The Minnesota National GuardÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s enduring goal is to provide an agile, resilient force, ready to fulfill any federal, state or community need. The Minnesota National GuardÃ¢â‚¬â„¢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."
Beyond the Yellow Ribbon is one of several programs housed under the Minnesota
National Guard’s State Family Programs office. Through a massive synchronization
effort that ties military-connected families to employers, communities, resources, providers
and other service-support organizations, Beyond the Yellow Ribbon fosters resilience
among Soldiers and Airmen while creating awareness of the challenges of military service
and providing an opportunity for Minnesotans to support service members, veterans and
Since the first Yellow Ribbon Network was proclaimed in 2008, 98 networks in 217
communities and 25 counties have emerged in Minnesota. These self-sustaining, crosscommunity
networks, which draw together agencies, community leaders and volunteers,
strive to support the service members, veterans and military families – of any age and from
any era – that reside in their areas. In 2016, the Beyond the Yellow Ribbon program saw
the city of Lino Lakes 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 that they
employ. Yellow Ribbon Companies go above and beyond in their efforts to hire and recruit
veterans in addition to connecting with military-support efforts in their local communities.
In 2016 Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, ALLETE/Minnesota Power,
United Parcel Service, North Hennepin Community College and Minnesota Sports &
Entertainment were proclaimed, bringing the number of Yellow Ribbon Companies to 53.
In 2016 the Minnesota National Guard’s State Family Programs office was nationally
certified by the Council on Accreditation, an organization that promotes and recognizes
excellence in community-based support. The accreditation not only highlights the strength
and effectiveness of Beyond the Yellow Ribbon, but also ensures the program has sound
financial management principles, ethical decision-making practices and provides highquality
service with positive outcomes.ll service members, veterans and military families.
The State Family Programs office created a directory of resources in Minnesota for
service members and military families, allowing military-connected families to easily find
professional support for their specific needs. Whether the need be related to finance,
insurance, employment or housing, support can now be found through the Service
Provider Network hosted online by Joint Service Support, the national advocate for
National Guard service members, families and veterans.
Additionally, the State Family Programs office increased its family outreach efforts to
provide more opportunities for military-connected families to connect and build stronger
bonds. With the demands of military service straining families due to time spent apart and
other stressors, family outreach efforts such as the “Minnesota Military Family Challenge”
and overnight stays at the Minnesota Zoo provide structured programs that allow families
to build resilience and cement relationships.
In 2017 the Beyond the Yellow Program seeks to have all Fortune 500 companies in
Minnesota aspire to become Yellow Ribbon Companies. Currently there are seven of 17
Fortune 500 companies proclaimed. Additional support by employers of this magnitude
would not only significantly increase resilience of military-connected employees, but also
expand employment opportunities for service members, veterans and military families.
The continued growth and maturation of the program – and especially the communities
and companies that foster the program – are of vital importance to the Minnesota National
Guard as service members and family members adjust to an increase in responsibility and
training requirements being seen throughout the nation’s entire National Guard.