Posts in Category: Texas State Guard

TX State Guard team practices recovering car

Story by: KXAN News

Posted: April 11, 2015

TX State Guard recover carBASTROP (KXAN) — Members of the Texas State Guard Maritime Regiment extracted a car submerged in Lake Bastrop on Saturday. There was nothing foul or suspicious about the vehicle because it was nothing more than a training exercise, however the skills can be crucial for cases when a vehicle ends up underwater.

“We are ready to aid those local agencies that do not have the assets to do things like what we did today,” said Brigadier General Brian Smallwood.

The Maritime Regiment TXSG is made up of 240 volunteers and operates across the state of Texas and many took part in the “underwater disaster preparedness” exercise.

Wednesday they played out a scenario of a car plunging into Lake Bastrop after being carjacked. Two potential “victims” were inside the car while a ground search took place for the suspect.

Using four divers and giant yellow air lift bags, the team located and then lifted the car out of the water with a very careful technique.

“There could be evidence and we have to be safe with the vehicle,” said Lt. Stephen Moffit.

http://kxan.com/2015/04/11/tx-state-guard-team-practices-recovering-car-from-lake/

Army Component Texas State Guard Welcomes New General

Howard N. Palmer, Jr. Promoted to Brigadier General

Story by: CW2 Janet Schmelzer, 4th Regiment, PAO

Posted: March 28, 2015

CAMP MABRY, AUSTIN, TX (28March2015) - Brig. Gen. Howard N. Palmer, Jr.  formally assumed command of the Army Component, TXSG, at a ceremony held at Camp Mabry, Austin, Texas, March 28, 2015. Palmer will command almost one thousand TXSG soldiers in six civil affairs regiments located across the state. Photo by CW2 Janet Schmelzer, TXSG.
CAMP MABRY, AUSTIN, TX (28March2015) - Brig. Gen. Howard N. Palmer, Jr.  formally assumed command of the Army Component, TXSG, at a ceremony held at Camp Mabry, Austin, Texas, March 28, 2015. Palmer will command almost one thousand TXSG soldiers in six civil affairs regiments located across the state. Photo by CW2 Janet Schmelzer, TXSG.

CAMP MABRY, AUSTIN, TX (28 March 2015) – The Army Component Command of the Texas State Guard has a new commander and a new general, Brig. Gen. Howard N. Palmer, Jr.  Maj. Gen. Jake Betty, Commander, TXSG, promoted Palmer to the rank of brigadier general and formally handed over the Army Component to Palmer at a ceremony held at Camp Mabry, Austin, Texas, March 28, 2015. Palmer assumed command of the ACC, January 1, 2015. Palmer will command almost one thousand TXSG soldiers in six civil affairs regiments located across the state.

"I couldn't be more honored, or more humbled, by the opportunity to lead one of the premier organizations of this type in the United States," Palmer stated. "With my mentors' support and the support of the officers, NCOs, and enlisted members of the Army Component, we're going to continue moving forward as an organization with a culture and a strategy of continuous improvement."

Palmer was commissioned as a second lieutenant into the Louisiana Army National Guard after completing the ROTC program at Louisiana College in 1980 and ended his federal service as a lieutenant colonel in the Texas Army National Guard in 2008.  His federal service active duty assignments included deployment to Bosnia for Operation Joint Forge in 2000;  Operation Noble Eagle II in 2003;  Operation Jump Start (Marfa, Texas); and J3, Operation Jump Start (Austin, Texas) from 2006-2008.  He is a graduate of Field Artillery School Officer Basic Course; Field Artillery  School, Cannon Battery Officer Course; Field Artillery School Officer Advanced Course; Combined Arms and Services Staff School; Command and General Staff College-Graduate; and Field Artillery Pre-Command Course.

At the ceremony Palmer also received The State of Texas Outstanding Service Medal for exemplary service in the military forces of Texas.  Palmer's highest awards for military service are the Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal w/1 OLC, Army Commendation Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal, and Army Achievement Medal w/4 OLC, as well as various other state and federal ribbons.

Palmer joined the TXSG at the rank of Colonel in 2008.  He served as the commander of the 4th Regiment, TXSG, from 2010-2015.

Palmer holds a BA in English and History from Louisiana College-Pineville, Pineville, Louisiana, and a MA in Educational Administration from Texas A&M University-Commerce, Commerce, Texas.  He is an Assistant Principal at Denton High School, Denton, Texas.  He is married to Dr. Mary "Beth" Palmer. They have a son, 1st Lt. Howard N. Palmer, III, US Air Force, and daughter-in-law Julia C. Palmer.

I am the Guard

"I AM THE GUARD"

New Video from the Texas Military Forces

Story by: Chief Warrant Officer Two Janet Schmelzer

Posted: March 9, 2015

I am the GuardI am the Guard - Video AUSTIN, Texas) - The Texas State Guard is featured in the new "I AM THE GUARD" video produced by SFC Malcolm McClendon, Texas Military Public Affairs Office.  This video is about the Texas Military Forces which includes the Texas Army National Guard, the Texas Air National Guard, and the Texas State Guard. 

One of the soldiers profiled is Staff Sgt. Jason Lopez, 2nd Regiment, Texas State Guard.  Photos include as well other TXSG soldiers. 

Video is available by clicking the image (left), the link in the right column on this page I am the Guard, or www.facebook.com/TexasStateGuard,  the TMD website  or www.facebook.com/TexasMilitaryForces.

Amputee Serves State in Texas Guard

Story by: Capt. Esperanza Meza

Posted: March 1, 2015

PFC Lonnie Roy(GREENVILLE, Texas) - Despite growing up as an amputee with a prosthetic leg, Pfc. Lonnie Roy, Texas State Guard, always wanted to serve.

Roy grew up watching his father, a retired chief petty officer in the U.S. Navy, serve and spent much of his childhood on military bases. Roy always had a desire to serve, but never could due to his disability.

Roy realized his dream when he graduated Regional Basic Orientation Training and became a Texas State Guardsman Nov. 16, 2014, at the Greenville Armory.

Roy, a Dallas-area resident and director of health systems research at Parkland Health & Hospital Systems in Dallas, was born with a bone disease that led to a leg amputation. After a chance meeting with Sgt. Brian Nail, 19th Regiment, Texas State Guard, Roy learned that his dream of serving might become a reality.

Nail told Roy to look into the State Guard, informing Roy that his disability may be an obstacle but might not be a disqualifier. Roy’s wife was excited and wholeheartedly supported him as she knew he wanted to be in the military his whole life, Roy said. 

“Being an amputee, some unique challenges required a little more effort to overcome aside from everyday inconveniences,” said Roy. 

During the training, troops received extensive training in land navigation, communications, customs and courtesies, rank structure and chain of command, wear and maintenance of the uniform, a basic leadership course, drill and ceremony and a physical fitness test. 

During his training, Roy had to get creative. He learned putting on trousers with a prosthetic leg was difficult due to its three inter-locking pieces. To minimize the time devoted to dressing in the morning, Roy decided it would be easier to pre-dress the leg and lace up the boot and leave it up against his bed roll before going to sleep. 

“RBOT was more difficult for me than my fellow trainees,” said Roy, about the training. “Marching presented some unique obstacles for me.” 

Marching on uneven surfaces makes it difficult for an amputee to maintain balance. That coupled with keeping in step with his prosthetic leg that seemed to take too long to follow through on the forward step, resulted in Roy falling to the rear.

To fix this marching problem, Roy adjusted his gait, taking 30-inch steps with his leg and 15-inch steps with the prosthetic leg, a suggestion given to him based on how wounded warrior amputees adjusted to marching.
 
In addition to adjusting to marching with a prosthetic, Roy experienced difficulty in completing the one-mile event on the fitness test, but with some encouragement from fellow service members, he was able to complete it.

“My success was a combination of internal fortitude and fellow soldier’s encouragement providing me the needed motivation,” said Roy. “I am very excited to be part of the Texas State Guard and the Texas Military Forces. I never thought it would be possible to serve in any military force. I hope to continue to serve the State of Texas.”

For those considering the Texas State Guard, but hesitant that a disability may inhibit them, Roy’s message is: "If you are interested in joining, apply and go for it."

Roy is assigned to 1st Battalion, 19th Regiment of the Texas State Guard.

Taking Care of our Own

By: SSG Timothy Pruitt

Group Picture

SPC Poncher and PFC Katz are both full time students while serving in the Texas State Guard.  During this years winter break, they parked SPC Poncher's car at the airport in what they thought was secured parking. 

The car had been broken into and both soldier's gear, uniforms  and other personal items were taken.  The soldiers, over the last few weeks have been slowly replacing all the missing items.

Today during drill at Camp Swift, 1SG Smith and LTC Dudenhoeffer presented replacement ruck sacks to the soldiers.  They used their personal funds to purchase the ruck sacks for their soldiers.

Col Dudenhoeffer said," this is how we take care of our troops in 1BN 2nd REGT."  The purchase of the bags send a message that the troops will be taken care of if the need  arises.

Promotion Ceremony for SGT Brenda Burns

Story by: CMSgt Paul Lankford

DEL RIO, Texas - Cpl. Brenda Burns was promoted to sergeant on December 17, 2014 during a Texas State Guard promotion ceremony held in Del Rio.

Sgt. Burns, who is assigned to the Texas State Guard’s Army Component Command, 1st Battalion 19th Regiment, is also working alongside the Department of Public Safety and other local law enforcement agencies in a joint-agency operation in the Del Rio area.

The Texas State Guard is a branch of the Texas Military Forces responsible for providing mission-ready military forces to assist state and local authorities in times of state emergencies, with homeland security and community service through Defense Support to Civil Authorities and to augment the other two branches of the Texas Military Forces, the Texas Army National Guard and Texas Air National Guard as force multipliers. The State Guard’s missions are directed by the Commander in Chief of the Texas Military Forces the Governor of Texas and commanded by the Texas Adjutant General.

Arthur Miller, Border Liaison Officer, conducted the promotion ceremony and Sgt. Burns’ husband Russell, who is a veteran U.S. Marine, pinned the new rank on his wife.

Promotion Ceremony picture 1Promotion Ceremony picture 2

TXSG OCS Class 14 Prepares for Graduation

After successfully clearing the low-crawl obstacle on his stomach, Officer Candidate Michael Ross goes for round 2 on his back. Photo Credit Captain Shaw James
After successfully clearing the low-crawl obstacle on his stomach, Officer Candidate Michael Ross goes for round 2 on his back. Photo Credit Captain Shaw James

AUSTIN, Texas - The Texas State Guard (TXSG) Officer Candidate School (OCS) will graduate Class 14 on January 17, 2015.

Class 14, which began in October 2014, is the first to complete the newly revised 5 month accelerated OCS program which includes 1 month of preparatory online classes and 4 monthly drill events at Camp Swift. Previously, candidates completed OCS over 8 months; completing the condensed course has been no easy feat for the 8 candidates remaining from the 15 who started.

"Condensing the OCS drill cycle to five months instead of the previous eight months has proven to be beneficial for the candidates and cadre. The reduced number of drill periods resulted in less time away from families and employment while decreasing the potential for safety concerns during travel. The pace of the course is significantly faster, but overall quality of instruction has not been adversely affected. We believe we will see an increase in applications due to the shortened time frame and we are very pleased with the progress and enthusiasm of the current class of candidates" said COL Thomas Hamilton, TXSG J-7.

The TXSG began the OCS program in 2011 to meet the need for junior officers who are trained and prepared to fulfill the missions unique to the TXSG. The first month of the new OCS program utilizes the online Moodle platform for completion of pre-commissioning courses. The monthly four-day training exercises are designed to test the mental and physical endurance of candidates, while simultaneously requiring the devotion of countless off-duty hours to OCS academic and fitness demands. Class 14 has one more drill weekend before graduation, which will include completion of the Leadership Reaction Course at Fort Hood.

Officer Candidate Scott Runnels gives a hop as he scales down the rappelling tower. Photo Credit Captain Shawn James
Officer Candidate Scott Runnels gives a hop as he scales down the rappelling tower. Photo Credit Captain Shawn James

Class 14 is comprised of 3 candidates from the Army Component, 2 candidates from the Air Component, and 3 candidates from the Texas Maritime Regiment. Candidates are blended from their respective components and come together as one team working towards their graduation and commissioning. Officer Candidate Samuel Sexton stated, “OCS is more challenging than I could have imagined. There is no way to make it as an individual and the key is working as a team and accomplishing the tasks together.”

Graduation will be held at the Camp Mabry Auditorium in Building 8 at 1300 HRS on January 17, 2015.

Class 15 is scheduled to begin in January 2015.

 

Texas State Guard Officer Candidate School Graduates Seven Junior Officers from Class 14

 

OCS Commander CPT JoAnna Carle displays her gift from Class 14 with graduates Second Lieutenant Roy Lopez (Front) and Second Lieutenant Michael Ross (Back). Photo Credit: Capt. Shawn James
OCS Commander CPT JoAnna Carle displays her gift from Class 14 with graduates Second Lieutenant Roy Lopez (Front) and Second Lieutenant Michael Ross (Back). Photo Credit: Capt. Shawn James

AUSTIN, Texas – The Texas State Guard (TXSG) commissioned seven new junior officers from Officer Candidate School (OCS) Class 14 on 17 January 2015. 

The five-month course, condensed from the original eight-month course, began in September 2014. Throughout the course, candidates completed eighteen graded exams, three Army Physical Fitness Tests, the Air Assault Confidence Course at Camp Swift, and the Leadership Reaction Course at Camp Bullis. The candidates also completed the requirements for the TXSG Professional Military Education (PME) Officer Basic Course, in addition to an estimated 350 hours of off-duty time devoted to OCS preparation and study. 

ENS Walker, the Officer Candidate Platoon Leader during the final month of the course stated, “I had to search deep within myself and continuously push to achieve my goal of becoming an officer.” 

Balancing the rigors of OCS, civilian employment, families, and personal responsibilities creates additional substantial stress for the candidates. The graduation ceremony for Class 14 was equally important to those who supported the candidates during their OCS experience. 

MG Jake Betty, TXSG Commanding General, addressed the graduates during the ceremony and stated, “As you start your career as an officer in the State Guard I encourage you to draw on your past experiences, have high morals, maintain your personal appearance, be fair, be consistent, have the courage to do the right thing, set and maintain high standards, and continue to develop as a leader.” 
 
Several graduates received recognition for their achievements during the course:

2nd Lt. Samuel Sexton from the Air Component Headquarters received the Colonel Thomas C. Hamilton Distinguished Honor Graduate Award. 2nd Lt. Sexton is the first recipient of the award presented in COL Hamilton’s name.

ENS Richard Bruner of 3rd Battalion (Lima Co) earned the Academic Excellence Award.

2LT Roy Lopez from 1st Regiment (1st BN) ¬¬was awarded the Leadership Excellence Award.

2nd Lt. Stevie McCoy from the 4th AW (482nd ASG) received the Physical Fitness Award.

The additional graduates were 2LT Michael Ross of the 19th Regiment (2nd BN), ENS Scott Runnels from 1st Battalion (Delta Co), and ENS Timothy Walker from 3rd Battalion (Lima Co). 

The TXSG OCS program is designed to develop junior officers for the unique mission of the TXSG. The OCS curriculum includes the instruction, exercises, and experiences needed to develop officer candidates into successful leaders. The next class is scheduled to begin in March 2015. TXSG personnel interested in applying should contact their unit personnel officer for future application information. 

 

Members of the TXSG OCS Command Staff and Instructor Cadre. Photo Credit: Capt. Shawn James. Top Row (left to right): LT Keith Przybyla, CPT H. Lee Burton, Capt. Christopher Click Bottom Row (left to right): CPT JoAnna Carle, MGySgt(MC) Nichols, COL Thomas Hamilton, MSgt Raymond Winkler, Sgt Patrick Rodriguez
Members of the TXSG OCS Command Staff and Instructor Cadre. Photo Credit: Capt. Shawn James.
Top Row (left to right): LT Keith Przybyla, CPT H. Lee Burton, Capt. Christopher Click
Bottom Row (left to right): CPT JoAnna Carle, MGySgt(MC) Nichols, COL Thomas Hamilton, MSgt Raymond Winkler, Sgt Patrick Rodriguez
TXSG OCS Class 14 Graduates. Photo Credit: Capt. Shawn James Top Row (left to right): 2nd Lt. Samuel Sexton, ENS Timothy Walker, 2LT Michael Ross Bottom Row (left to right): 2LT Roy Lopez, 2nd Lt. Stevie McCoy, ENS Scott Runnels, ENS Richard Bruner
TXSG OCS Class 14 Graduates. Photo Credit: Capt. Shawn James
Top Row (left to right): 2nd Lt. Samuel Sexton, ENS Timothy Walker, 2LT Michael Ross
Bottom Row (left to right): 2LT Roy Lopez, 2nd Lt. Stevie McCoy, ENS Scott Runnels, ENS Richard Bruner

Texas State Guard Kicks off Young Heroes of the Guard Toy Drive

Story by: Capt. Esperanza Meza, PAO – 19th Regt.
Posted: 20-DEC-2014

A few days before Christmas, members of the Texas State Guard deliver donated toys to various children's hospitals in their local areas to bring broad smiles to kids and teens. With a goal to raise 10,000 toys this year the TXSG Chaplains group, with the guidance of TXSG Chaplain (Col.) Douglas Sewell, kicked off the Young Heroes of the Guard Christmas Toy Drive. The intent is to far-surpass last year's donations of 6,644 toys and leave a year's worth of toys behind at every hospital they visit.

In 2009, two Chaplains were initiated a challenge by a TXSG officer creating the Young Heroes of the Guard after a news report aired. The officer saw a report of children suffering in hospitals; families hurting emotionally and struggling financially, with all of them feeling forgotten during the holidays. That first year they focused their attention mainly on collecting toys for Cook Children's Medical Center in Fort Worth. There is perhaps little which is more painful to a child than to be in the hospital during the holidays rather than at home. In the following years, the vision was expanded to include five hospitals statewide; the goal, to include 15-18 more hospitals this year.

Many touching stories have arisen over the years since this effort began. One story, noted by Chaplain (Capt.) David Fish, 4th Regiment, Fort Worth, came from Cpl. Vic Segura, who visited a cancer floor. The report stated, "One kid in particular made all of us in our group break down. We found out later that she loved art. A gift given to her took her to another place, a better place than a hospital and her current condition. Things given to her helped her create art… creating happiness. Immediately she cried when she got her gift. Anyone with a heart would have cried too upon seeing that. Art she created was shown… amazing. Without that gift somebody gave to our cause, we were told that she would have never been able to have it because her family cannot afford items like that."

Such stories and experiences as these have provided abundant motivation as TXSG units across the state this year started early collecting toys by encouraging businesses, schools, churches and organizations to join the effort. Operation Matthew 25, a grassroots organization promoting humanitarian needs, initiated a partnership challenging its members to raise 1000 toys by sending their gifts through Amazon.com.

To raise more toys, led by Chaplain Sewell and Staff Sgt. John Gately, the 1st Annual Texas State Guard - Veterans Day Celebration & Toy Drive was held in Frisco, Texas. The message, "Do your duty, take care of your people and get those 10,000 toys," was exclaimed by keynote speaker, Maj. Gen. Jake Betty, Commanding General of the TXSG. Representative Dan Flynn, Texas House Representative, District 2, and Colonel in the Army Component Command of the TXSG, also attended.

Gately, TXSG Headquarters J-6, has been instrumental in coordinating with donation providers and in creating the current TXSG toy drive website, www.txsgtoydrive.org. Starting at 19th Regiment in 2010 and then transferring to HQ in Austin, Gately directed his toy drive efforts benefiting Dell Children's Medical Center. "I remember Loxy Passmore, a Child Life assistant. As she was telling me that some toys would be in the hospital's play rooms and given as gifts to young patients, she was looking over the mounds of stuffed bears. She was clearly looking for - or hoping to see - something in particular," said Gately. "We have one little boy here, right now who just loves panda bears. I hope there's a panda in there somewhere,” he recalls her stating. “Moments later, a stuffed panda emerged from the pile. Passmore's eyes lit up. ‘This will mean so much.. All of this,’" stated Gately.

With a personal goal to raise 3,000 toys, Gately fanned out to local businesses setting up donation boxes, partnering with a golf event in Denton and getting a donation from the TXSG non-profit organization for teddy bears. "When I was six years old, I broke my leg. When I got out of the hospital, my parents got me a stuffed teddy bear," said Gately. "I remember how happy it made me. Now I want to help bring the same joy to other children."

Several TXSG soldiers are leading the drive to collect 1000 or more toys on their own like Sgt. James Williams, 2nd Regiment, in Austin, who has collected over 600 toys. Also, Staff Sgt. Rhueben Towne, who serves dual roles with the 447th Air Support Group at Ellington Field JRB in Houston and with 5th Air Wing TXSG as an A6 NCOIC has also raised 730 toys. Additionally, Towne has won the participation of a professional basketball team - the Houston Rockets - with a portion of their ticket proceeds pledged to go towards Children's Memorial Hermann Hospital. Towne is also coordinating with other TXSG components like the Galveston Medical Response Group, for Shriners. "Giving a toy to a child who is not expecting it, during their time in the hospital," said Towne, "is seeing a little joyfulness. It's worth their time (along with his wife) in purchasing and collecting toys."

Texas State Guard 8th Regiment Provides Support to Wings Over Houston

Date: November 1, 2014

By: SSG Malana Nall, PAO - 8th REGT

HOUSTON, TX – Soldiers from the Texas State Guard's 8th Regiment put its skills and training to the test at the 30th Annual Wings Over Houston Air Show. Wings Over Houston is one of the top air shows in the United States in its category and attracts festival goers from throughout Houston and around the globe. This year’s performers featured the US Navy’s Blue Angels Flight Demonstration Team which excited the crowd.

This was the 28th time support has been provided to the event and the soldiers were well versed in the needs and requirements of the Texans who attended.  Over 100 soldiers from the Regiment were on hand at Ellington Field to assist members of the Commemorative Air Force, and Houston Police Department with crowd safety and control. Troops manned the flight line in an effort to keep visitors out of the pathway of taxing aircraft, provided gate security, bag inspections and directional crowd control for record crowd of an estimated 95,000 visitors. 1LT Lance Herrington stated; “We were proud to be able to assist so many Texans in enjoying the show and many kids enjoyed our set up to try on military gear and get their picture taken.”  Additionally members of the TXSG Medical Brigade assisted in the treatment of staff and visitors to the air show with medical needs.   Overall over 3500 man hours were provided in what has become one of the biggest events of the year for the regiment.

Photo Credit to: SSG Malana Nall, PAO - 8th REGT   - SPC Mark Renfro receives a high five from a visitor to the 30th Annual Wings Over Houston Air Show.
Photo Credit to: SSG Malana Nall, PAO - 8th REGT   - SPC Mark Renfro receives a high five from a visitor to the 30th Annual Wings Over Houston Air Show. 
Photo Credit to: SSG Malana Nall, PAO - 8th REGT - PV2 Nicholas Ognanovich talks with visitors while keeping them safe from moving aircraft on the flight line of the 30th Annual Wings Over Houston Air Show.
Photo Credit to: SSG Malana Nall, PAO - 8th REGT - PV2 Nicholas Ognanovich talks with visitors while keeping them safe from moving aircraft on the flight line of the 30th Annual Wings Over Houston Air Show.