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Wyo Guard turns 148

A decade later the Wyoming National Guard was called to serve its country for the first time. In 1898, the United States entered the Spanish-American War and the federal government enlisted volunteer units from the states. On April 25, Wyoming was tasked by President William… Read More »Wyo Guard turns 148

Guard biathletes team up with wounded vets

Wyoming National Guard biathletes helped build the skillsets of wounded American military veterans while the para-athletes taught a lesson in humility.

The veterans came from all over the United States. Some are blind. Some are missing limbs. Some are battling the effects of traumatic brain injuries and a myriad of other maladies, but they are a dedicated bunch eager to learn and master a new sport.

Wyo. Vietnam vets share war experience at Joint Forces HQ for PBS

The Joint Forces Readiness Center played host to a Wyoming Vietnam War veteran panel that was organized by PBS on Monday. Three veterans, all current residents of the state, discussed their war experiences on a record-to-air taping that will be aired Friday in conjunction with Ken Burns’ “The Vietnam War” documentary.

Cheyenne turns 150, the Wyo. Guard has been there from the beginning

In 1870, five years after Cheyenne was founded, the Wyoming National Guard was authorized to protect and safeguard the people of the Wyoming Territory.

Flash forward to today, as the city celebrates the 150th anniversary of Cheyenne’s birth, the Wyoming National Guard, with multiple Army and Air Guard units assigned here, continue the legacy started so many years ago.

Recruiters turn to innovation to seek out new enlistees

When you think of recruiters, a few images come to mind. Top on the list is an image of a staff sergeant or technical sergeant visiting a school during lunch or an assembly and presenting a slideshow of fun looking jobs. You may also recall recruiters handing out tri-folds during fairs or parades.

Military families and the life of the cautiously carefree child

Children are typically carefree; no job, no bills to pay, no worries. However, that is not true for the military child.
Military children don’t typically fall into the carefree category. At any given time their lives can be in a state of change; living in a single-parent or no-parent household with parents deployed or geographically separated due to military obligations, changing schools and living in turmoil are just a few things military children deal with on a regular basis.

History: Wyo. Guard played role in WW1 100 years ago

June 1914. Europe enjoyed its last calm summer before turmoil engulfed the continent.

An assassin’s bullet ended that in Sarajevo, a part of the Austrian-Hungarian Empire. Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austria-Hungarian throne, would die from gunshot wounds from Gavrilo Princep, which plunged Europe into the Great War, or, as it became known decades later, World War I.

14 ways to stay in shape for a Guardsmen

We’ve all heard it, seen it or experienced it, the stereotype of National Guard soldiers being lazy, over the weight standards or unmotivated.

But, what can we do to avoid living up to this stereotype?

Women of the Wyoming National Guard

In 1869, Wyoming became the first state to grant women the right to vote. More than a century later, the Equality State continues to be a trendsetter for women – it houses Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 297th Infantry, which employed the first female infantry soldier in the country.

Wyoming Air Guard supports 58th Inauguration

Thirteen Wyoming Air National Guard airmen were part of a roughly 7,500-strong force of citizen-soldiers and airmen from 43 states, three territories and the District of Columbia brought to Washington, D.C., last week to support local civilian authorities as well as federal government agency partners for the inauguration of President Donald J. Trump.

Guard biathletes complete races in Casper, Wyo.

Despite the fierce terrain, high altitude and wind gusts of up to 54 mph, approximately 75 Guard members from nine western states skied and shot their way through the National Guard’s Western Regional Biathlon at the Casper Mountain Biathlon Center in Casper, Wyoming, Jan 10-14.

Guard biathletes complete first race of regional competition

The Alaska National Guard’s Pfc. Travis Cooper topped the field at the 2017 Western Regional National Guard Biathlon Competition Sprint Race Thursday, Jan. 12, at the Casper Mountain Biathlon Center. He crossed the finish line first among more than 70 biathletes representing nine states.

Operation GUARDian Angel holiday program helps those who serve

In August 1990, military members around the globe were preparing for the first major international conflict after Iraq invaded Kuwait. Later that year, the Wyoming National Guard stepped up to support two equally important operations: Operation Desert Shield and Operation GUARDian Angel.

Wyo. Guard soldiers train as peace officers

Approximately 70 members of the 133rd Engineer Company, Wyoming Army National Guard, began their November drill weekend a little differently, by being exposed to pepper spray. That began 20 hours of training for members of the Wyoming National Guard Response Force.

Community partnerships highlight heroes and preparedness

Just as it takes a village to raise a child, it takes numerous behind-the-scenes personnel from varying community organizations coming together, forging partnerships, to foster preparedness.

The Cheyenne Veterans Administration Medical Center recently hosted a Hero Appreciation event, which saw hundreds of community members come out to support community organizations filled with local heroes, including first responders, educators, clergy and military members.

“Our community is very blessed with some great people and awesome resources that are designed to help folks get through the worst of crises. In times of turmoil, knowing who our unsung heroes are and what services they provide within the community, allows us to not only build relationships, but also to work more efficiently to maximize our beneficial efforts,” said Sam House, public affairs officer for the Cheyenne VAMC.

“We held this event because recognizing our community heroes is extremely important. Our teachers and clergy are often the first to find out about family problems, while our emergency services personnel often work through the aftermath or a crisis with assistance from other entities such as the military.”

One such military entity, the Wyoming National Guard’s 84th Civil Support Team, was one of the dozens of organizations present to support the event. The 84th CST exists, in part, to support civil authorities at a variety of incident sites that might include chemical, biological or nuclear components.

“The nature of our job is to support local first responders in whatever capacity is needed and within our mission scope,” said 1st Lt. Sarah Brewer, a nuclear medical science officer with the unit. “Fostering community relationships allows for a clear understanding of how we all fit into one big picture. Part of what makes our team unique is that golden rule that we always work for a first responder.”

Throughout the fiscal year, which started Oct. 1, 2015, and will end Sept. 30, the CST has responded to 13 incidents, had 11 stand by missions and nine assists, including supporting events such as the National High School Finals Rodeo and University of Wyoming football games.

“The immense skill set (unit members) bring to the table assists local responders, allowing us to plug into the local response structure seamlessly,” said Lt. Col. Holly Shenefelt, 84th CST commander.

1st Lt. Sarah Brewer, nuclear medical science officer with the 84th Civil Support Team, Wyoming National Guard, talks with a community member Sept. 17, 2016 at the Cheyenne Veterans Affairs Medical Center during the inaugural Hero Appreciation event. The event served to bring together heroes from the community to include educators, first responders and military members, in order to thank them for their service while allowing them to serve the community and communicate their missions and capabilities (Wyoming Air National Guard photo by Capt. Megan Hoffmann)

1st Lt. Sarah Brewer, nuclear medical science officer with the 84th Civil Support Team, Wyoming National Guard, talks with a community member Sept. 17, 2016 at the Cheyenne Veterans Affairs Medical Center during the inaugural Hero Appreciation event. The event served to bring together heroes from the community to include educators, first responders and military members, in order to thank them for their service while allowing them to serve the community and communicate their missions and capabilities (Wyoming Air National Guard photo by Capt. Megan Hoffmann)

However, the CST isn’t the only Wyoming Military Department entity that supports the community in various emergency preparedness endeavors. The Counter Drug program works hand-in-hand with various civilian agencies throughout Wyoming to combat the manufacturing, importing and distribution of illicit drugs; the Civil Air Patrol serves in a number of statewide search and rescue missions; Wyoming Army and Air National Guard aviation units field missions to include fire suppression, extracting stranded or lost persons from austere locations, and air dropping supplies and personnel.

It’s never just one person, one organization or one partnership that serves to facilitate emergency preparedness across Wyoming communities. It takes numerous civilian and military agencies, partnering together, to make our communities and state safe, secure and ready for whatever they may face.

“Any sort of tragic event doesn’t end at the time the event ends, and the residual effects may persist for quite some time. Our unsung heroes are the ones who put in extra hours and behind-the-scenes work to build our communities back up,” said Brewer.

Read More »Community partnerships highlight heroes and preparedness

The nuts and bolts of the Blended Retirement System

In 2011 the Department of Defense released plans to address an issue for service members – retirement.
National leaders decided that the military retirement system, was in need of a revamp, and embarked on a multi-year study which analyzed all facets of the current retirement system, and led to the proposal of the Blended Retirement System in the 2016 National Defense Authorization Act.