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US National Guard mobilized in Milwaukee following violent protests over police killing

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker activated the National Guard to lend assistance to Milwaukee law enforcement if any further riots erupt in the city following the police killing of an armed suspect.

Walker announced the move after he said he received a request from the Milwaukee County Sheriff, David Clarke, and spoke to city mayor Tom Barrett.

Earlier, Clarke met with Walker and Wisconsin National Guard Adjutant General Donald Dunbar.

Walker said the Guard would be “in a position to aid local law enforcement upon request,” as reported by Reuters.

The National Guard was previously deployed in a similar situation in Ferguson, Missouri, in August 2014 after several nights of rioting over the police killing of an unarmed black man. Its units, which are a part of the US army reserves, are under dual control of the states and the federal government.

In Milwaukee, the violent protests were provoked by a patrol officer fatally shooting an armed suspect, 23, who tried to flee the scene after his car was stopped by police over unspecified “suspicious activity” in a predominantly black neighborhood.

The killed man had a lengthy arrest record and was carrying a handgun, which was stolen during a burglary in nearby Waukesha in March, police said without disclosing the man’s name. A second suspect, who was also in the car, was taken into custody.

The officer who shot the man was placed on administrative duty as an investigation into the incident was launched by the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office.

The incident provoked public unrest as crowds gathered in the neighborhood, where the shooting occurred, and violence erupted Saturday night. The crowd burned several local businesses, including a BP gas station and auto parts shop. The mob also smashed police cars’ windows and burned several other vehicles. As a result of Saturday night’s clashes, one police officer was injured and three rioters arrested, according to police.

The fatal incident has also provoked debates about the justification of police firing shots. US author and historian Gerald Horne believes there is “faint possibility at best” that the shooting was justified.

“For years now, there have been justifiable and persistent complaints from the African-American community about mishandling, about rough house tactics used by the police department. What happened last night is totally consistent with yet another police shooting,” Horne told RT.

The fatal incident has also provoked debates about the justification of police firing shots. US author and historian Gerald Horne believes there is “faint possibility at best” that the shooting was justified.

“For years now, there have been justifiable and persistent complaints from the African-American community about mishandling, about rough house tactics used by the police department. What happened last night is totally consistent with yet another police shooting,” Horne told RT.

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Army National Guard Command Sergeant Major visits deployed troops

CAMP BUEHRING, Kuwait – Command Sgt. Maj. Christopher Kepner, the senior enlisted leader of the Army National Guard, was the keynote speaker at the Basic Leader Course graduation August 12 at Camp Buehring, Kuwait.

His remarks were part of his week-long visit to National Guard troops assigned to U.S. Army Central’s area of operations.

“We have a lot of National Guard Soldiers who are doing missions here in Kuwait and in theater,” Kepner said. “I came over here to visit, and to see how the Soldiers were doing and check on the training.”

Kepner talked about several leadership topics during his remarks including readiness. He believes noncommissioned officers are the tip of the spear when it comes to Army readiness.

“Readiness is our number one priority,” he said. “That applies to all components: to any Soldier that wears the nametape, ‘U.S. Army.’”

Basic Leader Course is the first course of study in the U.S. Army NCO Education System. The class teaches troops the fundamentals of leadership.

“NCOES and courses like the BLC are absolutely imperative to developing our sergeants so that our Soldiers are set up to fight and win on the battlefield,” Kepner said.

Over 100 Soldiers graduated this iteration of BLC.

Sgt. Justin Huber, a multiple launch rocket system crew member with the 82nd Field Artillery Regiment, graduated with the highest cumulative grade point average among the Guard members in his class, earning him a place on the Commandant’s List. The list is a distinction reserved for the individuals who graduate in the top 20 percent of their class. Huber received a coin from Kepner during the ceremony for his excellence.

“It definitely means a lot for him to be here,” Huber said. “He’s proud of his Soldiers and what they’re doing.”

Kepner said it is important to maintain his interaction with the troops. “We can never lose touch with Soldiers,” he said. “This is a big part of being around Soldiers in order to let them know that the senior NCO corps cares about what they’re doing and to make sure they know the work they’re doing is important.”

Kepner said he has learned many lessons during his career as an NCO.

One of the most important lessons Kepner learned as a sergeant was during his time as an Army rappel master, he recalled. It was his responsibility to properly secure Soldiers in their harnesses before their descent. Kepner would, occasionally, incorrectly hookup a Soldiers on purpose to see if they would check their own equipment.

Kepner said he remembered hooking up a Soldier incorrectly, like he had done in the past.

He then asked the Soldier if he was ready to go.

“Yes, sergeant, I am,” the Soldier said.

“Don’t you want to check your hookup?”

“I don’t have to check it, sergeant. You hooked it up. And you wouldn’t let anything bad happen to me. If it was wrong, you wouldn’t let me go.”

 

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Never doubt your self

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