The Minnesota National Guardâ€™s enduring goal is to provide an agile, resilient force, ready to fulfill any federal, state or community need. The Minnesota National Guardâ€™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
|Service members and their Families
|"We connect service members, veterans, military families, employers and communities to ensure the resilience of those who serve."
Since the first Yellow Ribbon Network was proclaimed in 2008, 97 networks in 216 cities and 25 counties have emerged in Minnesota. These self-sustaining networks strive to support the service members, veterans and military families â€“ of any age and from any era â€“ that reside in their area. In 2015 the Beyond the Yellow Ribbon program saw the cities of Big Lake, Champlin, Montrose and Northfield join the effort.
The Beyond the Yellow Ribbon program also recognizes Minnesota companies that make a commitment to supporting the service members, veterans and military families they employ. In 2015 the Minneapolis Community and Technical College, Mayo Clinic, Experis: A ManPowerGroup Company, The Goodman Group, Minnesota Department of Corrections, Hibbing Community College and Southeast Technical College were proclaimed, bringing the total number of Yellow Ribbon Companies to 48.
In 2015 the Beyond the Yellow Ribbon program continued its run as the preeminent model in integrating service members back into their communities and supporting them during and after their service ends. By sharing the Beyond the Yellow Ribbon template with other states and showcasing the program at high-visibility events â€“ including the Association of the U.S. Armyâ€™s annual meeting â€“ a proven model of networking support services for service members and their families continues to expand.
Having accomplished one of the programâ€™s original goals â€“ creating a Yellow Ribbon Network in each of the Minnesota National Guardâ€™s 61 communities â€“ the Beyond the Yellow Ribbon program is now seeking to connect every service member with each of the service-support organizations in their communities. To accomplish the next level of synchronization, the program has enlisted the help of AmeriCorps Volunteers In Service To America Members to look at every entity that can assist in supporting and serving all service members, veterans and military families.
In September 2015 the Minnesota National Guard hosted two suicide prevention fun runs at Camp Ripley Training Center and Arden Hills Army Training Site. The events, focusing on the â€œPower of One,â€ were held to raise awareness and establish a renewed emphasis on preventing suicide. To coincide with the event, the Minnesota National Guardâ€™s Resilience, Risk Reduction and Suicide Prevention program released the â€œIâ€™m Only Humanâ€ music video. Both efforts sought to combat the stigma associated with suicide and suicide ideation, as well as encouraging the organizationâ€™s most valuable asset â€“ people â€“ to seek help in moments of crisis.
Lastly, the Minnesota National Guard continued to nurture the resilience of military-connected youth through the State Family Programs' Child Youth and School Services initiative. Through 2015 the K-12 Military Kids Toolkit, a set of seven lessons designed to help both students and educators understand and overcome the deployment cycle, has been distributed to 211 Minnesota schools.