Story by: Chief Warrant Officer Two Janet Schmelzer
Posted: September 23, 2015
CAMP MABRY, AUSTIN - The Texas State Guard Army Component Command welcomed a new chief of staff, Col. Robert Hastings, September 12, 2015. As chief of staff, Hastings is the principal military advisor and second in command of the Army Component Command, Texas State Guard.
"Our role as Army Component Command staff," Hastings stated, "is to make our soldiers successful; ensuring that they have the training, resources, leadership and support necessary to execute their missions, effectively and safely."
Hastings enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1978. He was a distinguished graduate of the Warrant Officer Rotary Wing Aviator Course. He piloted the AH-1 Attack Helicopter with the 7th Infantry Division, the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment and the Army Combat Developments Experimentation Command.
Graduating from Officer Candidate School, he was commissioned a 2nd lieutenant in aviation. He served as an Attack Helicopter Platoon leader and Forward Support Platoon leader with the 101st Airborne Division, and as a Reserve Component Aviation advisor at the Fifth U.S. Army headquarters.
Hastings completed Armor Officer Advanced Course and returned to the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment where he served as regimental operations officer, Air Cavalry Troop commander and Assault Helicopter Troop commander. He served as a public affairs officer, Public Affairs Detachment commander with V Corps, and Senior Public Affairs instructor at the Defense Information School before retiring from the U.S. Army.
His combat and expeditionary deployments include tours in Iraq, Bosnia and Honduras.
His military education includes the Aviation Officer Basic Course, Scout Platoon Leaders Course, Armor Officer Advanced Course, Cavalry Leaders Course, Public Affairs Officer Qualification and Advanced Courses, and Combined Armed and Services Staff School.
Hastings joined the George W. Bush Administration as Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs. As the senior public affairs official and spokesman for the U.S. Department of Defense, he served as principal staff advisor to the Secretary of Defense for strategic communication, public information, internal information, and community relations, leading a worldwide public affairs community of some 4,000 military and civilian personnel.
Upon joining the Texas State Guard, Hastings has served as the Chief Public Affairs Officer for the Texas State Guard and commander of the 19th Regiment.
Hastings received the Master Army Aviator, Pathfinder and Air Assault badges. His military awards and decorations include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Army Meritorious Service Medal with four oak leaf clusters, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, NATO Medal, and Secretary of Defense Staff Identification Badge.
His civilian awards include the Secretary of Defense Distinguished Public Service Medal and the Order of St. George Medallion.
Hastings resides in Keller, Texas.