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Minnesota National Guard
Fellow Soldiers Respect Woman Who Can Do Job

In the theater of war that is the Middle East, Spc Brandy Christian believes so strongly in a woman's right to participate that she made a suggestion to her fellow Minnesota National Guard members

"I was attached to a field artillery unit in the rear, and I wanted an all-female gun," the 22-year-old Pipestone, Minn, native said by e-mail from Iraq, talking about a female crew loading and firing a howitzer "Obviously, I was laughed at"

But it's a serious matter for this young Soldier If a woman wants to and can complete the same training as men, "she should be allowed the same" military occupational specialties, Christian said

Uncle Sam disagrees Women can't serve in America's ground combat forces, though psychologically and physically, Christian argues women can be just as strong as their male counterparts

"Most (women) tend to be headstrong and independent," she said "We might not have the upper body strength like our male counterparts, but we try, and I'm sure when the adrenaline is pumping, you couldn't tell the difference"

A veteran of the National Guard for more than five years, Christian repairs everything from radios to night-vision goggles for B Company, 134th Brigade Support Battalion, based out of Camp Ripley

She said she's had little problem with sexual harassment in the military, either at home or in the Middle East

"If your commander constantly puts out that there is a zero tolerance and sticks to it, and if you make sure your peers know your boundaries, it's minimal," she said

If it ever did happen to her, Christian said she probably would take matters into her own hands at first "I'll embarrass him in public, and also tell a few male friends, and it is taken care of," she said "Otherwise I have full confidence in my chain of command"

It would be problematic for her to go into combat with someone who had sexually harassed her or someone else in her unit, Christian said

"Defending someone who has attacked me or another Soldier would be very difficult," she said "I believe to perform your job, you need good team cohesion I find it hard to have good cohesion if you are a victim of sexual harassment"

She hopes it never gets to that point So far, whether at home or abroad, Christian said she has been fortunate She has done her job, performed it well, and says that reality has brought her the respect of men and women in her unit

"I think many of my male counterparts forget that I am a girl," she said "They treat me no different than any of the guys Really, no different"

Steve Young,
July 1st, 2007
Source: www.argusleader.com



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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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