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.

Former Texas ARNG Division Commander inducted into TXMF Hall of Honor

Maj. Gen. Robert L. Halverson

AUSTIN, Texas (May 17, 2014) - Retired Army Maj. Gen. Robert L. Halverson, a former commander of the 49th Armored Division, Texas Army National Guard, was inducted into the Texas Military Forces’ Hall of Honor during a ceremony held at Camp Mabry, in Austin, May 17, 2014.

Located inside the TXMF Museum, at Camp Mabry, the Hall of Honor was created as a permanent tribute to recognize TXMF members who have made lasting contributions of an outstanding nature to the organization. Induction into the Hall of Honor is the highest form of recognition that may be bestowed upon an individual and is widely recognized as a crowning achievement of a distinguished career.

Halverson, who served in the military with honor and distinction for more than 38 years, beginning in 1963, was one of four honored during the induction ceremony.

He made an extraordinary and positive difference in the continual transformation of the TXMF by instituting divisional staff training and implementing active duty military doctrine in preparation for the 49th Division's deployment as the first integrated active and reserve component headquarters in Bosnia. 

Halverson changed the outlook and focus of the organization by thoroughly integrating the Guard into the active Army, interfacing with Headquarters, U.S. Army Europe and subordinate commands and accomplishing numerous civic projects that set the standard for future Guard deployments to Bosnia.  

He also shaped the organizational environment for the future, by training Guard divisions for future deployments to Bosnia and Kosovo, which set the stage for other Army National Guard Divisions to be mobilized and deployed to both Iraq and Afghanistan.  

Additionally, as a result of the successful mission to Bosnia, Army Training schools began to accept more National Guard Soldiers into the military occupational skills producing courses, allowing a more trained and ready Guard force nationwide. 

“This is a great day for the Texas National Guard,” said Air Force Maj. Gen. John F.  Nichols, the Adjutant General of Texas, recognizing the honorees. “You give service the definition of what it means to be free.”

Former Texas ANG Commander inducted into TXMF Hall of Honor

Commentary courtesy of the Texas Military Forces

Air Force Maj. Gen Charles "Rex" DriggersAUSTIN, Texas (May 17, 2014) - Retired Air Force Maj. Gen. Charles “Rex” Driggers of Mount Pleasant, Texas, a former commander of the Texas Air National Guard, was inducted into the Texas Military Forces’ Hall of Honor during a ceremony held at Camp Mabry, in Austin, May 17, 2014.

Located inside the TXMF Museum, at Camp Mabry, the Hall of Honor was created as a permanent tribute to recognize TXMF members who have made lasting contributions of an outstanding nature to the organization. Induction into the Hall of Honor is the highest form of recognition that may be bestowed upon an individual and is widely recognized as a crowning achievement of a distinguished career.

Driggers, who served his state and nation with honor and distinction for 37 years, beginning in 1955, was one of four honored during the induction ceremony.
He made an extraordinary contribution to the transformation of the TXMF by initiating and commanding the introduction of the C-130 Hercules tactical aircraft at the 136th Airlift Wing, Texas Air National Guard, in Fort Worth.

Driggers changed the outlook and focus of the Texas Air National Guard when he instituted combat training and encouraged closer cooperation with the active duty Air Force. He led Texas ANG aircrews and support personnel from the 136th to participate in Red Flag combat training exercises.

This training outlook improved coordination between the active duty and guard air forces, and was a foundation that was built upon during aerial operations during the Gulf War. This was instrumental in achieving mission success.  

During his time as Texas ANG Commander, Driggers elevated the role and contributions of the Air Guard into TXMF statewide operations. He oversaw the development and construction of Air Guard’s state headquarters building, at Camp Mabry. This led to greater cooperation and missions involving Texas ANG units and the TXMF leadership team.

 “This is a great day for the Texas National Guard,” said Air Force Maj. Gen. John F.  Nichols, the Adjutant General of Texas, recognizing the honorees. “You give service the definition of what it means to be free.”

 

Former Texas National Guard State Chief Master Sgt. Harold L. Higgins Jr. inducted into TXMF Hall of Honor

Commentary courtesy of the Texas Military Forces

Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Harold L. Higgings Jr.AUSTIN, Texas (May 17, 2014) - Retired Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Harold L. Higgins Jr., the former State Chief Master Sgt., Texas Air National Guard, was inducted into the Texas Military Forces’ Hall of Honor during a ceremony held at Camp Mabry, in Austin, May 17, 2014.

Located inside the TXMF Museum, at Camp Mabry, the Hall of Honor was created as a permanent tribute to recognize TXMF members who have made lasting contributions of an outstanding nature to the organization. Induction into the Hall of Honor is the highest form of recognition that may be bestowed upon an individual and is widely recognized as a crowning achievement of a distinguished career.

Higgins, who served his state and nation with honor and distinction for more than 30 years, beginning in 1965, was one of four honored during the induction ceremony.

He had a profound impact on the TXMF by promoting the Professional Development of all Airmen.  Serving as First Sgt., Wing Command Chief and ultimately the Texas State Command Chief, his focus was to provide senior leadership with a professional and capable enlisted force to meet the ever increasing demands, both domestic and deployed. 

Higgins promoted a joint environment at every opportunity, working closely with the State Senior Enlisted Advisor, while also working nationally with the Air National Guard Command Chief Master Sgt.  

During his tenure, the first Command Chief/Command Sgt. Maj. Conference was established to understand the unique, as well as, common issues and seek opportunities for benchmarking successful resolutions. 

Higgins was also appointed as a Region coordinator on the ANG Enlisted Field Advisory Council representing eight states.  As such, his actions touched all ranks from Airman to Chief Master Sgt. by instituting programs such as a the Enlisted Performance Feedback, the National Command Chiefs Orientation Course and a distance learning program. 

His objective to serve Texas and the men and women of the TXMF was accomplished flawlessly and today his legacy lives on in the pride and professionalism of all that wear the uniform and their call to duty.

“This is a great day for the Texas National Guard,” said Air Force Maj. Gen. John F.  Nichols, the Adjutant General of Texas, recognizing the honorees. “You give service the definition of what it means to be free.”

Former Texas National Guard State Command Sgt. Maj. Clyde Worrell inducted into TXMF Hall of Honor

Commentary courtesy of the Texas Military Forces

Sgt. Maj. Clyde WorrellAUSTIN, Texas (May 17, 2014) - Retired Army Command Sgt. Maj. Clyde Worrell, the former State Command Sgt. Maj., Texas Army National Guard, was inducted into the Texas Military Forces’ Hall of Honor during a ceremony held at Camp Mabry, in Austin, May 17, 2014.

Located inside the TXMF Museum, at Camp Mabry, the Hall of Honor was created as a permanent tribute to recognize TXMF members who have made lasting contributions of an outstanding nature to the organization. Induction into the Hall of Honor is the highest form of recognition that may be bestowed upon an individual and is widely recognized as a crowning achievement of a distinguished career.

Worrell, who served his state and nation with honor and distinction for more than 40 years, beginning in 1965, was one of four honored during the induction ceremony.

He made an extraordinary and positive difference in the continual transformation of the TXMF by instituting a promotion process in Texas establishing noncommissioned officer promotion boards at the battalion, brigade, division and state level for different ranks, producing a more professional NCO corps promoted on the basis of stringent qualifications and performance.  

Worrell changed the outlook and focus of the organization by instituting a requirement for NCO education to be tied to rank progression, and lobbied successfully at the national level for the creation of Guard/Reserve-friendly course offerings to be completed locally and during drill periods.  

He also shaped the organizational environment for the future by implementing a National Guard Bureau requirement to select, train, promote and assign enlisted personnel through  statewide implementation of meetings and processes designed to make the requirement Texas-specific and soldier-friendly, producing a generation of trained and ready NCO leadership. 

 His contributions created the framework of a professional NCO corps in Texas that has excelled in garrison and in combat.

“This is a great day for the Texas National Guard,” said Air Force Maj. Gen. John F.  Nichols, the Adjutant General of Texas, recognizing the honorees. “You give service the definition of what it means to be free.”

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.

http://www.yourhoustonnews.com/fort_bend/news/city-of-sugar-land-and-state-guard-conducting-hurricane-exercise/article_5bcfbd88-e460-538d-a0f7-9e6c26586a13.html

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.

Texas Guardsmen share response lessons with Brazilians

members of the Exercito Brasileiro or Brazilian Army, conduct a tour of the Round Rock Armed Forces Reserve Center, home of the Joint Task Force 136 (Maneuver Enhancement Brigade) April 8, 2014.
Sgt. 1st Class Daniel Griego
In this image, members of the Exercito Brasileiro or Brazilian Army, conduct a tour of the Round Rock Armed Forces Reserve Center, home of the Joint Task Force 136 (Maneuver Enhancement Brigade) April 8, 2014. The delegation, which included Maj. Anaditalia Pinheiro Viana Araujo, 1st Lt. Aline Campos Dia, and Sgt. 1st Class Jao Batista Junior, conduct the vist to learn about the brigade's Homeland Response Force Mission, which bridges the gap between civilian first responders and National Guard support efforts. Photo by National Guard Sgt. 1st Class Daniel Griego.

Story by Sgt. 1st Class Daniel Griego

 

ROUND ROCK, Texas - The Texas National Guard is no stranger to international partnerships, sharing long working relationships with both Chile and the Czech Republic. Recently, though, members of Joint Task Force 136 (Maneuver Enhancement Brigade), a Round Rock-based National Guard unit, enjoyed a visit from a new foreign partner: the Exército Brasieiro, the Brazilian Army. The visit, conducted May 8th at the Round Rock Armed Forces Reserve Center, focused on sharing best practices during emergency response operations.

"The main objective is to learn about the program," said Maj. Anaditália Pinheiro Viana Araújo. "We are beginning our  program in Brazil. We are looking for knowledge from different sources."

 Araújo, a medical officer within the Exército Brasieiro, was joined by 1st Lt. Aline Campos Dias, who serves as a military  doctor, and Sgt. 1st Class João Batista Júnior, a combat medic. With their specialty in patient care, learning how the  National Guard approaches mass casualty incidents was a natural fit. Prior to meeting with JTF-136 (MEB), they toured  the San Antonio Army Medical Center and the San Antonio Fire & EMS Department. 

 "It was wonderful," said Júnior. "You showed us how the military and the civilians can work together. That is fantastic for  us. It would be nice if in the future, we could have the same structure. 

 JTF-136 (MEB), as custodian of the FEMA Region VI Homeland Response Force Mission, is uniquely qualified to  discuss the role of interagency cooperation during emergency response operations. Their mission is, at the request of  civil authorities, to directly support and reinforce the life-saving efforts of local first responders in a disaster engagement.  Unlike the United States, Brazil's military forces serve as their first responders in combating natural and man-made  threats.

 "There, we are the first responder," said Júnior. "In Brazil, we are the only response that we have. We need to teach our people to do the same, to be prepared for some kind of threat and divide the responsibility with us."

On hand to share the National Guard support perspective was the 6th CBRNE Enhanced Response Force Package, the life-saving element of JTF-136 (MEB)'s HRF mission. CBRNE refers to the increased threat of chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and high-yield explosive hazards during a mass-casualty incident that would require the specialized capabilities of military assets in supporting civilian first responders.

"As an element of the CBRNE mission, the 6th CERFP was delighted to entertain members of the Exército Brasieiro," said Lt. Col. Les Edwards, commander for the 6th CERFP. "Their visit allowed us an opportunity to positively influence our international partners as they develop their own emergency response management team."

Sharing their experiences and best practices helped bridge the gap between the two nations' armies, fostering trust and confidence as they discussed how best to approach their respective life-saving missions. 

"It is always interesting to discuss the civil-military relationship that exists in the United States with representatives from other countries, like Brazil, and compare and contrast the two systems," said Maj. Patrick Nolan, the training officer for JTF-136 (MEB). "Only by understanding such things can we communicate an understanding of how missions like the Homeland Response Force actually work."

Communication was a key theme throughout the tour, as Guard personnel shared with the Brazilian delegation the equipment and techniques that allow them to work fluidly with their civil partners. 

"The main equipment that we need is the communication equipment to integrate the people we have," said Dias. When asked what the best capability they could gain in Brazil would be after meeting their US counterparts, she responded, "the possibility to have communications with people who are in the hot zone and people who are in the cold or warm zone."

These zones refer to the varying levels of contamination that make up a CBRNE situation. The hot zone represents the greatest contamination threat when rescuers are already working to save lives from rubble and debris. The threat of such hazards is especially relevant for the Brazilian army as they prepare to host the World Cup later this year and the Olympics in 2016. Security and safety preparations will be tantamount during these high-profile events.

"These are the kind of events in the United States that the National Guard would be called on to support with capabilities like the Civil Support Team," said Nolan. "They are just now developing those capabilities in Brazil and today's visit is especially important for them."

The members of JTF-136 (MEB) look forward to continuing this relationship with their Brazilian counterparts and furthering their emergency response program. For them, it's not about the uniforms worn, it's about the lives saved when disaster strikes. 

"The more we share best practices," said Edwards, "the better equipped they will be to answer the call when it comes."

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

http://blog.chron.com/texaspolitics/2014/05/gov-perry-inducts-9-into-texas-womens-hall-of-fame/

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.