to want to make the military a career.

"My story is no different than many others," Steward-Randle, the Director of Human Resources, Manpower and Personnel for the Minnesota National Guard said. "I was in college and looking for financial resources to help pay for it."

Her college friend suggested they attend a summer training with the Reserve Officer Training Corps that had no obligation and could earn them some money. The friend never ended up going, but Steward-Randle did. After earning recognition as the top honor graduate and receiving an offer of a scholarship, she was hooked.



Minnesota Guardsman Receives Award for Combating Drugs in his Community

Posted: 2018-03-09  03:13 PM
Counterdrug WOODBURY, Minn. - Staff Sgt. Benjamin Kroll, an analyst with the Minnesota National Guard's Counterdrug Task Force who is assigned to work with the Hennepin County Sherriff's Office was recognized for his achievements as the Analyst of the Year during the 2018 Minnesota Association of Crime and Intelligence Analysts Training Symposium in Woodbury, Minnesota, March 7, 2018.

Through a partnership with Minnesota law enforcement agencies throughout the state, the Minnesota National Guard Counterdrug Task Force (MNCDTF) supports the anti-drug initiatives to counter all primary drug threats and vulnerabilities through the effective application of available assets, said Maj. Jon Dotterer, Counterdrug Coordinator for the State of Minnesota. The goal for the program is to support federal, state, tribal, and local agencies in the detection, disruption, interdiction, and curtailment of illicit drugs.

Kroll is one of sixteen service members on the Counterdrug Task Force that provides this force-multiplying service to our communities against illicit drug-use. With the information that law enforcement provide through their patrols and daily operations, Kroll and his colleagues across the state assist by putting together a figurative picture with all of the gathered information which aids in identifying how to move forward with legal action to deter or prevent the sale or use of illegal narcotic drugs.



Women Opened Doors in Minnesota National Guard

Posted: 2018-03-08  09:05 AM
Minnesota National Guard ST. PAUL, Minn. - "The battlefront is no place for women to be," said Command Sgt. Maj. Earl Kurtzweg, 125th Field Artillery, in an article published in 1976. "There are certain jobs girls say they can do, but they just can't do ... the battlefront is no place for women to be. Other countries in the world use women in combat, but the U.S. has not come around to that way of thinking." Kathy Berg, a New Ulm reporter summarized at the time. "So women in the New Ulm unit take care of personnel files and pay records and leave the fighting to the men."

The Minnesota National Guard has "come around to that way of thinking" since those early days of gender integration. In the last 44 years women have made momentous strides toward inclusion and acceptance. Their accomplishments are testimony to their fortitude and the progressive development of the Minnesota National Guard.

When an accomplished female Soldier is credited with breaking barriers she will often pass that honor to the women that preceded her. Brig. Gen. Johanna Clyborne is such a leader. She acknowledges that she is one of the first females in the Minnesota National Guard who has held key leadership roles, however she sees it differently. "I feel responsible for all women in uniform," said Clyborne. "Women before me opened the door, now I've cleared the room. It's up to the women behind me to hold the room."



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