Posts From May, 2012

Texas State Guard Officer Candidate School Graduates New Cohort of Junior Officers

Texas State Guard Officer Candidate School Graduates New Cohort of Junior Officers
MAJ Michael Quinn Sullivan, PAO, TXSG
AUSTIN, Texas – The Texas State Guard (TXSG) has ten new junior officers who were recently commissioned following their graduation from Officer Candidate School (OCS) on May 6, 2012.

“I’m proud of these new officers who have proven their mettle in this very demanding course,” said Maj. Gen. Raymond Peters, commanding general of the Texas State Guard. “They have rightfully earned the insignia we pinned on their uniforms today. I have no doubt they will make Texas proud as well as they return to their units as new leaders.”

The TXSG OCS was launched in 2011 as a new program of instruction designed to train and develop junior officers for service in the TXSG. The instruction, exercises and experiences all focus on the TXSG and its unique mission to provide trained and ready military forces to assist state and local authorities in times of state emergencies and to augment the Texas Army National Guard and Texas Air National Guard as required.

“The TXSG OCS program has been completely redone to provide our junior officers the leadership and mission skills they will need to lead TXSG troops in the missions and environment where we serve,” said Col. Thomas Hamilton, OCS commander. “It’s by design a challenging, stressful course that not everyone can complete.”

During the six-month course, the candidates each completed eighteen graded exams, seven or more graded leadership roles, six research projects, and passed three Army Physical Fitness Tests. They successfully completed both the Air Assault Confidence Course at Camp Swift and the Leadership Reaction Course at Fort Hood. And in preparation for their assignment as leaders in the TXSG, they completed all TXSG-required FEMA training as well as all requirements of the TXSG Officer Basic Course. It is estimated that the candidates completed at least 500 hours of off-duty study and preparation as part of the program.

A number of the graduates were recognized for their achievements in the course.

2d Lt. H. Lee Burton of the TXSG’s 2d Regiment headquartered in Austin was recognized as the honor graduate, earning the Maj. Gen. Raymond C. Peters Distinguished Honor Graduate Award.

2d Lt. Robert Williamson of the TXSG’s 8th Regiment headquartered in Houston was presented the National Guard Association of Texas Leadership Excellence Award.

2d Lt. Lance R. Herrington also of the 8th Regiment was presented the Bell Helicopter Academic Excellence Award.

The Physical Fitness Awards for the highest scoring male and female candidates on the physical fitness test were earned by 2d Lt. H. Lee Burton and 2d Lt. Joanna K. C. Kearns of the 2d Regiment.

The remaining graduates were 2d Lt. Leland Burns, 2d Lt. Brian Faure, 2d Lt. Peggy Gutierrez, 2d Lt. Lance Herrington, 2d Lt. James Lumpkin, 2d Lt. Michael Meadors, and Ens. Joe Tillman.

“In addition to the leadership and mission skills they developed in the course,” Col. Hamilton added, “they learned to appreciate the value of trust and comradery forged during the crucible of shared hardships, sacrifice, anxiety, stress and even some measure of fear. These lessons will serve them well when they are called to lead others in times of hardship.”

The next OCS Class is scheduled to begin on Sept. 28, 2012. Interested TXSG personnel should contact their unit personnel officer for application information. Applications are due to TXSG HQ no later than Aug. 3, 2012.

Texas recruiter named best in the Air Guard

Texas Recruiter named best in the Air Guard
Tech. Sgt. Jennifer A. Joubert of Lake Church, La., a production recruiter with the 149th Fighter Wing at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, was recently named the top recruiter in the Air National Guard for "Prior Service Qualified Accessions" and "Critical Accessions." (National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Miguel Arellano)

 Texas Recruiter named best in the Air Guard

 Story by Staff Sgt. Phil Fountain and Vince Madrid
 CAMP MABRY, Texas – Last month, Tech. Sgt. Jennifer A. Joubert of Lake Church, La., a production recruiter with the  149th Fighter Wing at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, was recognized by the Air National Guard as one of the nation’s  top recruiters during the 2012 Air National Guard Recruiting and Retention Workshop in New Orleans, in her native state.

 The Air National Guard annually recognizes its best performers nationally for recruiting and retention efforts. Joubert’s  performance at the San Antonio-based F-16 combat fighter training unit during Fiscal Year 2011 earned her the  distinction of being the nation’s top Air Guard recruiter in both “Prior Service Qualified Accessions” and “Critical  Accessions.”

 Earning two of the distinctions in one year is considered to be a unique accomplishment, as there are only four categories  of annual awards for production recruiters in the Air National Guard. The other categories are for top non-prior service  and overall accessions, or recruiting.

 “An accession happens when a person actually enlists and is successfully gained into the unit,” Joubert said. “Prior  service recruits can be from any branch [of the armed forces], and includes transfers from one [National] Guard unit to  another.”

 Joubert further explained that critical accessioning involves placing airmen into difficult to fill positions, which “are designated annually by NGB (National Guard Bureau) for the fiscal year.”

The ANG award categories highlight a production recruiter’s dynamic recruiting ability, exceptional technical expertise, and steadfast focus on mission accomplishment. Additionally, this particular recognition builds upon Joubert’s record as having been previously named the Texas Air National Guard’s Rookie Production Recruiter of the Year for 2011.

Although relatively new to the Lone Star State and the recruiting field, Joubert has extensive military experience she can share with potential recruits, including service in Masirah, Oman, while she was in the active-duty Air Force as a member of the Security Forces. Additionally, she has served in administrative positions within other units of the Air National Guard.

“None of the awesome capabilities provided by the Texas Air National Guard could exist without airmen,” said Senior Master Sgt. Michael E. Fruge, superintendent of recruiting and retention for the Texas Air National Guard. “We could not have airmen without outstanding recruiters like Tech. Sgt. Joubert.”

During FY11, Joubert was directly responsible for bringing in 62 new Lone Star Gunfighters, which members of the 149th Fighter Wing are known as, and “90 percent of her accessions were in critical vacancies,” according to the award nomination package.

Joubert credits her success with finding the best possible fit for each new airman. She said she’s most rewarded “when recruits go off to training and come back transformed and proud. I try to make sure I’m giving them what they’re looking for while fulfilling the mission of the unit.”

April is sexual assault awareness month

Maj. Gen. John F. Nichols, Texas' adjutant general, signing a proclamation recognizing April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month for the Texas Military Forces, at Camp Mabry, in Austin, Texas, April 3, 2012.
Photograph from event featuring Maj. Gen. John F. Nichols, Texas' adjutant general, signing a proclamation recognizing April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month for the Texas Military Forces, at Camp Mabry, in Austin, Texas, April 3, 2012.


Story by Maj. Paula Rodriguez and Staff Sgt. Phil Fountain

 CAMP MABRY, Texas – On April 3, Maj. Gen. John F. Nichols, the adjutant general of Texas, and Command Sgt. Maj.  Bradley C. Brandt, the state’s senior enlisted advisor, signed a proclamation designating this month as Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Throughout the month, the Texas Military Forces will hold numerous activities highlighting the  importance of preventing and responding to sexual violence and assault.

 These efforts will continue to promote education and training to create an environment where sexual assault is rejected,  and a culture of prevention, response and accountability flourishes.

 Not only does sexual assault irrevocably hurt, denigrate and violate the victim’s life, it can directly impact every member of our unit, and our mission. As a force, the National Guard must be ready to quickly and efficiently deploy, whether overseas for contingency operations or in response to state disasters, such as wildfires and hurricanes. Our readiness depends on our ability to act as a team and for each of us to be able to depend on one another.

The Sexual Assault Prevention and Response program is a Department of Defense initiative to “ensure the safety, dignity and well being of all members of the Armed Forces.”

“Denim Day” will be our most comprehensive SAAM initiative, and will take place on April 25, 2012. A rape prevention education program, “Denim Day” is held in honor of a woman who was forcibly raped by her driving instructor. The perpetrator’s conviction was overturned, according to the chief judge, “…because the victim wore very, very tight jeans, she had to help him remove them, and by removing the jeans it was no longer rape, but consensual sex.”

On Wednesday, April 25, TXMF personnel can wear jeans to work after they learn about the history of “Denim Day” and receive a “Jean Pocket” sticker from the SAPR office. The purpose of wearing the jeans is to make a public statement to combat misconceptions surrounding sexual violence.

Other state and unit level SAAM activities will include the distribution of posters and handouts, mobile training activities, a Fun Run and 5K, as well as candlelight vigil.

Additionally, a joint event with SafePlace, a local crisis center, will take place during the Texas Military Forces Open House & American Heroes Air Show at Camp Mabry, in Austin, Texas, April 21-22, 2012.

All sexual assault victims that contact a SAPR office are treated with dignity, fairness and respect. The office works to help restore victim's health and well-being, and ensure senior leaders understand that allegations of sexual assault must be thoroughly investigated and that appropriate administrative and disciplinary action be taken against perpetrators.

To learn more about the SAPR program, please visit or contact the state office at SARC@TX.NGB.Army.Mil. Additionally, you can get our latest updates on Facebook at

Victims of sexual assault can call the 24/7 Safe Helpline at (877) 995-5547.

Staff Sgt. Phil Fountain contributed to this story.