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MADISON, Wis. — Sixty-nine Wisconsin employers of National Guard and Reserve members have been nominated by Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) for the 2015 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award — commonly referred to as the "Freedom Award."The Freedom Award is the highest recognition the Department of Defense can give to employers for their support of National Guard and Reserve members. The National Guard and Reserve make up nearly half of the U.S. military, and most reservists hold civilian jobs. Freedom Award nominations must come from a Guard or Reserve member employed by the organization they are nominating, or by a Guard or Reserve family member.
Thirty-nine Airmen from the 115th Force Support Squadron, the 115th Logistics Readiness Squadron and Volk Field temporarily deployed for training (DFT) to Mildenhall Air Force Base, England, in support of the Air Force active-duty component Feb. 12-27.The deployment allowed Airmen to integrate themselves and train alongside active-duty forces overseas, gaining vital experience they can implement at their home stations and on future deployments.
The remaining six Wisconsin National Guard Soldiers from the 32nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team have returned to the United States following nearly a year in Kuwait.The Soldiers are part of the 32nd Base Defense Operations Center (BDOC), who augmented the Area Support Group's mission of providing life support operations for more than 16,000 personnel spanning several bases while also upholding the defense cooperation agreement with Kuwait. They arrived at Fort Hood, Texas Feb. 18, and will return to Wisconsin after completing post-mobilization requirements.
All of Sussex, Wisconsin-based Battery A, 1st Battalion, 121st Field Artillery is now back safely in the United States after a nine-month deployment to Afghanistan.Approximately half of the unit returned to Wisconsin in December, but the rest remained in Afghanistan to continue its fire support mission. The high-mobility artillery rocket system (HIMARS) unit was among the first Army National Guard units to complete a fire support mission in Afghanistan. Its sister battery, Battery B, 1st Battalion, 121st Field Artillery became the first in 2012.More than 30 Soldiers from the unit landed at Fort Hood, Texas, Feb. 10, where senior leaders from the Wisconsin Army National Guard were waiting planeside to greet them. The Soldiers subsequently travelled to Fort Bliss, Texas, where they will complete the demobilization process before returning to Wisconsin.
The Wisconsin National Guard's 132nd Army Band owns the reserve component of the 2014 Army Music Noncommissioned Officers and Soldiers of the Year competition.Staff Sgt. Tyler Terrell took first place in the senior NCO category, Sgt. Brian Lydeen took first in the NCO category, and Spc. Micah Lancaster took first in the Soldier category."When the announcement was made, I couldn't believe it," said 1st Sgt. Deb Dahlman, the top enlisted member of the 132nd Army Band who selected Terrell, Lydeen and Lancaster for the competition. "I was so happy, I cried."
A public affairs specialist with the Wisconsin Air National Guard's 115th Fighter Wing has received two awards in the National Guard Bureau Media Contest.Senior Airman Andrea F. Rhode received a second place award in the Commentary category for a column on 9/11, and a third place award for a news article on collaborative emergency response training with the Wisconsin National Guard and civilian authorities.
The National Guard's motto is "Always Ready, Always There" — and the Wisconsin National Guard lived up to that motto in 2014. Watch how the Soldiers and Airmen, men and women of the Wisconsin Army National Guard and Wisconsin Air National Guard put their training to the test last year.
If a single picture can tell a thousand words, then more than 200 pictures should tell a pretty good story about the 177-year history of the Wisconsin Army National Guard.Lt. Col. Eric Killen, a senior staff officer at Joint Force Headquarters in Madison, Wisconsin, put together that story when he published a 127-page pictorial history last fall of the Wisconsin Army National Guard that he hopes will spark more interest in the organization's history"I have an interest in history and it struck me that not many of our young Soldiers know or appreciate our organization's history," Killen said. "They don't know anything about the 32nd Brigade, the Civil War or anything that we have done. It is through no fault of their own, because there is nothing out there."
FORT HOOD, Texas — They're not all home yet, but 28 Wisconsin Army National Guard Soldiers returned to the United States from the Middle East Jan. 13.The Soldiers completed an 11-month deployment in specially formed units, the 32nd Military Engagement Team (MET) and the 32nd Base Defense Operations Center (BDOC). The 32nd MET developed relationships with up to 18 partner nations and militaries in and around Kuwait and Jordan. The 32nd BDOC assisted with the security, logistics and administration of camp operations in Kuwait.
Brig. Gen. John McCoy, a Wisconsin National Guard member for nearly 36 years, has been selected for a two-star position with the Air Education and Training Command (AETC) at Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph.McCoy, currently the deputy adjutant general for civil support, is expected to begin his new job as Air National Guard assistant to the AETC commander in May. One of 10 major commands in the Air Force, AETC is responsible for training and education for the Air Force, Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard. This includes initial military training, officer training, technical training, pilot training and professional military education courses.