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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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34th Inf. Div. Commander Re-Dedicates Intersection to Fallen Massachusetts WWII Red Bull

Posted: 2017-09-20  08:33 AM
Winthrop WINTHROP, Mass. - Settled in 1630, Winthrop is one of the oldest communities in the United States. Service members of all branches of the military from this seaside town just north of Boston have fought on behalf of their state and nation since the Revolutionary War. On Saturday, Sept. 16th, Maj. Gen. Jon Jensen, the commanding general of the Minnesota-based 34th Red Bull Infantry Division, participated in a ceremony that honored one of Winthrop's own: Pvt. 1st Class Andrew Biggio.

Like so many young men of his era, 19-year old Winthrop native Andrew Giovanni Biggio raised his hand to volunteer for service in 1944. He was assigned to B Company, 135th Infantry Regiment of the 34th Infantry Division. An infantryman, Biggio fought valiantly with the Red Bulls, liberating the Italian towns of Viterbo, Cecina and Liverno. His heroic actions in combat earned Pvt. 1st Class Biggio a Bronze Star Medal.



Minnesota National Guard to highlight diversity and leadership development at Women's Leadership Forum

Posted: 2017-09-15  10:45 AM
Minnesota National Guard FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 15, 2017

MAPLEWOOD, Minn.- Nearly 650 soldiers and airmen are scheduled to attend the Minnesota National Guard's third annual Women's Leadership Forum at the 3M Corporate Headquarters Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017.

"The Minnesota National Guard continues to diversify our force and grow strong leaders," said Brig. Gen. Sandy Best, chief of staff of the Minnesota Air National Guard. "Strong leaders are able to self-manage and channel emotions to produce desired behaviors and results."

The forum is part of an overall effort to promote an inclusive culture, diversify the organization, grow strong leaders and provide professional leadership development for both women and men. The topics will focus on emotional intelligence, leadership, high performing teams and creating a championship culture.



Minnesota Guardsmen tasked for support to Hurricane Irma relief efforts

Posted: 2017-09-11  02:20 PM
133 AW FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 11, 2017

ST. PAUL, Minn.- This past weekend the Minnesota Air National Guard sent 41 Airmen to support response efforts for Hurricane Irma. Six Soldiers from the Minnesota Army National Guard also departed this morning to support relief efforts.

"I thank Major General Nash for his leadership, and the brave Minnesota National Guard soldiers who will provide assistance in Hurricane Irma response and relief efforts," said Governor Dayton. "I encourage all Minnesotans who are able to contribute to qualified relief efforts. Minnesota stands ready to assist those affected by Hurricane Irma in any way we are able."

The 41 Airmen come from the 133rd Airlift Wing based in St. Paul and have a variety of skillsets. Fourteen of the Airmen are with the unit's Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron and specially trained in emergency medical evacuations. They are currently on standby at Scott Air Force Base in Illinois where they will support potential missions in the Caribbean or Southern United States. The remaining personnel comprised of Airlift Control Flight, Logistics Readiness and Security Forces, arrived today at St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands where they will assist in recovery operations. The Airmen can support airports with skills and equipment to re-establish operations after disasters, secure aircraft and load and unload equipment.



Minnesota National Guard to send aviation assets to support Hurricane Harvey

Posted: 2017-09-01  10:42 AM
Minnesota National Guard FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 1, 2017

ST. PAUL, Minn.- Governor Dayton has approved 11 soldiers from the Minnesota National Guard's 34th Combat Aviation Brigade to support response efforts for Hurricane Harvey. The soldiers will depart today from St. Cloud via CH-47 chinook helicopters to conduct aviation operations in Texas.

"I am glad that Minnesota will be able to assist the victims of the terrible tragedy in Texas, with 11 Minnesota National Guard soldiers accompanying two Chinook helicopters to join in relief efforts," said Governor Dayton. "I thank Major General Nash for his leadership, and the brave Minnesota soldiers, who will travel to Texas to provide this critical relief. I encourage all Minnesotans, who are able, to donate to the qualified relief efforts. Minnesota stands ready to assist in any way we can."

The Minnesota National Guard's 34th Combat Aviation Brigade is an Army National Guard unit that supports disaster response operations by providing aviation capabilities - both UH-60 Black Hawk and CH-47 Chinook helicopters.



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