Posts in Category: Texas State Guard

Carry the Load: Bringing back the heart of Memorial Day

By: Marcus Moore

WFAA - Posted: May 26, 2014

Carry the Load: Bringing back the heart of Memorial Day

Dr. Scott Nichol, with the Texas State Guard, talked to News 8 Monday morning to discuss how Carry the Load has brought back the true meaning of Memorial Day.

With over 2,000 miles of coverage from West Point, New York to Dallas, the Carry the Load national relay traveled through 11 states. Participants walked with flags and backpacks to honor service members.

"It's growing every year and bringing back what Memorial Day really means to people instead of just barbecue," he said.

Volunteers Place American Flags on Graves of Veterans

Story By: Elissa Rivas

ABC13 - Posted: May 25, 2014

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- At Houston's National Cemetery, thousands of American flags were placed on the graves Sunday morning to note the sacrifice's of thousands of fallen troops.

"We are out here to put flags on the graves of veterans and to honor their memory," said volunteer Carlos Markham.

"This is very humbling, to be amongst our heros," said Lt. Commander Mike Connor of the Texas State Guard.

Each grave was marked with its own U.S. flag, a symbol of the country they served and in some cases, for which they died.

"Memorial Day is not just a party, it's to remember the sacrifice," Markham said.

The organization, Flags for Fallen Vets, assembled more than 2,000 volunteers to place more than 68,000 flags on the grave of every veteran at the Houston National Cemetery. Each volunteer was doing it for their own special reason.

"My father and his brother all served in World War II and afterwards," said Dale Zellmer. "I have a daughter whose in the Army Reserve as a lt. and a son in law whose in the Marines."

Other volunteers believe it teaches a priceless lesson to our next generation.

"Gratitude, sorrow, respect, determination, to continue to show it for those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our great nation," said Shawn Corriston.

The motivation for coming here to do this work on a holiday weekend is powerful beyond measure.

"It reminds you of friends, colleagues, relatives and people that have served in the past, brings it home," Connor said.

Flags for Fallen Vets wants to expand it's efforts to other cemeteries around the nation next year.

(Watch the Video)

4th Regiment Pilots the Warrior Leadership Course

First WLC Class Graduates Ten Soldiers

Story by: CW2 Janet Schmelzer, 4th Regiment PAO

Posted: 20-MAY-14

FORT WORTH, Texas—The 4th Regiment is the first unit in the Texas State Guard (TXSG) Army Component Command to offer the Warrior Leadership Course (WLC) which is a training program for junior NCOs to learn the fundamentals of leadership, what is expected from an NCO, and how to be a more productive leader. The course was held over two weekends in March and April, 2014.

CSM Albert Willars, Senior Enlisted Advisor, 4th Regiment, worked with teams of 4th Regiment NCO instructors to develop class materials. The Senior NCO Instructor was MSG William Seaman; the primary instructors for theory were SSG Dennis Burks and SSG Angie Ogle; for land navigation were SSG Stephen Wilson and SGT Anthony Miller; for physical fitness training was SGT Martin Joseph; for communications was SGT Michael Corso; and for drill and ceremony was SSG Stephen Wilson and SSG Dennis Burks; additional instructors included SFC Richard Schilling, SSG Laura Burks, and SGT Mary Wilson. Instructors were chosen based on the following criteria: RBOT instructor qualified, a 50-question exam on leadership, experience in technical training areas, and experience performing and teaching those training areas.

Warrior Leadership Course Graduates on April 27, 2014 (left to right) PFC Anthony Rose, PFC Lynda Briggs, CPL Bailey Phillips, CPL Hans Hansen, PFC Sylvia Maza, PFC Adrian Washburn (kneeling), SGT Gayle Linke, PFC Tessa Smith, PFC Erick Schluter, and SPC Colin O’Brien. Photo by CW2 Janet Schmelzer, 4th Regiment PAO.
Warrior Leadership Course Graduates on April 27, 2014 (left to right) PFC Anthony Rose, PFC Lynda Briggs, CPL Bailey Phillips, CPL Hans Hansen, PFC Sylvia Maza, PFC Adrian Washburn (kneeling), SGT Gayle Linke, PFC Tessa Smith, PFC Erick Schluter, and SPC Colin O’Brien. Photo by CW2 Janet Schmelzer, 4th Regiment PAO.

The course was developed using established leadership doctrine from ADRP 6-22 Leadership Fundamentals and the FM7-22.7 U. S. Army NCO Guide, and the U. S. Army Sergeant Major Academy for Army War Leadership. These manuals and curriculum were used to identify the key topics that were necessary for the WLC. TXSG ACC Commander BG Jake Betty and ACC Senior Enlisted Advisor Lloyd Schook approved the training plan of the 4th Regiment WLC.

This new WLC will replace the Primary Leadership Development Course (online) and will provide hands-on leadership training experience. “The more leadership training that we can give to our junior enlisted,” CSM Willars commented, “the more they will learn what leadership is about, how to treat their soldiers, and how to approach their soldiers.”

The need for a new approach for NCO leadership training concluded that the online PLDC provided theory but not hands-on training. Other factors also played a role in revising the leadership training, including travel time and the costs associated with attending a course away from a home station. Instead every regiment has experienced NCO leaders who are readily available and reach regiment can tap into that pool of experience. PFC Tessa Smith, 3rd Battalion, stated that she learned from WLC “to take responsibility as a leader.” She feels very “fortunate to be learning from strong NCOs as to how to develop my own leadership skills.”

The objective of the new training was to develop junior NCOs into leaders through hands-on experience. SFC Richard Shilling, 4th Regiment Training and Operations NCO, stated that “there is a big difference between knowing the leadership commands in theory and getting up in front of your soldiers and giving the correct commands.”

According to PFC Adrian Washburn, 3rd Battalion,“the WLC course allows me to learn leadership techniques and to experience firsthand how to command a squad.” 

The first weekend from March 22-23, 2014, focused on the theory and practice of leadership. Subjects covered included history of the NCO, Army Leadership, Army values, the Warrior Ethos, what is expected of a leader, and how to set the example for the troops. This training also focused on functional topics not strategic topics. Small team leadership of was emphasized. “I am beginning to understand what it takes to be a leader. This is a great class,” commented SPC Colin O’Brien, 3rd Battalion.

The second weekend of April 26-27, 2014, was the hands-on training. Soldiers in the WLC were put into leadership positions with the cadre working with them to execute the leadership role. The soldiers exercised giving commands, moving formations around, leading teams during land navigation, manage members of their teams, and how to use team members to the best advantage of the mission. The motto for the WTC was "NO MISSION TOO GREAT.”

At the end of the course ten junior NCOs graduated from the WLC course on April 27, 2014.

Prayer Breakfast 2014

Posted: 19-MAY-14

Photo of General Rodriguez and Colonel at event.Chaplain and troops from different TXSG components along with family members, dined in grand style a breakfast buffet, gathered for the 5th Annual Military Prayer Breakfast held on the beautiful campus of Dallas Baptist University, May 17th, sponsored by the 4th and 19th Civil Affair Regiments, 4th Air Wing, DFW Medical Reserve Group-Texas Medical Brigade and 3rd Battalion Texas Maritime. As noted by TXSG Army Component Command Lead Chaplain COL Doug Sewell, "The Chaplains of the Texas State Guard vision statement for this prayer breakfast: 1) to foster unity within the Texas State Guard by praying for our nation and its leaders, 2) to protect America's constitutional Freedoms to gather, worship, pray and speak freely, 3) to publicize and preserve America's religious heritage, 4) to encourage and emphasize prayer, regardless of current issues and positions, 5) to be wise stewards of God's resources and provisions, and 6) to glorify the Lord in word and deed."

Welcoming remarks from DBU was given by Mr. Dennis Linam, Vice-President for External Affairs with a Presentation of the Colors by the 4th AW Honor Guard with the singing of the National Anthem. Choir and band members were lead by Reverend (LTC) Jerald Garner throughout the program as patriotic and inspirational songs such as "The Star-Spangled Banner" and "Texas our Texas" were sung as the guests were invited to participate as the words were noted on screen. A musical tribute was also given to commemorate each of the federal military services performed as part of a Service song medley, to those who have served or serve in the TXSG, as individuals were asked to stand up and represent by singing their military service song. Numerous faith-based readings and quotes from our founding fathers and from past presidents were also presented by each of the Chaplains such as "It is the Soldier" and the Prayers of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson.

Guest speaker, presented by COL Bruce Postma, Command Chaplain, was MG Darren G. Owens (USA ret.). As Sewell stated, "MG Owens is unashamedly a man of faith. He spoke to most of our TXSG chaplains in January at Camp Mabry, and he was extremely well-received by all that heard him." Owens stated, "The service to our communities is what sets us apart from other nations, freedoms that other nations can't comprehend. It's the character of the people and communities with shared values combined with diversity of religious backgrounds and the individual gifts that make America a special and blessed nation." “Like raindrops falling," stated Owens, "look through the clutter and see what's important and take care of it first for the future of our community."
Of the event, 1LT Peggy Gutierrez, from 4th Regt., noted of the event, "I think it's wonderful how each Chaplains' different personality brings depth to the event that has a way of touching our hearts in different ways. How resonant is Chaplain Reagan's voice! How fun Chaplain Howe's address. How convicting the prayer of Anne Graham Lotz. & it's always good to be reminded of our founding fathers' mindset. And the music - so moving!"

Planners included Chaplains, COL Lyle Metzler and LTC Billy Corn from DFWMRG-TMB, 19th Regt., MAJ Dale Vick and 2LT Adam Mosser, TMB, COL Lyle Metzler, 4th Regt,. LTC Jerald Garner, CPT David Fish, 1LT David Isbell, and 1LT Brian Reagan, and 4th AW 1LT Don Howe. Planners expressed their deepest appreciation to the choir and band members from South Garland Baptist Church, headed by Reverend Jerald Garner, Minister of Music at First United Methodist Church, from Rowlett, Mr. Don Shelley, Director of Worship Ministries and First Baptist Church and Mr. John Whitlow, Ministry of Music for volunteering their time to prepare for this event.

City of Sugar Land and State Guard conducting hurricane exercise

Posted: 15-MAY-14

The City of Sugar Land and the Texas State Guard will hold a full-scale hurricane exercise May 30 through June 1.

Areas of focus will include mass sheltering, evacuation and hazmat response. Exercise participants will work through scenarios that focus on the following objectives:

Resource Coordination: determine strengths and weaknesses in the current plan governing on-scene command and control, emergency operations center operations and coordination of response resources.

Access Control: review plans for area perimeter control, staging and incident command post security.

Sheltering and Housing of Pets: ensure the safety of people and animals.

Hazmat Response: Identify and contain chemical release and ensure the safety of surrounding communities.

The Texas State Guard will provide the necessary manpower to create a realistic shelter operation at Wheeler Fieldhouse in Mercer Stadium, 16403 Lexington Blvd. Partners supporting the exercise include Fort Bend ISD, City of Stafford Emergency Management, Fort Bend County Red Cross and Brazos River Authority.

The exercise will result in a large presence of military personnel and equipment, as well as radio traffic simulating a disaster response.

The purpose of the exercise is to provide participants with an opportunity to evaluate current response concepts, plans and capabilities. The exercise will focus on local emergency responder command and control coordination, critical decisions, notifications and integration of state and federal assets necessary to save lives and protect public health and safety.

2LT Arto Lehtonen Graduates from OCS

4th Regiment Welcomes Home New Officer

Story by: CW2 Janet Schmelzer, PAO, 4th Regiment
Posted: 10-MAY-14

FORT WORTH, TEXAS--On May 10, 2014, 2LT Arto Lehtonen, 4th Regiment, Texas State Guard (TXSG) received his commission following his graduation from the recent Class 13 of the Officer Candidate School (OCS) at Camp Mabry, Austin, Texas. He returns to the 3rd Battalion, 4th Regiment to assume his new responsibilities as an officer.

Born in Halikko, Finland, Lehtonen grew up on a small dairy farm with his eight siblings. His parents encouraged their children to work hard, study their school lessons, and be responsible individuals.  He joined the local 4H club and served as club president.  He liked to read history books and tinkered with an old tube radio.  "I guess I can say that my dream jobs were either," he remembered, "an engineer or a soldier."  After high school he joined the Finnish Army (military service is mandatory for all males in Finland).  After his service in the army, he then went on to attend the Technical Institute of Turku, graduating with a BS in Telecommunications. 

In 2005 his employer, Nokia, relocated him to Texas and both he and his wife Lilli became naturalized citizens in 2012.  He now is employed by BenefitMall, Inc. as a software developer. 
In 2011 Lehtonen joined the TXSG because "I wanted to give back to this society and the TXSG mission sounded like something that I wanted to be involved with."  He has served as a squad leader and platoon sergeant. In deciding to apply for OCS, "I wanted to grow as a leader and OCS is the best leadership training you can get in the TXSG." From OCS he learned both theoretical and practical leadership skills, "some of which I have even been able to use in my civilian job." The most challenging part of OCS, according to Lehtonen, was Military Decision Making Process and Troop Leading Process.  This four-month project required writing WARNOs and OPORDs and the presentation of a briefing on how the processes were used to produce those orders.

Gov. Perry inducts 9 into Texas Women’s Hall of Fame

Gov. Perry inducts 9 into Texas Women’s Hall of Fame
Posted on: May 6, 2014 | By Lauren McGaughy

First Lady Anita Perry, Secretary of State Nandita Berry and Houston-area state Rep. Senfronia Thompson were just three of the honorees Gov. Rick Perry inducted into the Texas Women’s Hall of Fame on Tuesday.

The biennial awards were handed out to nine women in a ceremony held in Texas State Senate Chambers. The inductees, chosen for the leadership they exhibited in everything from business and health advocacy to community and public service, will be featured in the state’s Hall of Fame permanent exhibit at Texas Woman’s University in Denton. The names of more than 100 notable women have been added to the list since it was established in 1984 under then-Gov. Mark White.

During his keynote address, Perry said the successes of these women are all the greater for having been made in the face of often overwhelming societal barriers. He said the Hall of Fame is a place for the state’s greatest, many of whom were “non-conformists.” “Yes Senfronia, I’m looking at you,” Perry joked, referring to Thompson, the longest-serving woman and African-American in the Texas Legislature.

After the ceremony, Thompson said her greatest achievement has been standing up for Texas citizens who can’t afford lobbyists, whom she calls the “little dogs.” When asked about her long career – she was first voted in in 1972 and has been re-elected 21 times – she said serving in the state Legislature is more than just a job to her. “It’s not work to me. It’s something I fell in love with.” Thompson arguably received the loudest standing ovation of the inductees Tuesday, the video presentation of her life and leadership ending with her proclaiming indigent and uneducated Texans are “not asking for a handout. They’re asking to be lifted up.”

Newly-minted Secretary of State Nandita Berry also was honored for her accomplishments in the business and legal fields. During his speech, Perry specifically touched on Berry and her path – from her arrival in the U.S. 25 years ago with less than $200 in her pocket, to her naturalization, thriving legal career working for Fortune 500 companies and international law firms and, finally, her appointment as Texas’ first Secretary of State of Indian descent in January.

Perry also honored his wife, Anita, with a leadership award. During her video presentation, Anita Perry noted her long career as a nurse and her efforts to promote economic development, child immunization and anti-domestic violence programs during her years as First Lady of Texas. Gov. Perry also thanked his wife for saying yes to his marriage proposal, more than 16 years after they first started dating.

The recipients are chosen from nominations submitted and reviewed by a panel of judges. Past honorees include former U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, basketball star Sheryl Swoops, astronaut Sally Ride, George W. Bush counselor and ex-U.S. State Department Undersecretary Karen Hughes and Ann Richards, Texas’ most recent female governor.

Below is a full list of the 2014 inductees to the Texas Women’s Hall of Fame:

- Nandita Berry (Business Award): Texas Secretary of State, the first of Indian descent, appointed Jan. 7, 2014; former counsel at Locke Lorde LLP in Houston. – Lillie Biggins (Health Award): President of the non-profit medical center Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth, Chair of Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport Board of Directors.

- Joanne Herring (Community Service Award): Houston-area socialite, businesswoman, philanthropist and cultural ambassador; active in Afghanistan and Pakistan and a key driver in U.S. Rep. Charlie Wilson’s efforts to convince Congress to support Afghan fighters against the Soviet incursion.

- Ret. Col. Kim Olson (Military Award): President and CEO of Grace Under Fire, a nonprofit serving female veterans; retired Air Force colonel and one of the first female military pilots to command an operational flying squadron; after serving on the Joint Staff and under the Secretary of Defense, she became the Director of Human Resources for the Dallas Independent School District. Also served in Texas State Guard as IT and personnel systems head.

- Anita Perry (Leadership Award): longest-serving First Lady of Texas; former nurse and current advocate for Texas economic development, childhood immunizations, breast cancer awareness, and anti-domestic violence and sexual assault programs; founded the Texas Conference of Women in 2000.

- Dr. Ann Stuart (Education Award): Chancellor and President of Texas Woman’s University; has grown university enrollment 85 percent under her tenure, which began in 1999; supporter of programs benefiting animals and natural spaces, like the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden and Dallas Zoo.

- State Rep. Senfronia Thompson (Public Service Award): longest-serving woman and African-American in the state Legislature; Houston attorney; author of anti-hate crime and human trafficking legislation and laws creating a minimum wage and state drug courts; former public school teacher.

- Deborah Tucker (Community Service Award): Founder of the National Center on Domestic and Sexual Violence; former school teacher and founder of the Austin Center for Battered Women, the nation’s first shelter for abused women and their children.

- Carolyn Wright (Public Service Award): Chief Justice for the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals; first African-American head of a Texas intermediate court of appeal and first black woman to win a multi-county election in the Lone Star State; civil, family and criminal judge with 30 years experience; Houston-born recipient of the Yellow Rose of Texas award for community service.

Real World Training in Grapevine

4th Regiment Soldiers Train in Disaster Rubble

Story by: CW2 Janet Schmelzer, 4th Regiment PAO

Posted: 26-APR-14

GRAPEVINE, TEXAS -- The 4th Regiment, Civil Affairs, Texas State Guard (TXSG) was in  Grapevine, Texas, Saturday, April 26, 2014 for life-saving skills training and a mock disaster exercise. Soldiers used life-saving skills to treat mock victims.

The exercise was designed to be as close to real world events as possible. There were four mock training areas: triage, first aid, search and assessment, and extraction. The soldiers had to triage mock victims.  Then they had to search and assess the disaster area, administer first aid, and extract victims from a mock collapsed building.  The soldiers had to prepare a victim for transport, and transport the patient from the danger zone to a safe zone.  Soldiers had to climb through collapsed walls, go through rubble (rocks, dirt, and boards), through narrow tunnels of rubble moving along on hands and knees, and work in small and confined spaces, all of which was designed to replicate a tornado strike. Soldiers had to remain aware of their surroundings and safely treat mock victims as they would in a real world emergency.

Working with the 4th Regiment were soldiers from the TXSG Dallas-Fort Worth Medical Response Group, Arlington firefighter and Texas Task Force One Team leader Billy Hirth, and  Grace Cares, a volunteer disaster relief organization.

The Gonzales Cup Competition Tests Soldiers

19th Regiment Wins Cup Second Year In A Row

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

19th Regiment Winning Team.  Photo taken by CPT Esperanza Meza.  Gonzalez Cup members and staff, 19th Regiment: (L-R) COL Robert Hastings, MSG Mark Sligar (coach), OC David Park, CPL Nick Sanders, 1SG Admir Pasalic (coach), SPC Christopher Parrish, CPL Brian Nail, (kneeling L-R), CPL Jonathan Kelley, PFC Jonathan Turner, SGT Sean Mounger, SGT Kenneth Clayton and not shown, communications NCO, SSG Donald Sheffield.
19th Regiment Winning Team. 
Photo taken by CPT Esperanza Meza.
Gonzalez Cup members and staff, 19th Regiment: (L-R) COL Robert Hastings, MSG Mark Sligar (coach), OC David Park, CPL Nick Sanders, 1SG Admir Pasalic (coach), SPC Christopher Parrish, CPL Brian Nail, (kneeling L-R), CPL Jonathan Kelley, PFC Jonathan Turner, SGT Sean Mounger, SGT Kenneth Clayton and not shown, communications NCO, SSG Donald Sheffield.

STEPHENVILLE, Texas--The Texas State Guard (TXSG) held the second annual team and individual competition which tested the skills and endurance of twenty-one of the finest TXSG soldiers. The competition was held at different venues in Stephenville and Erath County, Texas, from April 11-12, 2014. The National Guard Armory in Stephenville served as the base for the competition and as billeting for the soldiers.

Teams from the 4th Regiment, 8th Regiment, and 19th Regiment took up the challenge. The team from the 4th Regiment included SSG Gary Harvel, SSG Dennis Burks, CPL Joe Ringnald, CPL Justin Carter, SPC Stephen Walton and PFC David Anderson. The team from the 8th Regiment included SSG William Clark, SGT Johnathan Jones, SGT Robert Wilson, PFC Robert Davis, PFC Thomas Hall, PFC Nicholas Lawrence, and PFC Shane Haygood. The team from the 19th Regiment included OC David Park, SGT Kenneth Clayton, SGT Sean Mounger, CPL Brian Nail, CPL Jonathan Kelley, PFC Jonathan Turner, and two alternates, CPL Nick Sanders and SPC Christopher Parrish who competed for individual honors.

The competition tested six skill sets. Four events were held on Friday, April 11, 2014. At the Tarleton State University Track and Field Course, in Stephenville, Texas, the physical fitness test challenged each soldier to complete as many sit-ups and push-ups as possible in 2 minutes followed by a mile run. CPL Joe Ringnald, 4th Regiment, considered the physical fitness challenge very important. “Physical fitness never stops. It is the way we should live every day.”

The second competition was the 9mm pistol marksmanship held at the Tac Pro Shooting Range in Erath County. Team members shot targets 75-feet away in the standing, kneeling, crouching and prone positions to achieve the highest total team score.

The third competition was Land Navigation at the Tarleton State University Hunewell Ranch, in Erath County. In teams of two, soldiers had to locate as many of the thirty-nine markers hidden in the wild brush and mesquite trees as possible using maps, protractors, and compasses within a 2 ½ hour time limit. Each marker was worth from 5 to 15 points. SSG William Clark, team leader of the 8th Regiment team, stated that the competition “was excellent and challenging. The competition is of value to the NCOs for team cohesion and to help the next crop of junior enlisted to be trained and efficient leaders.” SGT Sean Mounger, 19th Regiment, agreed. “It was well organized and quite challenging and relevant to the training.”

The fourth competition was at the Tarleton State University Challenge Course. The three challenges required teamwork and team strategy to succeed and to complete each challenge successfully without penalties in the fastest time possible. The ropes challenge required each team to pass each soldier through the “Human Sensor Web, which looked like a spider web made of rope. Another course challenge was the “Acid Crossing” which required each team to build a bridge, using only three 2”x8”x8’ boards to connect together five 12-inch poles buried in the ground. As the bridge was built, each team had to cross from pole to pole on the 2” side of the board. If a soldier fell off, he had to start at the beginning of the bridge and the team received a penalty. The final challenge was the 15-foot high “Perimeter Breach” wall which required each team to lift up the first soldier who then reached up to grab the top of wall and pull himself to the top of the wall. While the remaining team members hoisted the second soldier, he then pulled the next soldier to the top. When the third soldier got to the top, the first soldier left the top of the wall and was not allowed to help hoist others. This test continued until only one soldier was to be pulled up by a rope without any other soldiers to hoist him up. 4th Regiment team leader SSG Gary Harvel believed that the competition was “all about team building.” SGT Robert Wilson, 8th Regiment, thought the challenge course was “awesome.”

Observing the competition, BG Jake Betty, TXSG Army Component Commander, was pleased with the performance of the soldiers. “The events went very well. I was impressed with the level of enthusiasm of the individuals and teams in their dedication and performance. This event helped build unit esprit de corps, allowing individual soldiers skills and confidence to be tested to be state guard ready.”

On Saturday, April 12, at the National Guard Armory in Stephenville, the final competition was Life Saving Skills. The Gulf Coast Medical Response Group, who designed the life saving competition, traveled to Stephenville to conduct the tests which would determine the proficiency of each soldier in three life saving skills. Each soldier administered first aid to an unresponsive and unconscious mock victim using CPR and an Automated External Defibrillator, treated a broken arm using splints and bandages, and treated a mock victim for shock and a bleeding arm wound by applying a pressure bandage. The members of the Gulf Coast Medical Response Group were 1LT Colin Adams, SGT Michael Poland, and PFC Wesley Willoughby. MAJ James Vretis, TXSG Army Component Staff Surgeon, commented that this challenge was “a clear way to evaluate the training for life saving intervention.”

The final life-saving competition was a wounded casualty extraction which required each team to carry a 200-pound dummy in a skid stretcher over a ½ mile course with trees and a shallow gulley as obstacles in the fastest time possible. SPC Stephen Walton, 4th Regiment, viewed the challenge as “learning to trust your teammates to finish a task successfully.”

Once the points were totaled for individuals and teams, BG Betty announced the winners. The top three individual soldiers were 1st place winner OC David Park, 2nd place winner CPL Jonathan Kelly, and 3rd place winner SGT Kenneth Clayton, all from the 19th Regiment. The 19th Regiment won the team competition and was awarded the coveted Gonzales Cup for the second time. “It was a great event as it brings out the best in people and makes them stronger, win or lose. Morale was great and it was competitive,” stated COL Robert Hastings, 19th Regiment commander. “The event’s values to the TXSG were composed of two things, morale and communication and skills testing that improve training.” COL Howard Palmer, Jr., 4th Regiment Commander, stated that he was “very proud of all the soldiers in the competition. They demonstrated great esprit d’corps and teamwork.” “The spirit, resilience, and competitiveness of each soldier” he continued, “speaks to the energy and determination of each team to put forth their very best effort to win the Gonzales Cup.” 19th Regiment OC Park, who will be graduating in May from the TXSG Officer Candidate School at Camp Mabry, commented that “this would be the last time for me to be one of the guys and I found every event a challenge.” "In experiencing missions from hurricanes Katrina, Rita and other deployments," SGT Mounger, 19th Regiment, who has over 11 years of service with the TXSG, stated "this training is valuable and relevant to what we do.” CPL Brian Nail, 19th Regiment, "this event was very well organized and time efficient.”

General Betty thanked the troops and commands for their dedication and service. LTC Pedro Barreda commented that the "most important thing about the Gonzales Cup is that it give soldiers a chance to win."

The success of the Gonzales Cup competition depended on many individuals, including Army Component Command (ACC) Chief of Staff COL Paul Watkins, ACC Operations and Training Officer LTC Pedro Barreda, ACC Assistant Operations Officer CPT Jan Petreczko, 19th Regiment Operations and Training Officer MAJ Wendell Sadler, 4th Regiment Executive Officer and Operations and Training Officer LTC Lloyd Lietz, 4th Regiment Operations and Training NCO SFC Richard Schilling, 19th Regiment Logistics and training coach NCO SFC Admir Pasalic, 19th Regiment Communications NCO SSG Donald Sheffield, and 19th Regiment training coach MSG Mark Sligar.

The Gonzales Cup represents the courage, strength, and skill that the defenders of Gonzales, Texas, demonstrated while resisting the attack of the Mexican Army during the Texas Revolution in 1835. The Gonzales Cup is engraved with the words "Come and Take It" found on the flag made by the people of Gonzales during the fight.

40 people representing at least 14 churches and the Texas State Guard

April 17, 2014

Mineral Wells Index

Mineral Wells — Henry Ford is quoted as saying that, “Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.” Last Saturday, more than 40 people representing at least 14 churches, the Texas State Guard (1st Battalion, 4th Regiment, Civil Affairs of Weatherford), the Mineral Wells Police Department and Progressive Waste Solutions worked together to clean a portion of the area the police department has designated as the Project 365 zone.

Saturday’s effort was the third of four Saturdays that churches worked together to share the love of Christ with the families of the Project 365 area.

“This past Saturday was unique because we had not only the churches, but also a nearby Texas Guard unit join MISSION Mineral Wells and the Mineral Wells Police Department with the cleanup efforts,” said Rose Jordan.

After only two hours of picking up garbage and debris, the difference in the area was clearly visible and volunteers knew they had made a difference.

“We have multiple denominations coming together to make a better community for our families and for our children,” said David Chavira of Iglesia Templo Bautista.

MISSION Mineral Wells, a partnership of PULSE Ministries Inc and several local churches, also has plans for an Easter celebration for the neighborhood this Saturday.

MISSION Mineral Wells is a ministry of PULSE Ministries Inc. desiring to unite local churches in showing the love of Christ to the residents of Mineral Wells. For information contact Rose Jordan 682-225-3315 or visit Facebook: MISSION Mineral Wells.