Two weeks ago around 650 “Red Bulls” from the Minnesota National Guard left for training and eventual deployment in Kuwait.

Command Sergeant Major Joe Hjelmstad said the experience of soldiers in this deployment covers a wide spectrum, “Everything from first-time deployment, recently completed their initial training, all the way to individuals who are on their fifth and sixth deployment.”

Hjelmstad has been a member of the 34th Infantry Division for 26 years and added the unit has a well-earned reputation for excellence. “We certainly are proud of what we’ve done, we are proud of what we’re currently doing, and we work very hard to maintain that reputation and not rest on our laurels. I’d put this unit up against any unit, active or reserve and national guard,” he said.

The “Red Bulls” will work to build up the strength of partner nations in the region. They are training in Ft. Hood, Texas this week.