MEET TARRENCE

Guided by Reason. Inspired by Passion. Educated by Experience.

Tarrence is running for St. Paul City Council (Ward 4) to create a city in which every community has equal access to opportunities that provide prosperity; a community that is built to thrive, supports growth and diversification, and is led by someone who listens to the needs and concerns of the people they represent.

Tarrence was born on Minnesota's Iron Range to two working-class parents. His parents often worked more than full-time, leaving his older brother to babysit him while they worked long hours to make ends meet. From an early age, he grew up with an understanding of income inequalities and watched families and friends struggle through multiple layoffs and shutdowns of the mines in the area - the primary economic driver on the Iron Range. 

 

After high school, Tarrence went on to study at St. Cloud State University and continued to work full-time. After two years in college, he was struggling to find his sense of identity and purpose and scrambling to maintain full-time work in order to afford tuition and mounting bills. It was then that Tarrence decided to take a break from pursuing a college degree and joined the Army. 

 

Tarrence enlisted in the MN Army National Guard in 2005 as a combat medic. At basic training, he found his calling and quickly excelled. Eventually, Tarrence went on to re-enroll in college and joined the ROTC program at St. Cloud State University. He maintained full-time employment all throughout college while continuing to serve in the MN Army National Guard. In 2009, Tarrence graduated from SCSU with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Bio-Medical Science and simultaneously received his commission as a Second Lieutenant. 

Committed to Change

Transgender Soldier Speaks Out
Trump Trans Ban

Use of photos of Tarrence in uniform  does not imply endorsement by the Department of the Army or the Department of Defense.

In 2011-2012, Tarrence deployed to Afghanistan on a special team designed to partner with the Zabul Provincial Government to improve agribusiness practices and food stability in the region. During the majority of the deployment, Tarrence worked directly with Governor in Mizan District to implement initiatives designed to build support among village elders for the Afghan Government and Afghan Military Forces while combatting the strong Taliban presence in the area. Throughout the deployment, Tarrence gained invaluable experience by working with Non-Governmental Organizations, writing grant proposals to support village improvements, and partnering with various foreign government entities. In total, Tarrence completed roughly 280 missions, earning a Bronze Star and Combat Action Badge for engaging in direct enemy combat.

 

After returning from deployment, Tarrence continued his service and began working with the MN National Guard’s Resilience and Suicide Prevention Program. Here, he developed policies and implemented training programs designed to assist service members in crisis. Tarrence went on to lead the development of the Substance Abuse Prevention Program for the MN Army National Guard. He partnered with local and state agencies to expand access to substance abuse and mental health services for service members and military family members across the state who were otherwise unable to access treatment. As a result of his work, Tarrence was hired by Accenture Federal Services and promoted to the role of a Regional Manager, responsible for overseeing the Substance Abuse and Suicide Prevention Programs for the Army National Guard across a 7-state region. 

 

While the LGBTQIA+ community has been under attack over the last two years, Tarrence has stood tall as a steadfast pillar of hope. After the 2016 reversal on allowing transgender troops to serve openly in the armed forces, Tarrence came out as trans and began his gender transition – becoming the first service member in Minnesota to complete all the requirements for a gender marker change. He remains an outspoken advocate for LGBTQIA+ rights – proving his resolve and commitment to continue serving our community and country despite ongoing attacks targeting the transgender community.  Now a Major, Tarrence is assigned to the 34th Infantry Division out of Rosemount, MN. 

 

Tarrence’s passion for the breaking the barriers that prevent equality are lifelong. He has a “never quit” mentality and is committed to using his experience and platform to bring positive outcomes to the city of St. Paul.

Guided by Reason. Inspired by Passion. Educated by Experience.
With your support, Tarrence will serve you – not at his convenience – but always.

Awards and Recognitions

Bronze Star; Meritorious Service Medal; Two Army Commendation Medals; Five Army Achievement Medals; Minnesota Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal; Two Army Reserve Component Achievement Medals; Afghanistan Campaign Medal with Service Star; Armed Forces Reserve Medal with M-Device; NATO Medal; Global War on Terrorism Medal; Overseas Service Training Ribbon; National Defense Service Medal; Combat Action Badge; Meritorious Unit Commendation

Lavender Community Award; MN Lynx Inspiring Person; Featured Exhibit at the US Army Women's History Museum; Nominated for the General MacArthur Leadership Award; Numerous Magazine Articles and Guest Speaking Engagements

Early On

 

Speaking at National Coming Out Day

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2019 by  Committee to Elect Tarrence Robertson-Bayless