Communicate and Partner
The Minnesota National Guard values the support of Minnesota communities, specifically through the Beyond the Yellow Ribbon program, which provides resources and assistance to service members, veterans and their families in Minnesota. These networks of dedicated volunteers are invaluable to Minnesota’s military families.
We currently recognize 90 Yellow Ribbon communities in Minnesota, as well as 65 Yellow Ribbon Companies. Our Guardsmen work closely with the networks in the communities they serve to build relationships and connect to organizations that provide resources to service members and veterans.
In addition to our members, we are also dedicated to taking care of the families of those who serve in the Minnesota National Guard. In 2018, the Building Healthy Military Communities program conducted a rapid needs assessment in Minnesota to better understand the unique challenges faced by geographically-dispersed service members and their families that may impact their readiness.
The Minnesota National Guard Child and Youth Programs served 3,157 youth and teens in 2018. The program hosts events that build resilience and strengthen bonds in military families.
As an organization with members who serve in communities across the state, we strive to be involved in and contribute to the communities in which we serve. We do this through dedicated outreach to local civic groups, schools, organizations and agencies to highlight the mission of the Minnesota National Guard. We also participate in events that strengthen our ties to diverse communities.
The Minnesota National Guard works closely with other Minnesota state agencies to best serve the people of Minnesota during disasters or emergencies. This includes providing resources at Camp Ripley for multiple state agencies to conduct training, including the Minnesota Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, Minnesota Department of Transportation, Minnesota State Patrol and Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.
The Minnesota National Guard has been partnered with Croatia for more than 20 years as part of the National Guard State Partnership Program. In this capacity, the Minnesota National Guard participates in several training events and engagements that meet both of our nations’ defense security goals.
As part of our security cooperation partnership support plan for Croatia, we plan to focus on events in the future with an emphasis on cyber security, disaster preparedness and support to civilian authorities. Our goal is to enhance U.S. European Command’s ability to establish and maintain enduring relationships that improve long-term security cooperation and expand partnership capacity.
Our enduring relationship with Norway continues to flourish through the annual Norwegian Reciprocal Troop Exchange. In June of 2018, the Minnesota National Guard and Norwegian Home Guard conducted the 45th exchange, and only the second to take place during the summer months. The exchange combines training and cultural and social events to strengthen ties between the two nations. The Norwegian Reciprocal Troop Exchange began in 1974 to promote goodwill and build military readiness.
The Minnesota National Guard communicates with the public through many different outlets, including social media. In 2018, the Minnesota National Guard updated and relaunched its web presence at http://MinnesotaNationalGuard.ng.mil. Updated news, unit information and resource information, as well as this document and past years’ annual reports, can be found on our new page. You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
The MNNG takes great pride in effectively engaging our key audiences. First and foremost, we develop meaningful relationships with our families so that they are well cared for when a service member deploys. We ensure that we are involved in the communities where we serve so that we can be most helpful to incident commanders in an emergency. Our partnerships with local communities are amplified by our "Yellow Ribbon" program and military outreach. We are instrumental in leveraging and integrating national Department of Defense programs. We take every opportunity to advance the Minnesota National Guard's partnerships with our State Partner, Croatia, and our long-time training partner, Norway. We strive to ensure that local, state, and national elected officials are informed about our organization and emerging needs.