Minnesota's Beyond the Yellow Ribbon program began with a vision to synchronize community resources in support of service members and military families. It was an extension of Minnesota’s innovative Yellow Ribbon Reintegration program which provided training and resources to Minnesota National Guard and Reserve service members returning from deployment and their families. The objective was to create community networks capable of providing the same resources, services, and support that retuning service members and their families would receive on an active-duty installation. Could a cross-community network provide a synchronization of effort to provide support to its residents experiencing deployment?
In 2007, the City of Farmington offered to partner with the Minnesota National Guard and the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey Institute to identify ways in which key areas within a community could coordinate and synchronize resources to support, honor, and recognize veterans, service members, and their families. Farmington documented their processes, created procedures and submitted a commitment of support to the State of Minnesota. The City of Farmington was recognized by then Governor Tim Pawlenty as the first Beyond the Yellow Ribbon city in December 2008.
From the initial process documentation, the Minnesota National Guard developed minimum requirements for each key area within communities. Key areas include city leadership, public safety, education/youth, business community, veterans organizations, and faith-based and social service/medical organizations. To become a formal BTYR community, the community would submit an action plan commitment of support in each area that is approved by the State of Minnesota. Minimum requirements for each community area maintained the high standards of commitment and support required to be officially proclaimed a Beyond the Yellow Ribbon community.
In 2009, BTYR expanded to not only provide support throughout a deployment cycle but also to meet the needs of service members, all age and era veterans, and all military families. Throughout 2009, similar state requirements were developed to form the BTYR company and county program. BTYR companies connect key internal organizational areas to synchronize support and resources to service member, military family member, and veteran employees, as well as connect company resources to local BTYR community networks. BTYR counties connect county level key areas to synchronize support and resources as well as connect any BTYR community networks within the county. In 2010, the BTYR program was elevated as a key Minnesota Department of Military Affairs Leadership Priority.
The mission of Beyond the Yellow Ribbon is to establish and sustain a comprehensive community and corporate support networks that connect and coordinate agencies, organizations, and resources to meet the needs of Minnesota's military veterans, service members, and families in all military branches.
Through its community and corporate partnerships, Minnesota’s Beyond the Yellow Ribbon program, known as BTYR, provides Minnesota's military community a wide range of support, including deployment readiness, family assistance and resources, youth programs, educational and career opportunities, and more. These partnerships are invaluable and work hand in hand to raise awareness, recognize, celebrate, and meet the needs of Minnesota’s military community.
Impact of BTYR partnership
- Minnesota companies and communities united and working together to support our military community.
- Synchronized and connected resources
- Enduring relationships
- Focused networks of support
- Synchronized communication
- Locally accessible resources
- Shared best practices
- Model for community capacity building
For more information, follow Beyond the Yellow Ribbon on Facebook or @BTYRmn on Twitter, or email email@example.com. The Minnesota Military Radio features BTYR and its many partners once or twice a month. Tune in at Minnesotamilitaryradiohour.com. BTYR is also on the Minnesota National Guard app.
BTYR Events Calendar
* May 16 - YMCA of the North
* May 18 - Veteran resource fair (Hibbing-Chisholm BTYR)
* May 20 - Pancake breakfast
(South Central BTYR)
* May 23 - Ryan Companies
* May 29 - Memorial Day picnic (Northfield BTYR)
* June 14 - Mille Lacs Corporate Ventures BTYR proclamation
* Aug. 29 - Military Appreciation Day at the Minnesota State Fair
* Sept. 16 - Field of Bands concert (Lower St. Croix BTYR)
* Nov. 2 - BTYR fall conference at Capiral One