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Minnesota National Guard
Army Looks to Guard for Recruiting Help

WASHINGTON -- The US Army is turning to the National Guard for help recruiting would-be Soldiers in hometowns across America

Army leaders, struggling to meet recruitment goals in the midst of a long and unpopular war in Iraq, are quietly working out final details of a program that would give bonuses of $2,000 per recruit to any National Guard Soldier who brings somebody into the active duty Army

Army Secretary Pete Geren disclosed the plan in an interview with The Associated Press, calling it an innovative effort to get broader reach into local communities

The Guard members, Geren said, are "much more in contact with the civilian population than the active duty Soldier is So they give us reach into a larger segment of the community on a personal level, a one to one basis, than we get through our recruiting relationships"

National Guard "recruiting assistants" already earn bonuses for signing up new members of the Guard, and one former Marine was so successful that he earned nearly $100,000

Under the new plan, a recruit would join the Guard but indicate that they are intending to shift to active duty After they finish basic training they would either sign up for 30, 36 or 48 months in the active Army, or change their mind and simply stay in the Guard

The Army secretary said the impact of the new Guard program would be felt next year when Guard Soldiers will "become an important part of the active recruiting force"

The secretary says "they would recruit Soldiers into the active component," adding that the recruits would then have continuing obligations in the reserves

The Army initially expects to gain about 1,600 recruits next year through what they're calling the "Active First" program, according to Lt Col Ron Walls, chief of enlisted recruiting and retention for the Army National Guard

Guard officials see the new plan as a boost for them, even though it could remove Soldiers from the Army Guard ranks and shift them into active duty positions for 30 to 48 months

"It's a win-win for both the Army and the National Guard," said Walls While the active Army gets a new Soldier, "we gain some (recruiting) growth immediately, and in the long run we gain a higher readiness level"

Under the proposal, recruits who come in under the Active First program will be counted toward the Guard's recruitment goals Also, the active Army would pay the bonus to the Guard Soldier that got the new recruit

Walls said that, in the end, "unless (the recruits) want to make a career out of active duty, they will return to the Guard"

Guard officials also see this as a way to reach people who might be open to a military career, but are looking for a full-time job, not just a part-time Guard position

The program will be launched in the coming months after final details are hammered out

Guard members who have gone through the recruiting assistant program, receive a $1,000 bonus for each person they sign up and another $1,000 when the recruit leaves for basic training More than 100,000 Guard Soldiers have gone through the recruiter program

The program has been a financial boon for some Guard Soldiers

"There have been some very successful recruiter assistants, who started out doing it just as an opportunity, then went part time," said Walls Some have made just $2,000, but others have quit their full-time jobs and "have done exceptionally well and can make a living doing it"

One of those is Sgt Dana Kline, a former Marine who is now in the Georgia Army Guard and earlier this year had earned nearly $100,000 in bonuses as a recruiting assistant

Geren said that the active duty Army is also beefing up its own bonus program that essentially trains thousands of Soldiers to also be recruiters

Both the Guard and the active duty Army have struggled with recruiting, as the US heads into its seventh year at war, starting with the post 9/11 campaign in Afghanistan More than 3,700 members of the US military have died in the Iraq war alone

After failing to meet recruiting goals for two consecutive months, the Army hit its target for July, and is on track to meet its annual goal of 80,000 recruits for the fiscal year that ends Sept 30

Geren said the Army and the National Guard are currently ahead of their year-to-date goal, and the Reserves are at 99 percent of their goal

But, he acknowledged that it will still be a difficult road to recruit the full 19,100 Soldiers needed in August and September in order to meet that 80,000 target

The Guard has narrowly met its goals for the past two months, but fell short in May

By LOLITA C BALDOR, Associated Press Writer
Article source: http://www.salon.com



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Fourteen Soldiers. Twelve States. One Competition.

Posted: 2017-07-16  09:45 PM
ARNG BWC One Soldier (junior enlisted) and one NCO (non-commissioned officer) will emerge at the top at the Army National Guard's Best Warrior Competition held at Camp Ripley, Minn., July 17-20, 2017, and move on to represent the Guard in the All-Army Best Warrior Competition in October.

The competitors have been conducting last-minute training since July 12 at Camp Ripley by honing their skills on various weapons, maintaining their physical strength and endurance, and reviewing military tasks.

"I'm feeling very confident," said Cpl. Joseph Garback, a cannon crewmember with B Co., 1st Battalion, 114th Infantry, 50th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, New Jersey National Guard. He's been preparing with the other Region 1 competition winner, Sgt. Zachary Scuncio. Garback says he has really liked the hands-on preparation at Camp Ripley and believes he's had an ample amount of time to prepare.



Minnesota-based Combat Aviation Unit Soars into Battle Phase of Bilateral Training Exercise

Posted: 2017-07-16  09:52 AM
34th CAB CAMP ATTERBURY, Indiana - More than 140 Soldiers of the Minnesota National Guard's 34th Combat Aviation Brigade have established a presence at Camp Atterbury, Indiana, where they are supporting and engaging in high-level military operations and synchronization training.

Members of the St. Paul, Minnesota-based aviation unit, which is adept at providing a wide spectrum of aviation support, recently dove into the battle phase of the bilateral training exercise Talisman Saber 17. Throughout the exercise, much of their training will focus on air-ground integration -- or synchronizing aviation operations into the scheme of maneuver planned and conducted by forces on the ground.



Camp Ripley to host National Guard Best Warrior Competition

Posted: 2017-07-10  10:50 AM
Minnesota National Guard FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 10, 2017

CAMP RIPLEY, Minn.- Fourteen soldiers from 12 states, representing seven Army National Guard regions will compete July 17-20 at Camp Ripley in the Army National Guard's
Best Warrior Competition.

"This competition will test the soldiers' ability to perform tasks that are vital to our ability to fight and win our nation's wars," said Command Sgt. Maj. Douglas Wortham, senior enlisted advisor for the Minnesota National Guard. "We will push them to their limits to test their endurance, strength and resilience - qualities that our soldiers must possess to be successful."

The four-day competition will feature several events to test the soldiers both physically and mentally. The soldiers will demonstrate their proficiency with weapons, their physical strength and endurance, their ability to perform military tasks and their ability to put their knowledge to use under pressure.



National Guard Best Warriors to compete in road march around Lake Itasca

Posted: 2017-07-07  09:18 AM
Minnesota National Guard FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 7, 2017

PARK RAPIDS, Minn.- Fourteen National Guard Soldiers from 12 states will be competing July 17-20, at Camp Ripley in the Army National Guard Best Warrior Competition. As part of the competition, the soldiers will complete a road march around Lake Itasca the morning of July 20, ending at the Mary Gibbs Mississippi Headwaters Center.

Members of the local media and the public are invited to cheer on the soldiers as they finish the road march. Well-wishers can come to the Mary Gibbs Welcome Center, 36750 Main Park Drive, Park Rapids, MN, 56470, on Thursday, July 20, at 8:00 a.m. and are encouraged to bring signs or flags to line the route to the finish line.

The soldiers will be marching on public and private land around Lake Itasca. Wilderness Trail will be temporary closed for a portion of the event. The march route will pass by the Pine Ridge Campground and may be visible to campers there.



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