Texas Independence Day on March 2

Texas Independence Day on March 2
Joseph Milton Nance

REPUBLIC OF TEXAS. In the fall of 1835 many Texans, both Anglo-American colonists and Tejanos, concluded that liberalism and republicanism in Mexico, as reflected in its Constitution of 1824, were dead. The dictatorship of President Antonio López de Santa Anna, supported by rich landowners, had seized control of the governments and subverted the constitution. As dissension and discord mounted in Texas, both on the military front and at the seat of the provisional government of the Consultation at San Felipe, the colonists agreed that another popular assembly was needed to chart a course of action. On December 10, 1835, the General Council of the provisional government issued a call for an election on February 1, 1836, to choose forty-four delegates to assemble on March 1 at Washington-on-the-Brazos. These delegates represented the seventeen Texas municipalities and the small settlement at Pecan Point on the Red River. The idea of independence from Mexico was growing. The Consultation sent Branch T. Archer, William H. Wharton, and Stephen F. Austin to the United States to solicit men, money, supplies, and sympathy for the Texas cause. At New Orleans, in early January of 1836, the agents found enthusiastic support, but advised that aid would not be forthcoming so long as Texans squabbled over whether to sustain the Mexican constitution.

The convention held at Washington-on-the-Brazos on March 1, 1836, was quite different from the Consultation. Forty-one delegates were present at the opening session, and fifty-nine individuals attended the convention at some time. Two delegates (José Francisco Ruiz and José Antonio Navarro of Bexar) were native Texans, and one (Lorenzo de Zavala) had been born in Mexico. Only ten of the delegates had been in Texas by 1836. A majority were from other places-primarily from the United States, but also from Europe. Two-thirds of the delegates were not yet forty years old. Several had broad political experience. Samuel P. Carson of Pecan Point and Robert Potter of Nacogdoches had served, respectively, in the North Carolina legislature and in the United States House of Representatives. Richard Ellis, representing the Red River district and president of the convention, and Martin Parmer of San Augustine, had participated in constitutional conventions in Alabama (1819) and Missouri (1821), respectively. Sam Houston, a former United States congressman and governor of Tennessee, was a close friend of United States president Andrew Jackson. Houston was chosen commander in chief of the revolutionary army and left the convention early to take charge of the forces gathering at Gonzales. He had control of all troops in the field-militia, volunteers, and regular army enlistees. The convention delegates knew they must declare independence-or submit to Mexican authority. If they chose independence they had to draft a constitution for a new nation, establish a strong provisional government, and prepare to combat the Mexican armies invading Texas.

On March 1 George C. Childress, who had recently visited President Jackson in Tennessee, presented a resolution calling for independence. At its adoption, the chairman of the convention appointed Childress to head a committee of five to draft a declaration of independence. When the committee met that evening, Childress drew from his pocket a statement he had brought from Tennessee that followed the outline and main features of the United States Declaration of Independence. The next day, March 2, the delegates unanimously adopted Childress’s suggestion for independence. Ultimately fifty-eight members signed the document. Thus was born the Republic of Texas.

GOV Perry Press Release for Preparedness

GOV Perry Press Release for Preparedness
AUSTIN - Gov. Rick Perry today urged Texans to prepare for severe storms which historically impact our state in the Spring by designating Feb. 24- March 1, 2008 as Severe Weather Awareness Week.
“Severe Weather Awareness Week reminds Texans that dangerous climate conditions can develop quickly, so it’s vital that we plan ahead for such threatening situations,”" Perry said. “By building a culture of preparedness, we can take steps to reduce risk, ensure safety and ultimately save lives.”

During Severe Weather Awareness Week Texans are advised to assemble a “readiness kit” of important emergency supplies including a first aid kit, bottled water and non-perishable food; and are encouraged to keep a battery-operated radio or television set to receive important information during storms, designate a place to go in case of evacuation, and develop an emergency plan for communicating with relatives and friends.

While dangerous storms can strike at any time of year, March, April and May bring the greatest potential for violent weather events in Texas, including damaging thunderstorms, hail storms, straight-line winds, tornadoes and flooding. According to the National Weather Service, Texas leads the nation with an average of 139 tornado strikes per year and often suffers the highest resulting death toll of any other state. Additionally, Texas endures the second-highest level of lightning fatalities and often leads in the number of flash flood deaths per year. A majority of these victims suffer due to failure to take proper precautions in such emergencies.

For more information about Severe Weather Awareness Week, please visit the Governor’s Division of Emergency Management Web site: www.txdps.state.tx.us/dem and the National Weather Service Southern Region Headquarters Web site: www.srh.noaa.gov.

Texas State Guard Helps Foxes, Coyotes Receive Help from Above

Texas State Guard Helps Foxes, Coyotes Receive Help from Above
Capt. James M. Campbell, Texas Military Forces Public Affairs Office
Picture of plane being loadedTXSG soldiers of the 1st and 39th Regiment were activated to support the annual Texas Department of State Health Services, Aerial Oral Rabies Vaccination Program

[Read more in the February 2008 issue of The Dispatch, page 6]


Active Texas Military Forces members age 18 are now eligible for Concealed Handgun License

Active Texas Military Forces members age 18 are now eligible for a Concealed Handgun License


Concealed Handgun Training is provided by members of the Texas State Guard. This is the training that is required to obtain a Concealed Handgun License from the Department of Public Safety (DPS). This course is also for recertification. For a nominal fee of $30, this is provided as a service benefit to all members of the TXARNG, TXANG, TXSG, AGTX and their immediate family members at least 21 years of age. The Texas State Guard volunteers provide their time and transportation with no pay or reimbursement to make this possible. Notary services, fingerprinting and passport photos are included with the class. Upon completion of the class, the packet to DPS will be ready only lacking the check to pay the fee making this a full service course.

New legislation allows active members of the military that are at least 18 years of age to apply for a concealed handgun license. In addition the license fee for active military is ½ price. Active military includes all National Guard, Air Guard and Texas State Guard.

Military: at least 18 years of age

Civilian: at least 21 years of age

Hurricane Dean Deployment

Hurricane Dean Deployment
COL Mike Provost
On 16 August 2007 at 0830 Texas State Guard commanders received an e-mail from J-3, Plans & Operations Officer, HQ TXSG. The tasking was to for 300 Texas State Guardsman to report to Camp Swift and be trained by the Texas Air National Guard to drive school buses to transport coastal evacuees to shelters, should hurricane Dean hit the Texas coast. The plan was to for TXSG drivers to utilize school district buses to move evacuees to a major shelter hub, either in San Antonio or Dallas. HQTXSG was to stand up an Emergency Operations Center on 20 August.
On 17 August 2007 a second message was sent by to TXSG commanders. The tasking was to call up additional shelter management personnel and Air Division communications personnel to support the operation. Medical Brigade personnel were tasked to deploy their teams to support reception and shelter operations. On 20 August 2007 a third message was sent to call up all available Texas State Guard personnel for shelter management duty and send those personnel to Laredo immediately. The Commanders of 1st Regiment and the 39th Regiment were tasked to be the Shelter Management Operations OIC’s.

The Texas Army National Guard was tasked to provide logistic support for bus training operations and assist with State mandated evacuation operations. The Texas Air National Guard was tasked to deploy Air Evacuation Operations Teams and a Mega Shelter Support Team. This joint task force operation moved quickly to Weslaco, McAllen, Laredo and San Antonio to prepare to evacuate and shelter fellow Texans from the possible devastation of hurricane Dean. This massive operation included hundreds of military personnel, over 1,000 buses and many military vehicles. This was the largest deployment of Texas State Guard personnel in recent memory.

Fortunately for Texas, hurricane Dean changed course and evacuation was not necessary but all who participated can be proud of the Texas Military Forces. They were ready, willing and able to evacuate and shelter over 100,000 of their fellow Texans.

Texas State Guard Annual Training 2007 - Camp Swift

Texas State Guard Annual Training 2007 - Camp Swift
COL Mike Provost
Photo of Guard members in Camp SwiftOn Thursday 2 August 2007 thru 5 August 2007 the 1st, 8th, 19th Regiment, the Texas Maritime Regiment and the Quick Reaction Teams from the 2nd, 4th, and 39th Regiments conducted annual training at Camp Swift, Bastrop Texas. The Air Division and the Texas Medical Brigade (TMB) provided personnel to participate in specific training events.

AT 07 training focused on training to support the Homeland Security/Homeland Defense missions of the State. The general concept of training at AT07 was both classroom presentations and field training which was held on Friday and Saturday 3 and 4 August 07. The HQ, JFTX, J2 conducted a Quick Reaction Team (QRT) competition for the Army regiments.

Operation Lone Star 2006 Brings Humanitarian Medical Services to Rio Grande Valley

Operation Lone Star 2006 Brings Humanitarian Medical Services to the Rio Grande Valley
First Lieutenant Timothy R. Birmingham

It’s a hot Sunday afternoon in Weslaco, Texas, home of the Weslaco National Guard Armory and temporary headquarters for the Texas State Guard and Texas Army National Guard Joint Medical Task Force (JMTF). Charged with implementing the Medical Reserve Corps operations associated with Operation Lone Star 2006, nearly two hundred military personnel begin arriving in pressed Battle Dress Uniforms (BDU), ready to serve one of the fastest growing annual humanitarian events in the state.

Serving under the direction of Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) civilian authorities, JMTF military physicians, nurses, administrative personnel, and safety/security forces deployed and implemented a variety of basic medical and dental services designed to improve healthcare opportunities for thousands of medically under-served individuals in the Lower Rio Grande Valley.

For some of the individuals served, JMTF medics are the only physicians they will ever visit in their entire lifetime.

Since 1999, Operation Lone Star has provided basic medical and dental services each summer. In the eight years since it began, Operation Lone Star has consistently improved, offering more services and drawing larger segments of the Rio Grande Valley population. Over this period, the military side of the operation has evolved. Commanded first by US Navy reserve medical personnel, then the Texas Army National Guard, and for the first time in 2006, the Texas State Guard. The Texas State Guard has participated since 2004, so this was their third year of increasing responsibility.

Commanded by Brigadier General Marshall H. Scantlin, Commander of the Texas State Guard Medical Reserve Corps; this highly talented cadre of Medical Reserve Corps professionals and Texas Army National Guard personnel launched and managed a record-setting operation, serving more than 7,000 individuals between July 24th and August 3rd. As well as being an overwhelming success, the operation represents an impressive ability that is unique to highly motivated volunteer organizations. Essentially, the JMTF team assembled in less than 24 hours, working together for the first time in many instances, and successfully operated a fully functional, broad-based business spanning the scope of product services, administration, workers’ compensation, risk management, logistics, shipping/receiving, accounting, human resources, media relations, and security. The operation was a smooth success based on the military Incident Command System (ICS) model. What community wouldn’t benefit from a talented company that can pull together and successfully serve more than 7,000 individuals in less than two weeks?

The 436th Air Support Group Called to Support the American Red Cross

The 436th Air Support Group Called to Support The American Red Cross

Ft Worth Joint Reserve Base, Texas - On 28 Aug 05, the 436th Air Support Group (ASG) of the Texas State Guard, was called to State Active Duty in support of the American Red Cross Hurricane Katrina evacuee relief efforts. Of the 37 unit personnel, 33 were deployed in support of Operation Katrina. Two members, SMSgt Short and A1C Tribble, were immediately deployed to Orange, TX on Aug 29, while the rest of the unit was deployed on Sept 2 to support the relief efforts at the Dallas Convention Center and the Reunion Arena.

One member, Airman Marcela Arredondo, was assigned to Ms. Jo Carter, from the Family Readiness Group to assist in the support of the displaced military families at Carswell Field, Ft. Worth, TX. The members of the 436th ASG, as well as other members of other Texas State Guard units, supported the Dallas Convention Center/Reunion Arena operations 24/7 from Sept 2*Sept 16. This was the first time in 43 years that the Texas State Guard, the Army Brigades and the Air Wing have served jointly under the command of Fourth Brigade Commander, Brigadier General Marshall Scantlin.

In addition to supporting the shelter in Orange, TX and the Dallas Convention Center/Reunion Arena shelters, the 436th ASG was called upon again to support the Hurricane Rita relief efforts. Fifteen members were sent to Bryan/College Station, TX as part of the Army/Air Wing Joint Task Force to support seven separately located shelters from Sept 22*Sept 26. Following the closure of all of the shelters in Bryan/College Station, six members were reassigned to support shelters in Lufkin, TX.

Throughout the month of October, the 436th ASG was called upon to support relief activities in Waco, Kirbyville and Deweyville. Although the 436th ASG had been tasked to train in Red Cross shelter management, the focus of our deployment activity was of shelter security and an unarmed military presence. Throughout all of the deployments, no harm came to any shelter resident or to any of the Texas State Guard members. This speaks volumes of the men and women of the Texas State Guard and of the evacuees. As a unit, the members of the 436thASG are proud to have been called upon to assist the American Red Cross and our fellow countrymen. If we were able to provide security, provide a helping hand or smile and provide words of encouragement and hope to just one of the many people we helped, then all of the long hours have been well spent.

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