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Minnesota National Guard
The value of reintegration

Although he had his doubts when he returned from Iraq, Sgt Tim Green of the Minnesota National Guard unit A Battery, 1-151st Field Artillery based in Marshall said he now believes reintegration services for returning Soldiers is important

And on Sunday, Green and 12 other Soldiers from the Marshall unit got a chance to share that with US Sen Norm Coleman, R-Minn, who stopped at Camp Ripley while the Guards were training

“I firmly believe reintegration resources alleviated a lot of serious issues that could have happened,” Green said

The military has many resources to help returning Soldiers, including services for counseling, marriage counseling and others that Soldiers likely wouldn’t have known about without the formal reintegration programs, Green said

Coleman was at Camp Ripley to talk about reintegration of returning troops, Green said

Minnesota is the only state with a formal program, Green said It’s called Beyond The Yellow Ribbon

The Marshall unit is part of the A company who were the first participants in reintegration programs after they returned from Iraq in the fall of 2005

“We were fortunate to be the first to do it,” Green said of reintegration

“(Coleman) wanted to know how it went for us”

As the return of about 2,600 Minnesota troops looms, Coleman was interested to learn the value of reintegration, Green said

Coleman said he’d like the Department of Defense to change its policy on leaving troops alone for the first 90 days after they return, Green said

The Minnesota program has a formal session 30 days after the return

“When we first got back, nobody wanted to do it, it was ‘leave us alone, we don’t need that,’” Green said “I even thought that”

But issues definitely came up during those first weeks and months after Soldiers returned, Green said

Soldiers come back feeling 12-foot tall and secure, but then realize there are some family problems, marriage problems and other issues, Green said Reintegration gave Soldiers the help they needed, he said

Marshall Soldiers participated in formal programs 30, 60 and 90 days after they returned, and services were also available at other times, Green said

Coleman spent about 45 minutes with the Marshall Soldiers, Green said

Green said he’s not sure if a federal reintegration program could have helped prevent some of the violence involving veterans from the Iraq war, but he does know it’s helped in Marshall

The Bush administration’s handling of the war in Iraq has gotten a lot of attention recently, but Coleman didn’t ask the troops their views and the troops didn’t volunteer it, Green said

“The focus was really on us and what returning troops need,” Green said

In addition to talking about reintegration, Green addressed another issue with Coleman

Minnesota also needs to reinstate its tax-free income for guardsmen, Green said The money earned from Guards needs to be tax free, Green said

Green said he’d didn’t get the chance to give Coleman another suggestion on retirement benefits, but said Monday it was an important one

The federal government, Green said, needs to lower the benefit retirement age for retired National Guardsmen to 50 from 60 since so many Guardsmen have been deployed and pressed into additional duties

Both issues would help with recruitment and retention of Soldiers, Green said

Green liked that Coleman was supportive of expanding the reintegration program, at least throughout the National Guard and regular Army

“Like I told Sen Coleman, if it helps 10 percent of the troops, or saves one life or one marriage, it’s worth it,” Green said

By Rae Kruger

Article source: http://www.marshallindependent.com/articles.asp?articleID=14145



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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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