Thursday, August 22, 2013

Organization Structure - what is the difference between the MN PGR and MN PG Inc?

The National organization Patriot Guard Riders (PGR) is responsible for missions in all 50 states. Each state has a State Captain (currently Karla Richardson) assigned to it.

Early on it was evident that there was a need to setup a means for communication and a way to distribute money that was donated within Minnesota, so the MN Patriot Guard Inc. (MN PG) was created.

MN PG set up the state with 20 Sectors, falling under 3 Regions (Northern, Metro, and Southern). This allows for easy communication and set up of mission requests following the Mission Scope which is located under “Members Documents” on the webpage.
The State Captain has a Ride Captain (RC) assigned to each sector who is responsible for missions within that sector, and they are assisted by Assistant Ride Captains (ARC’s). Each Region has a Senior Ride Captain (SRC) who helps oversee the sectors in that region.

In order to maintain a balance and consistency of the missions in Minnesota the MN PG created a “Mission Scope” and the Missions Team (consisting of the SRC’s, the Assistant State Captain (ASC), and the State Captain (SC). Missions Team is responsible for assisting the SC in making sure that Mission Scope is followed state wide.

To make it fair across the state, decisions on mission related items the Leadership Advisory Council (LAC) was created. The LAC consists of all the RC’s, and SRC’s and are voting members of the MN PG,. (The ASC and SC are not voting members). An example of something that would have to be voted on is any changes to the Mission Scope - once the LAC has voted, it is sent to the BoD for ratification.

Following weeks topics:
¨         Missions Team and Mission Scope
¨         MN Patriot Guard Inc.
¨         Leadership descriptions
¨         Communications and webpage in Minnesota
¨         MN PG Board of Directors (BoD)

Thursday, August 15, 2013

The National Board of Directors, has approved and changed the Mission Statement - the new National Mission Statement is as follows:
Mission Statement:
“The Patriot Guard Riders is a 100% Volunteer, Federally registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization which ensures dignity and respect at memorial services honoring Fallen Military Heroes, First Responders and Honorably Discharged Veterans.”
Vision Statement:
The Patriot Guard Riders is a diverse amalgamation of riders from across the nation. We have one thing in common besides motorcycles. We have an unwavering respect for those who risk their very lives for America’s freedom and security including Fallen Military Heroes, First Responders and honorably Discharged Veterans. If you share this respect, please join us.
We don’t care what you ride or if you ride, what your political views are, or whether you’re a hawk or a dove. It is not a requirement that you be a veteran. It doesn't matter where you’re from or what your income is; you don’t even have to ride. The only prerequisite is Respect.
Our main mission is to attend the funeral services of fallen American heroes as invited guests of the family. Each mission we undertake has two basic objectives:
  1. Show our sincere respect for our fallen heroes, their families, and their communities.
  2. Shield the mourning family and their friends from interruptions created by any protestor or group of protestors.
We accomplish the latter through strictly legal and non-violent means.
To those of you who are currently serving and fighting for the freedoms of others, at home and abroad, please know that we are backing you.  We honor and support you with every mission we carry out, and we are praying for a safe return home for all.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

We frequently get asked about wearing MN PG/PGR apparel outside of our official missions and events. Does how we conduct ourselves while wearing the gear make a difference in the perception of the organization and the community? Absolutely it does! We are representing not only the organization, leaders & members, our military and veterans, but also all those we have stood for and beside, no matter where we are.

We have recieved email complaints that a PGR member flicked someone the bird while travelling down the road. The person that emailed us wasn’t very impressed with our organization if we have members doing that. Or a email that saw someone wearing identifying gear doing something somewhere that they felt reflected poorly on the organization and our mission.

A few weeks ago, we recieved a letter from an individual quite upset (very apparent in the language used in the letter). While clothing was not an issue in this complaint, the use of our generic MN PG business card left in a mailbox was. Apparently some one took issue with the US flag in his yard, and left a note along with one of our generic business cards,  that the flag was a disgrace to our veterans and our country. This man was a veteran - and he was very upset with the organization and our members. The letter did not explain what the issue was with his flag, but the lesson learned here is that if you see something that you feel you can’t agree with and it is your business to address, don’t interject the MN PG or the PGR into it. Ring the door bell and talk with the man, offer to purchase him a new flag, etc., but this is not MN PG or PGR business - it’s private business and should be handled without any MN PG or PGR identification.

On the flip side, I recieved a email quite awhile ago from a lady that just happened to be having coffee in the local cafe across the street from where we were conducting a mission.  She said as she sat there watching us, so was so impressed by our professionalism and how we conducted ourselves, and told of the comments from other patrons of how impressed they were with the way we show Honor, Dignity, and Respect.

Patches in our organization are purchased, not earned. We are not a MC, or even a Riding Club. Wearing your patch where you wish comes with the responsibility of taking care to represent the MN PG/PGR and our mission in a positive light.

People do watch what we do! The last thing we want is for someone to come to regret inviting us in a time of need, or someone to not invite us, because of the actions of a few.

Thank you for all you do!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Welcome to John "Wolfman" Kane as a new Metro SW ARC, and to Jim Cadotte as a new Duluth Sector ARC!  Thank you for stepping in to make sure missions are set up and conducted!!
Minnesota Patriot Guard Store

The MN-PG Store exists to allow us to accomplish the core mission of the MN Patriot Guard and present the Plaques and Challenge Coins to the Families of our Minnesota Heroes. The funds also go to pay for things like the signed PGR flags we present at deployments and the Website etc.  Our Basic Operating Expenses. All of these expenses and the other Military Causes we support are detailed each year in the report sent out by Leadership.  

The MN-PG Store is a totally separate entity from the National Patriot Guard Riders Store. All of the Funds generated by the MN-PG Store stay in MN, - supporting Minnesota Members of the Military.

I took over the Store in 2007 and it has been a very interesting experience. In the beginning I did everything out of my house.  My guest bedroom and my upstairs hallway were filled with boxes and Rubbermaid Containers full of T-Shirts, Hats, and Pins – etc.  Every chance I had I would log into PayPal and print out the Orders – A USPS Label and a Packing List. It took a long time.  Since then Dennis Kirk has been extremely generous in taking over the order fulfillment.  Most people at Dennis Kirk have no idea that they do this. A few dedicated and very generous people print out the orders and send them out each day.  Those same people also haul everything to the Patriot Ride each year and run the Booth there for us selling our MN-PG Merchandise.  While Dennis Kirk does a wonderful job of filling the orders they do not order or decide on the items to have in the store – and any issues or questions can only be resolved by emailing .

We currently have a major problem with the store. We have a very limited market. There are only so many members in the State of Minnesota and we have reached a saturation point with many of the items we offer for sale.

 The other issue is that we need to order large quantities in order to get a price that will allow us to offer the item at a price our members will pay for it.  T-Shirts are a prime example. Once we decide on a graphic and a shirt we have to order a minimum of 300 to get any kind of a price. With our target market of Patriot Guard Members in the State of MN we cannot order 100,000 shirts like Target would and get a better price.  It is VERY rare that we sell all of the shirts we have to order. We may sell out of a certain size but we have never sold all of the shirts we have to order. When we decide that it is time to stop selling a shirt and offer a new one we send the left overs to one of the State Veteran homes

So we are currently looking for new items to sell in the store – ANY suggestions that you think would have a chance of selling would be appreciated. Please send any suggestions you may have t

 Coming up with new items is very hard, Items that I thought would sell – like the beautiful Coffee Cups we currently have or the Polo shirts we tried at one point did not sell at all.

The way it works is that I will take all suggestions and put them into a presentation for the Board of Directors. The Board of Directors will vote on the items they feel we could sell. Once the Board approves an item I will do the work of getting bids and figuring out pricing etc.  Once I receive the Item I need to get the Information and a picture to Tim and he puts it on the Website – Dennis Kirk packages it and gets it ready to ship and then we are set.

 Thank you all for supporting the Minnesota Patriot Guard!!

John Redfield, MN PG Store Manager