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Minnesota National Guard
Beyond the Yellow Ribbon, beyond Minnesota

There's more reward than risk in the Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program Act that Rep John Kline introduced in the US House on Tuesday But there is some risk

The reward: If it passes Congress, National Guard Soldiers returning from war zones will get the benefit of a smart, practical, on-point Minnesota effort to help them reintegrate in their communities The Minnesota National Guard leaders - among them Major Gen Larry Shellito and Chaplain (Maj) John Morris - who created the program here will see their tireless work on behalf of Soldiers, families and communities echo nationwide The investment will pay off for generations

Our current wars are different from others, in that they rely so heavily on National Guard and reserve Soldiers to supplement those who were on active duty Hundreds of thousands of National Guard Soldiers have been called to war zones in Iraq and Afghanistan Many have had long and/or multiple deployments They have essentially left civilian life one day, deployed to war, and then returned to civilian life suddenly when their deployments are over Many are older and perhaps more thoroughly enmeshed in their civilian communities than Soldiers in earlier wars Because they return so abruptly to civilian life, Guard and reserve Soldiers don't have access to the same decompression apparatus that active-duty Soldiers have, nor the wider group of peers who understand their experience because they've lived it They go from dodging bullets and improvised explosive devices one week to waiting at red lights the next

For the overwhelming majority of American citizens who have no personal experience whatsoever with the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, this transition is difficult to even imagine Most Soldiers make the transition well - but that doesn't mean it's not difficult, nor that we shouldn't apply what we've learned about helping them through the transition It takes time, and community involvement

The program Kline's bill provides for is based on the successful "Beyond the Yellow Ribbon" reintegration effort in Minnesota and draws from similar efforts elsewhere It would, among other things:

Establish an Office for Reintegration Programs at the National Guard Bureau that would coordinate with state Guard organizations to help Soldiers, their families and communities

Provide for a clearinghouse to collect, analyze and share lessons learned from around the country

Provide information and layers of support for Soldiers, their families and communities through the four phases of the deployment cycle: pre-deployment, deployment, demobilization, post-deployment All US House members from Minnesota have signed on as co-sponsors

Rep Keith Ellison, for example, said he was "very grateful to - and supportive of - our returning National Guard veterans We should support their return to our communities This bill brings yet another common-sense Minnesota solution to an American challenge"

We agree, and we're grateful to Kline for raising the profile - and deepening the support - of Minnesotans' effort to bring lessons learned and whole communities to bear on the successful reintegration of Soldiers We also believe it's important to account fully for the price of war, and this program helps

Which brings us to the risk we cited above Because so few Americans have personal connections to these wars, it's easy to imagine that dealing with their effects is somebody else's job Creation of a more formal, federally funded and organized reintegration program could create the illusion that government has all the bases covered

It doesn't

As Chaplain Morris reminds us often, it take whole communities - friends, families, congregations, employers, civic organizations and more - to get the job done right

Pioneer Press
May 1, 2005
Source: http://www.twincities.com



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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.



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.



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