By David Brown, WO1, Texas State Guard
LUBBOCK, Texas – Texas State Guard First Lieutenant Christopher Beck, a Purple Heart recipient, has been awarded the Engineer Specialty Qualification designation from the State Guard Association of the United States. The designation is awarded to the most experienced engineers upon completion of the SGAUS Engineer Specialty Qualification Identification program.
The program was created by the SGAUS Engineering Academy in 2015 to help state guard forces quickly identify and deploy highly-trained engineers during state emergencies.
“By earning the prestigious Engineer Specialty Qualification designation, Lt. Beck is leading the way among TXSG engineers,” says Lt. Col. Cecil Bell, Chief Engineer for the TXSG Command Group and General Staff.
The demanding training program includes coursework developed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s National Incident Management Structure and FEMA Independent Course Studies. Beck, a Midland native, undertook two years of intensive training to earn the honor.
“The most challenging aspect was time; it takes an immense amount of time to get through all requirements and training,” says Beck, a Texas Tech graduate with a Master’s Degree in Architecture.
In addition to SGAUS membership, successful applicants must earn the SGAUS Basic Military Emergency Management Specialist badge, pass a physical fitness requirement, and demonstrate qualifying knowledge and experience in the field of engineering or construction, with a professional degree or extensive work experience in engineering, construction management, architecture, surveying, technology or a related field.
Beck is a Project Captain and Associate Architect at WCA Design Studios in Lubbock.
He describes himself as a lifelong learner. “In the profession of architecture, you expand your knowledge daily, and I take that to all aspects of my life.”
Public service has been a central part of Beck’s life. Beck served for a combined total of over 11 years in the U.S. Army and Texas Army National Guard, including service in the 56th Brigade Combat Team. Beck joined the ranks of the TXSG in December 2017. His twin brother, Pvt. 1st Class Robert Beck, also serves in the TXSG.
While prior federal service is not a requirement for TXSG service, Beck cites a desire to assist fellow Texans and the opportunity of serving with his brother as two major factors in his decision to join the TXSG.
The skill badge on Lt. Beck’s uniform speaks to his own personal accomplishment and highlights the emphasis the TXSG places on the continued professional training of its soldiers.
“I’m sure others will be inspired by his success,” Bell adds, “and I heartily encourage qualified members of our Engineer Corps to explore the challenges and opportunities offered by the SGAUS Engineering Academy.”
Beck currently serves in the 2nd Battalion, 1st Brigade, TXSG as an Engineer Primary Skills Officer. Beck, his wife, Kerry, and their two children live in Lubbock.
The Texas State Guard is actively looking for Texans interested in serving their fellow Texans, and it especially encourages applications from those with backgrounds in engineering, construction, law and law enforcement, information technology, medicine, communications, and other professions. More information about joining the TXSG can be found online at https://tmd.texas.gov/state-guard.
The mission of the Texas Military Department (TMD) is to provide the Governor and the President with ready and trained forces in support of the citizens of Texas and State and Federal civil/military authorities at home and abroad.
The Texas Military Department is commanded by the Adjutant General of Texas, the state's senior military official appointed by the governor, and is comprised of the Office of State Administration, the Texas Army National Guard (TXARNG), the Texas Air National Guard (TXANG) and the Texas State Guard (TXSG).