Texas State Guard Public Affairs

AUSTIN, Texas - Six members of the Texas State Guard’s 19th Regiment, headquartered in Dallas, took top honors in the inaugural Commander’s Small Unit Excellence Challenge, winning the “Gonzales Cup.” The two-day event held in early June at Camp Bowie, TX tested the Guardsmen in a number of individual and team skills. “The Commanders Challenge was designed to provide a competitive training exercise for our soldiers, incorporating our Mission Essential Tasks into a series of field training scenarios,” said Maj. Kevin Lilly, officer-in-charge of the event. “Additionally, we wanted to promote esprit de corps, unit cohesion and the type of bonding formed in team endeavors.” The intent according to Lilly was to create a physically and mentally demanding exercise. All tasks were graded to U.S. Army standards. The four tasks evaluated were: 

 

  1. Combat Lifesaver/First Aid. The Guardsmen were scored on individual skills and placed in timed team exercises, such as stabilizing spinal injuries, arterial bleeding, transporting an injured individual over rough terrain, and using a field improvised litter; 
  2. Physical Fitness. Guardsmen were graded on push-ups, sit-ups and a timed run based upon the Army Physical Fitness Test; 
  3. Small Arms Marksmanship. Competitors fired 9mm pistols from the standing, kneeling, squatting and prone position; and
  4. Radio Telephone Operator procedures testing.

“I am very proud of this team of highly skilled and motivated Guardsmen,” said Col. Robert Hastings, commanding officer of the 19th Regiment. “They went after this challenge with vigor. They studied, they trained, they rehearsed, and they won.” The 19th Regiment’s wining team, led by Master Sgt. Mark Sligar, squared off against competitors representing four other TXSG Regiments from across the state. 

The winning team members are:

 

  • Master Sgt. Mark Sligar
  • Sgt. Ken Clayton
  • Sgt. Ronnie Littles
  • Cpl. Brian Nail
  • Pfc. Samuel Lopez
  • Pfc. Robert Marlin

Sgt. Ken Clayton was also recognized for achieving the highest individual score in the competition. The “Gonzales Cup” is named for the Battle of Gonzales, the first military engagement of the Texas Revolution. It was fought near Gonzales, Texas, on October 2, 1835, between rebellious Texian settlers and a detachment of Mexican army troops. The cup is inscribed with the slogan “Come and Take It” which was printed on the flag flown by the Gonzales settlers during the battle. The 19th Regiment has a record of excellence in competition. The Regiment’s competitive marksmanship team won the Texas Adjutant General’s Combat Rifle Competition Match twice, and the unit’s Quick Reaction Team won the QRT Challenge three times.