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Minnesota National Guard
Soldiers pledge allegiance to adopted country

In a naturalization ceremony at Camp Arifjan in Kuwait, on Thursday, 31 Soldiers took the oath of citizenship It's an increasingly common occurrence, but no less exciting for the Soldiers who become US citizens
"Do I feel different? I'm not sure, but I feel happy, I'm grateful," said Spc Alkali Yaffa, 32, a native of Gambia who has been in the Minnesota National Guard since January 2004

Since a presidential executive order took effect in July 2002, more than 20,000 service members have become US citizens And since Oct 1, 2004, when naturalization interviews and ceremonies were authorized to take place overseas for service members, more than 1,000 have taken the oath outside the US Yaffa moved to New York City in 1997 and a year later joined City in 1997 and a year later joined relatives in St Paul

He's been in Iraq for six months, a member of Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 34th Brigade Combat Team, and after his citizenship ceremony, he took off for two weeks' leave to see his family

"I'm going to celebrate with my wife and my kids," he told Army Times via telephone "I called them after the ceremony and they were all happy and glad," said Yaffa, whose family are all US citizens

His tour in the war zone, he said, is a natural part of being a Soldier, with or without citizenship, even though the prospect of dying for his adopted country without it sometimes crossed his mind "All along I got the support I needed from my command I never felt different, nobody has ever treated me differently," he said "I believe in the cause and I believe I should play my part to keep my wife and kids safe"

By Gina Cavallarom, Army Times
Source: http://www.armytimes.com/story.php?f=1-292925-2075118.php



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Securing the Bold North: Minnesota National Guard supports Super Bowl LII

Posted: 2018-02-02  10:45 PM
Super Bowl 52 MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. - More than 400 Minnesota National Guardsmen are supporting security efforts in Minneapolis ahead of Super Bowl 52.

"This is what we do," said Maj. Gen. Jon Jensen, Adjutant General of the Minnesota National Guard. "When the local community can't meet the public safety needs, they come to the Guard. We're their normal partner, we're a natural partner, and we're their preferred partner when it comes to filling in the gaps that they can't fill."

At the request of the city, Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton authorized the Minnesota National Guard to provide support to security efforts leading up to and during Super Bowl 52. The Guardsmen are providing direct support to and working alongside law enforcement officers from across the state. Like their civilian law enforcement partners, Minnesota Guardsmen are focused on ensuring a safe experience for the residents and visitors who are attending the Super Bowl festivities.



100 Years Ago, Camp Cody's "Grand Old Man" formed 34th Infantry Division

Posted: 2018-01-18  12:59 PM
Gen. Augustus Blocksom Decorated veteran Augustus Blocksom was a man of his time, but times were changing. He exemplified Progressive Era America prior to the Great War. Blocksom participated in all the major US Army campaigns for nearly a half-century. He fought American Indians, Spaniards, Chinese and Filipinos. He brought that experience to Camp Cody, New Mexico where he assembled units from across the mid-West to form the 34th Infantry Division in 1917.



Iowa Red Bull takes command of 34th Infantry Division

Posted: 2017-12-13  10:11 AM
Minnesota National Guard JOHNSTON, Iowa - Brig. Gen. Benjamin J. Corell, Deputy Adjutant General of the Iowa National Guard, assumed command of the 34th Infantry Division "Red Bulls" during a ceremony in Rosemount, Minnesota, on December 9, 2017.

Headquartered in Minnesota, the division has been commanded almost-exclusively by members of the Minnesota National Guard since 1968.

"Typically there's been very few people who have been allowed to command the 34th Infantry Division that didn't come from the state of Minnesota," Corell said.



Minnesota-based aviation unit honors storied division, enters into new, 'expeditionary' era

Posted: 2017-12-12  11:29 AM
Minnesota National Guard ST. PAUL, Minn. - Soldiers of the Minnesota National Guard's 34th Expeditionary Combat Aviation Brigade (ECAB), who recently celebrated a year full of achievements, have embraced a new name: Red Devils.

The St. Paul-based unit hosted its annual aviation brigade ball Dec. 9, at the Envision Event Center in Oakdale, Minnesota, where the unit's new logo was unveiled.

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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