Posts in Category: Texas State Guard

The Texas State Guard was fortunate to have Chief Lankford on duty


The Texas State Guard was fortunate to have Chief Lankford on duty in Del Rio while the Del Rio Sector was hosting a member of Texas United States Senator Ted Cruz’s staff. Command Master Sergeant Paul Lankford in coordination with Del Rio Sector Border Patrol Assistant Chief Spielman, made a presentation to Melissa L. Miller, Constituent Services Liaison for U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, on the mission of Operation Border Star at the Del Rio JOIC and the incorporation of Texas State Guard troops in that mission.  Ms. Miller had been visiting the Del Rio Sector Headquarters operations that day, and at the end of the day was hosted for a presentation in the Border Intelligence Center (BIC) and the Joint Operations Intelligence Center (JOIC).  This was her first experience with Texas State Guard troops and she was very impressed with the mission. 

ACC Supported the 19th Annual Austin Maccabi Games

Photo of Event 1The Air Component Command supported the 19th Annual Austin Maccabi Games. Our 32 participating Airmen provided administrative support at both the Combined Transportation Emergency and Communications Center and the Dell Jewish Community Center Emergency Operations Center. 

They also supported law enforcement officers at several venues and helped to control access to venues to safeguard the citizens of Texas and our visiting guests.

Photo of event 2

Other Maccabi Games facts:

1,300 teens from delegations across the US, Israel, and several other international communities
1,000 Austin volunteers
500 visiting coaches and spectators
200 local Austin teens
Read more about the Maccabi Games here:
( are a week long international Olympic competition of Jewish youth athletes from around the world.

TXSG Emergency Shelter Drill - Odessa 2013

KOSA - Closer Look

ODESSA -- COL Chris de Socarraz, with the Texas State Guard, discusses the shelter training occurring this week in Odessa with Mike Barker from KOSA CBS 7 news.

The shelter exercise will includes participation from the Texas State Guard and American Red Cross, as well as representatives from DPS, Texas Department of Emergency Management, and local emergency management teams.

The Texas State Guard and American Red Cross will setup a shelter and operating and following guidelines with participants acting as clients.

Red Cross to Host 24 Hour Shelter Exercise June 7th-8th

Photo by: American Red Cross

Big 2 News Staff

American Red Cross

American Red CrossAmerican Red Cross Photo by American Red Cross MIDLAND -- The Permian Basin Area Chapter of the American Red Cross will partner with the 39th Composite Regiment of the Texas State Guard, local emergency management, and other non-profits to bring the first 24 hour shelter exercise to the Permian Basin. This event will be the first time that the 39th Composite Regiment of the Texas State Guard will participate in a local exercise outside of the annual training from Brownwood, Texas - this event will be a model for future trainings in local communities around the state.

"You can see how holding this exercise in the unit's home city can only help," said Stephanie Murphree, Executive Director of the Permian Basin Chapter of the Red Cross. "In a 'real-world' disaster guard units would be called on to support efforts in the affected areas. It only makes sense for these soldiers to train alongside individuals whom they may one day be working with in the case of an actual disaster."

This exercise will take place over the course of two days, and hosting 150+ volunteers overnight. The Guard members will be trained during the event in Disaster Preparedness, specifically, shelter operations and management. Red Cross will also be using this opportunity to train local volunteers in a variety of disaster roles, as well as educating the community residents in individual disaster preparedness. Recent events in Oklahoma and in West have created a swell of interest from Emergency Response groups throughout the region.

It's always best to be prepared for any emergency. This re-enactment will help ensure that area responders will be ready when called upon. If you would like to participate in the upcoming disaster preparedness drill as an actor, feel free to contact the Permian Basin Area Chapter at (432) 563-2267 or For those interested in becoming Red Cross volunteers, you may fill out an application online at

About the American Red Cross: The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies nearly 40% of the nation's blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization -- not a government agency -- and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit

East Texas Medical Outreach Program

East Texas – This past week marked the start of the first East Texas Medical Outreach event offering free preventative and primary care to uninsured East Texans. Supported by the Texas State Guard and running 12 hours a day, licensed physicians and nurses were on site to administer multiple screenings, perform physicals and advise on healthy lifestyle choices such as healthy eating and not smoking.

The East Texas Medical Outreach event is a collaborative medical services project that unites state and county health and human service agencies, Texas Military Forces, local service groups and volunteers in the largest public health humanitarian effort in the country. The East Texas Medical Outreach event is a real-time, large-scale emergency preparedness exercise that provides medical service and disaster recovery training to state agencies and personnel while addressing the medical needs of thousands of underserved Texas residents.

"The East Texas Medical Outreach event provides support to our fellow Texans in an underserved area that needs our help. The efforts of all agencies involved are tremendous and this event has a very positive impact on the communities they touch in East Texas.” said Major General Tony Rodriquez, Commanding General, Texas State Guard. The medical services provided during the East Texas Medical Event include immunizations, blood pressure checks, cholesterol screening, diabetes screening, mammograms, women's health care, social service's support, hearing and vision exams, physicals for students, limited dental services and limited pharmacy product.

19th Regiment Captures Inaugural Gonzales Cup

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.

Texas Independence Day Message

MG M. A. Rodriguez
Fellow Guardsmen,

On March 2, 1836, Texas’ founding fathers gathered at Washington-on-the-Brazos under less than ideal circumstances. The Alamo was under siege and just days later would fall. The Texas forces were, by all reasonable measures, no match for Santa Anna’s army. What the Texians did have was the desire to live free, and protect their families and neighbors.

Like the American counterpart written sixty years earlier, the Texas Declaration of Independence carefully outlined the Texian desire for liberty and served as the legal justification of their cause.

It’s important for us each to remember that they acted not because they knew they could win, but because they knew their cause was just.

Who we are today as Texans stands as legacy to the righteousness of their action. Their love of Texas, and their fellow Texans, inspired them to work for a future they knew they may not live to see. The Lone Star State shines brightly today because those brave men put their principles ahead of their convenience, the needs of others ahead of themselves.

Your service in the Texas State Guard is no different.

Your love of Texas, and concern for your fellow Texians, has compelled you to take time each month from your families to attend drill -- sometimes traveling far and always on your own dime. You take off from work each summer to attend annual training. Most of all, you keep a go-bag packed, ready to roll when called to aid our neighbors.

Militarily, many of our Texas State Guard units can trace their history to those early days in the fight for independence. Our mission is different from theirs, but not what is important. Our love for Texas, and our abiding concern for our fellow Texans, is exactly the same.

As we celebrate Texas’ birthday this weekend, I know we both count it an honor to wear the Lone Star flag on our shoulders. Even more so, it’s an honor for me to serve alongside you as together we serve Texans.

Equal to the Task!

M. A. Rodriguez

MG, Texas State Guard


4th and 19th Regiments Sharpen Skills in Major Training Exercise

Story by: CPT Esperanza Meza, PAO, 19th Regiment and CW2 Janet Schmelzer, PAO, 4th Regiment


“Training side-by-side with the 19th, our sister regiment in Dallas, and the DFW Medical Group is something we've needed to do for quite a while,” COL Howard N. Palmer, Jr., commander of the 4th Regiment, observed. “It gives us the opportunity to trade best practices, standardize our operations, and to develop professional relationships with the soldiers with whom we may serve in the future. When we are called to state active duty, the training partnership we have now will translate into better service to the citizens of Texas. That's what we're all about.”PFC Rachel Carmickle, 4th Civil Affairs Regiment, rappels from a climbing tower at the Tarleton Challenge Course during the joint exercise of the 4th and 19th Civil Affairs Regiments at Tarleton State University in Stephenville, Texas, on January 11-13, 2013.Photo by PFC Ryan Stephens, TXSG STEPHENVILLE, Texas-- A total of 175 soldiers from the Texas State Guard (TXSG) 4th and 19th Civil Affairs Regiments participated in a joint exercise and training at Tarleton State University (TSU) and Stephenville, Texas, on January 11-13, 2013, as if they were being deployed for a tornado. As part of the joint exercise, the DFW Medical Response Group, TXSG Medical Brigade, provided medical support.

PFC Rachel Carmickle, 4th Civil Affairs Regiment, rappels from a climbing tower at the Tarleton Challenge Course during the joint exercise of the 4th and 19th Civil Affairs Regiments at Tarleton State University in Stephenville, Texas, on January 11-13, 2013.Photo by PFC Ryan Stephens, TXSG
PFC Rachel Carmickle, 4th Civil Affairs Regiment, rappels from a climbing tower at the Tarleton Challenge Course during the joint exercise of the 4th and 19th Civil Affairs Regiments at Tarleton State University in Stephenville, Texas, on January 11-13, 2013.Photo by PFC Ryan Stephens, TXSG

COL Robert Hastings, commander of 19th Regiment, viewed the weekend as “a multi-faceted exercise that accomplished a number of goals, all directly supporting our mission and Mission Essential Tasks (METL). The ropes and water safety training was intended to build self-confidence and camaraderie. When people accomplish things that they think are impossible, they grow the self-confidence to take on even more difficult tasks.”

The first training mission was to conduct Wide Area Damage Assessment on the TSU campus and in areas of Stephenville including downtown, two city parks, and the local high school. Twenty-five TXSG teams were sent out into target areas to find articles which represented people, clothing, downed electrical lines, and other hazards caused by the tornado. When hazards and persons were located, each team called in the GPS coordinates to the Tactical Operation Center (TOC).

The next day with gusting winds, 26-degree wind chill, and cloudy skies, soldiers braved winter weather to conduct a Search and Rescue mission near Stephenville at the Hunewell Ranch, a 1200-acre area covered with wooded thickets, scrub brush and bottom land. The mission was to find Boy Scouts who had gotten lost during the tornado.

MAJ Wendell Sadler, commander of the 2nd Battalion, 4th Regiment, planned the entire weekend of training. SSG Richard Schilling, Assistant S3, 4th Regiment, along with QRT soldiers from both regiments, set up the high value items, such as rocks, ribbons, campfires, clothing, trash bags, and water bottles, so that the soldiers could track the boys. Both regiments set up separate, fully-operational TOCs on the ranch under very sparse conditions, with the 4th Regiment in an old metal barn with a tractor and the 19th Regiment in an empty storage POD.

During the weekend, soldiers also participated in Water Survival training at the TSU pool. With the TSU ROTC assessing each survival technique, TXSG troops trained to tread water for 5 minutes, remove Load Bearing Equipment before surfacing, and utilize their ACU trousers as flotation devices. On the TSU Challenge Course, soldiers practiced problem solving, team building, and communication skills on both high and low ropes activities.

Several dignitaries participated with the regiments during the weekend. In attendance were TXSG Chief of Staff BG Charles Miller, Stephenville Mayor Kenny Weldon (U.S. Air Force Colonel, retired), Stephenville Fire Chief Jimmy Chew, Tarleton State University President Dr. F. Dominic Dottavio, Robert Comacho (Ombudsman for Congressman Roger Williams, Texas 25th Congressional District), and Donnie Bryant, embedded reporter for the Stephenville Empire-Tribune.

2012 Holiday Message from the Commanding General

2012 Holiday Message From The Commanding General
M. A. Rodriguez, MG, Texas State Guard, Commanding
Fellow Guardsmen,

As we enter this most joyful time of year, I offer you my deepest thanks for your dedication to the people of Texas and your fellows in the Texas State Guard.

This time of year, the short days, long nights and cool weather seemed designed for reflection and I cannot help but think how blessed I have been by my family. As guardsmen, we are each blessed by a much larger family - those we drill and deploy with. During the holiday season, I think of those other young men and women with whom I entered the Army, and served on posts across the world, and I think of the friends I have made in the Texas State Guard.

A while back, I was talking with one of the Soldiers in the 2nd Regiment. He summed things up better than I ever could have; 'Colonel, even if I just clean up the Armory, that's one less thing those boys downrange have to worry about. I can't carry a rucksack anymore, but I can try to make theirs lighter, and that's what I am here for.

I hope you will join me in thinking of those brave men and women serving far from home this season, trusting that their Creator will extend his protecting hand over them and return them home to their loved ones. Our freedom is purchased and retained by their selfless devotion to duty. They will always have a place at our table and we never forget them - because they are part of our family too.

If your holiday plans include travel, please be safe! If you need help call your chain of command, we are here for you.

I am confident that we will each return to duty following the new year Equal to the Tasks that are set before us. Merry Christmas, happy Hanukkah and best wishes for a wonderful new year!

M. A. Rodriguez

MG, Texas State Guard


Addicted to Giving

Addicted To Giving
MAJ Michael Quinn Sullivan, PAO, TXSG

(L to R) MAJ Christopher Sauceda, SGT Johnny Gately, and SrA Rheuben Towne present some 1,300 toys to the Dell Children’s Hospital on behalf of the soliders of the TXSG.
(L to R) MAJ Christopher Sauceda, SGT Johnny Gately, and SrA Rheuben Towne present some 1,300 toys to the Dell Children’s Hospital on behalf of the soldiers of the TXSG.

As addictions go, Johnny Gately has a good one: organizing Christmas toy drives.

“The more toys I get, the more toys I want,” said Gately, a sergeant assigned to the Texas State Guard headquarters in Austin. “It’s an addiction, I admit it.”

On Sunday morning, Gately delivered more than 1,300 toys - stuffed animals, board games, videos and more - to Dell Children’s Hospital on behalf of the soldiers of the TXSG.

The toys came from a variety of sources: employees at Securus Technologies, cash donations through the Texas State Guard Association from the Frisco-based Roughriders minor league baseball team, and Gately’s own business, the Drop N Aces poker league.

The toys were delivered unwrapped to Dell Children’s, giving the hospital’s staff greater latitude in how to use and distribute them now and in the months ahead.

Loxy Passmore, a Child Life assistant, said some toys will be used in the hospital’s play rooms, but many more will be given as gifts to the young patients.

Looking over the mounds of stuffed bears, she was clearly looking for - or hoping to see - something in particular.

“We have one little boy here right now who just loves panda bears. I hope there’s a panda in there somewhere.” Moments later, a stuffed panda emerged from the pile. Passmore’s eyes lit up. “This will mean so much,” she said. “All of this.”

Gately was pleased to see the number of toys collected nearly double from last year. In 2011, the TXSG delivered 755 pieces to the hospital. This year’s 1,334 sets an impressive goal for Gately to reach in ’13.

The drive started in earnest in October, but planning begins much sooner. In fact, Gately has already started thinking about next year. Employees at Securus Technologies - a Metroplex-based business - have already volunteered to participate in 2013.

SGT Gately said one selling point for both individuals and business contributors was that the toys were “staying in Texas, for Texas kids.”