Minnesota National Guard Red Bulls Deploy to Middle East

MEDIA ADVISORY: For Immediate Release

January 30, 2024

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. – Thursday, the Minnesota National Guard’s 34th Infantry Division “Red Bulls” and their family members and friends will gather for a deployment ceremony where more than 550 Soldiers of the division’s headquarters will deploy as part of a regularly scheduled deployment.

“The 34th Infantry Division has a long and storied history of faithful service to our nation,” said Army Maj. Gen. Charles Kemper, 34th Infantry Division Commander. “We are blessed to have high[1]caliber citizen-Soldiers from each of your communities filling our formations to carry on that proud tradition of selfless service. They are well trained and will execute their mission with vigor.”

Spanning across 216 communities throughout Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, North Dakota, South Dakota, Virginia, Colorado, California, Florida, Louisiana, Maryland, New Jersey, and Texas, the Red Bull Soldiers will make their way to Fort Cavazos, Texas, for a month of pre-mobilization training in preparation for their ten-month-long deployment to the Middle East. They are expected to return home from the deployment in December 2024.

For 46 percent of the departing Soldiers, this will be their first deployment. This deployment will be the second for 28 percent of the Soldiers, the third deployment for 16 percent of the Soldiers, and the fourth deployment or more for 10 percent of the Soldiers.

“I am extremely proud of our Red Bull Soldiers, and I know they will continue to add to the division’s rich history,” said Army Maj. Gen. Shawn Manke, Minnesota National Guard’s Adjutant General. “Red Bulls have defended our state and nation for more than 100 years, and this deployment will assist our allies and partners in building security in the region.”

The mission of the 34th Infantry Division Headquarters is to provide leadership, command, and planning for future exercises for Operation Spartan Shield and Operation Inherent Resolve. They will build partner nations’ military capacity across the Middle East, promoting regional self-reliance and increased security.

The Arden Hills-based 34th Infantry Division Headquarters provides training and readiness oversight for nine National Guard brigades with more than 27,000 Soldiers across Minnesota and 29 other states.

The division’s headquarters’ most recent deployments include Kuwait from 2018-2019 in support of Operation Spartan Shield and Iraq from 2009-2010, leading the Multi-national Division-South to support Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Editor’s Note: Media members are invited to attend the departure ceremony, Friday, Feb. 1 at 10:30 a.m. located at Grace Church, 9301 Eden Prairie Road, Eden Prairie, Minn. Media members should RSVP to the event by contacting Lt. Col. Kristen Augé at 952-913-5979 or kristen.l.auge.mil@army.mil.

– About the Minnesota National Guard – Established in 1856 and headquartered in St. Paul, the Minnesota National Guard has more than 13,000 Soldiers and Airmen who serve in 58 communities across the state. The Citizen-Soldiers and Airmen of the Minnesota National Guard are ‘Always Ready’ to fight the nation’s wars, protect the country, respond to state emergencies, and contribute to local communities. For more information about the Minnesota National Guard, visit https://MinnesotaNationalGuard.ng.mil.