The Minnesota National Guard's enduring goal is to provide an agile, resilient force, ready to fulfill any federal, state or community need. The Minnesota National Guard's success relies on its ability to provide military assets when called upon, working with interagency partners to enhance joint-response capabilities.
In order to fulfill its obligations to the state and nation, the Minnesota National Guard focuses on six priorities that guide the organization through decision-making and mission-planning processes, ultimately ensuring a unified and consistent response.
The past several years presented the Minnesota National Guard with many fluid and dynamic events that tested the organization's ability to operate under fluctuating budgets and strenuous mission requirements.
Though the operational circumstances and challenges have varied, the Minnesota National Guard's six priorities provide a fundamental blueprint that ensures success of the mission while maintaining personnel and equipment at optimal levels.
- Fielding a competent ready force
- Maintaining an optimal force structure
- Cyber security and response
- Develop sustainable infrastructure
- Service members and their Families
- Diversity of the force
|Diversity of the Force
|"We value diversity in our organization to broaden our perspective, incorporate a variety of strengths and better represent the communities we serve.
Five years ago, the Minnesota National Guard established a diversity goal that
aimed to shape a force with a commensurate percentage of diverse individuals
relative to the state of Minnesota’s population; an effort that also focuses on
recognizing and embracing the values and skills that come from different sets of
opinions, thoughts, attributes and experiences.
In 2011, 7.8 percent of service members in the Minnesota National Guard were
from diverse ethnicities, compared to the 16.6 percent that make up Minnesota’s
population. In 2016, the Minnesota National Guard closed that gap by attaining
15.5 percent of its force from diverse ethnicities, and is approaching the nearly 19
percent of Minnesotans that currently come from diverse ethnicities.
As the percentage of diverse individuals in the state continues to increase, so to do
the Minnesota National Guard’s efforts to close the gap and achieve its goal. The
organization has expanded its community outreach, further encouraging units across
the state to engage with the communities they serve by participating in various
cultural events. By attending Rondo Days, Twin Cities Pride and Cinco de Mayo,
for example, Soldiers and Airmen build relationships with other Minnesotans and
highlight the fact that members of the Minnesota National Guard live, work and
serve in their communities.
Community outreach from a diversity and inclusion standpoint increased this past
year as a result of feedback received from the Minnesota National Guard Adjutant
General’s Junior Diversity Council. The council, established in 2016, is comprised of
Soldiers and Airmen from diverse ethnicities, genders and backgrounds. The Junior
Diversity Council, which meets several times throughout the year, is directly led by
the adjutant general, giving junior service members in the Minnesota National Guard unfiltered access to the organization’s most senior leader. By eliminating the many
layers of chain-of-command, the council can relay first-hand experiences, feedback
and knowledge to the adjutant general and other key leaders who are capable of
The Junior Diversity Council also provides unique perspectives, as the youngest
generation of Soldiers and Airmen best understand new challenges with technology
and shifting demographics, and can help identify solutions. Council members have
the opportunity to take these issues back to their units – specifically their peers –
to further explore solutions and be advocates for their concerns. By building and
fostering an inclusive culture through the council, the Minnesota National Guard
seeks to provide every member a path toward success and an opportunity to reach
their full potential.
Additionally, the Minnesota National Guard has eight special emphasis councils that
focus on diversity: African American, Asian/Pacific Islander, Disability, Holocaust
Remembrance, Latino, LGBT, Native American and Women. By facilitating
educational opportunities for service members, such as visits to Holocaust memorials,
powwows and the Hmong New Year celebration, the special emphasis councils
provides an opportunity for all Minnesota National Guard members to become more
culturally aware and better prepared to serve the vast array of backgrounds that make
up both the organization and the state.