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Minnesota National Guard
1,000 attend Dent Soldiers Funeral Saturday

The sentries stood unmoving at either end of the flag-covered casket at the foot of the altar, their black-beret heads bowed and white-gloved hands folded left over right in front of them Each wore the blue cord of the infantry on the right shoulder of their green dress uniforms

Nearly 1,000 mourners filed quietly into the gymnasium-turned-chapel at Pelican Rapids High School Saturday morning to attend the funeral service for Staff Sgt Joshua R Hanson, killed in action by an Improvised Explosive Device near Ramadi, Iraq 10 days before He was 27 years old

A resident of rural Dent, he had joined the National Guard at 17, during his junior year at Pelican Rapids High School He graduated in 1998, and in 2005, graduated from Minnesota State University, Moorhead, with a criminal justice degree His goal was to become a deputy sheriff for Otter Tail County He served with the 2nd Combined Arms Battalion, 136th Infantry in Bosnia and Iraq

Among the Soldiers were men in Navy dress black and white, and Air Force blue The VFW and American Legion color guard were there in white ribboned blouses, and outside, more than a hundred members of the Patriot Guard Riders lined the sidewalks, each bearing the nation's colors

Near the altar, two large portraits of the Hanson stood on easels, and to the left, his camouflaged helmet sat atop the butt of his upturned rifle

Josh's family and friends filed in, taking their seats in the front row to the right, while Gov Tim Pawlenty, Maj. Gen. Rick Erlandson, commander of the 34th Infantry Division, and Maj. Gen. Larry Shellito, adjutant general for the state of Minnesota, all sat on the left

The flag was withdrawn from the coffin and folded in the formally slow manner of the military It would be presented later to the family

The Catholic service was simple and reverent, interspersed with guitar and choir music Scripture was quoted by some, and memories of Joshua shared by others Bishop John Kinney led the service with the Revs Arlie Sowada and Richard Walz

Lt. Col. Timothy Peterson of the 34th Infantry Division announced President Bush had awarded Hanson the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star, and the Secretary of the Army had awarded him the Good Conduct Medal, the Operation Iraqi Freedom campaign medal and the Global War on Terrorism medal Afterwards, Hanson's mother was presented the gold star banner, signifying the family's sacrifice

Catholic communion was held, and the two-hour service ended shortly thereafter when, with military precision, Minnesota National Guard Soldiers bore the casket slowly to the white hearse outside as the family and friends followed behind

The Soldier was laid to rest at Ringsaker Cemetery in Pelican Rapids

By Matt Bewley, Fergus Falls Daily Journal
Source: www.fergusfallsjournal.com

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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.

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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
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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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