TXSG 1st Regiment Changes Command

TXSG 1st Regiment Changes Command
MAJ Michael Quinn Sullivan, PAO, TXSG
BROWNWOOD, Texas – A new commander of the Texas State Guard’s 1st Regiment took charge today in a ceremony at the Texas Military Forces training facility at Camp Bowie.

Photo of Change of Command
BG Manuel Rogriguez passes the 1st Regiment colors to LTC Chuck Brewton in the Change of Command ceremony that took place at Texas Military Forces tranining center at Camp Bowie on Sunday as outgoing 1st Regiment commander COL Raul Gonzalez, left, and CSM Joe Trevino look on.Photo by Sgt. Timothy Pruitt, TXSG

Including soldiers from New Braunfels/San Antonio to the Valley, the 1st Regiment has been commanded by COL Raul Gonzalez of Laredo, since 2006. He is being transferred to TXSG headquarters in Austin. The new commander is LTC Chuck Brewton of San Antonio.

“Serving with the men and women of the 1st Regiment has been a pleasure and honor,” said COL Gonzalez. “I look forward to continue serving them in my new capacity.”

1st Regiment is one of six in the TXSG's Army Component. The other TXSG components are the Air Division, Maritime Regiment and Medical Brigade. The TXSG, commanded by MG Ray Peters, is part of the Texas Military Forces, which includes the Army National Guard and Air National Guard.

The Army Component is commanded by BG Manuel “Tony” Rodriguez, to whom LTC Brewton will report.

Brewton has served as Gonzalez's executive officer since March. He entered the TXSG in 2003.

“COL Gonzalez leaves some big shoes to fill,” said LTC Brewton. “The heart and soul of the Texas State Guard are the men and women serving their neighbors and fellow Texans, so as commander of 1st Regiment my job is to make sure they have the tools and training needed to do it.”

Organizationally, the 1st Regiment of the TXSG includes three battalions and a Quick Response Team.

BG Rodriguez said he is pleased LTC Brewton would step up as the regiment's commander.

“He has a real heart and passion not only for the state guard, but also the soldiers in the 1st Regiment, their families and the people who live in South Texas and the Valley,” said Rodriguez

Texas State Guard Deploys to Camp Bowie, Texas for Annual Training

Texas State Guard Deploys to Camp Bowie, Texas for Annual Training
COL Robert Hastings, PAO, TXSG
CAMP BOWIE, BROWNWOOD, TEXAS – Over the next two weeks, some 1200 members of the Texas State Guard (TXSG) will deploy from across the State of Texas to Camp Bowie to complete their annual training. Annual Training 2011 will focus on the ability of the Texas State Guard to accomplish Defense Support to Civilian Authority (DSCA) missions through multiple training events and command and control exercises.

“The principle focus of our annual training this year is the execution of our mission essential tasks in support of civilian authorities and in response to a civil disaster,” said Maj. Gen. Ray Peters, commanding general of the TXSG. “As we enter the hurricane season it is important for the leaders and citizens of Texas to know with confidence that the Texas State Guard is trained and ready to respond as we have many times in recent years.”

Training activities planned for TXSG personnel include the Texas Emergency Tracking Network (TETN), the National Incident Management System, mass care operations, wide area damage assessment, global positioning system operations, first aid, land navigation, radio communications and command post operations among other activities. Additionally, several professional military education courses will be conducted to include the Primary Leadership Development Course and the Basic Noncommissioned Officer (NCO) Course.

One of the most important activities planned for this year’s training is a command, control and communications (C3) exercise which will train and test leaders’ abilities to employ and manage TETN, mass care and shelter operations, points-of-delivery, and wide area damage assessment mission sets in response to a hurricane scenario. The C3 exercise will be conducted in a table top environment with simulated communications traffic.

Annual training also serves as the venue for TXSG’s annual Quick Reaction Team (QRT) competition. Each civil affairs regiment with TXSG is assigned a QRT consisting of personnel trained and equipped for rapid deployment anywhere within the state of Texas, to respond to emergencies involving disaster assessment, search, rescue and recovery, and infrastructure protection. The QRT competition will test the readiness and skills of each QRT in four areas; land navigation, leadership reaction course, physical fitness, and pistol marksmanship.

“We’ve been preparing for several months now to ensure this annual training event provides quality training that is both challenging and rewarding for our soldiers,” said Peters. “At the same time this annual training will help ensure the force as a whole is at its maximum level of readiness to respond to potential civil emergencies we may face this hurricane season.”

Camp Bowie is a Texas Military Forces training center located in west central Texas near the cities of Brownwood and Early.

“We appreciate the continued partnership of the City of Brownwood which is once again playing an important role in supporting our training,” said Peters. “The citizens of Brownwood have always been hospitable towards the Guard, and the City actively engages in our training scenarios to enhance realism and to practice real-world inter-agency coordination.”

In recent years the TXSG has been called to active duty for nine hurricanes (Katrina, Rita, Dean, Humberto, Dolly, Edouard, Gustav, Ike, and Alex), the Eagle Pass tornado in 2007, and severe flooding in Marble Falls in 2007. The TXSG is also the lead military component for Operation Lone Star in the Rio Grande Valley – the state’s largest annual medical emergency preparedness mission.

The Texas State Guard is one of three branches of the Texas Military Forces (TXMF), operating under the command of the Adjutant General of Texas and the Governor as Commander-in-Chief of all state military forces. The TXMF includes the Texas Army National Guard and the Texas Air National Guard.

The mission of the Texas State Guard (TXSG) is to provide mission-ready military forces to assist state and local authorities in times of state emergencies; to conduct homeland security and community service activities under the umbrella of Defense Support to Civil Authorities; and to augment the Texas Army National Guard and Texas Air National Guard as required.

Headquartered at Camp Mabry in Austin, Texas, the TXSG functions as an organized state militia under the authority of Title 32 of the U.S. Code and Chapter 431 of the Texas Government Code.

TXSG Continues Growth

TXSG Continues Growth
MAJ Michael Quinn Sullivan, PAO, TXSG

Photo of LTC Peyton Randolph shaking hands with PFC Tony Rodriguez
LTC Peyton Randolph, right, shakes hands with PFC Tony Rodriguez after administering the oath of enlistment at a ceremony held at the Texas State Veterans Cemetery near Killeen.

KILLEEN, Texas – Texans have long felt drawn to public service, and especially by wearing the uniforms of our state and nation, so it is no surprise that the Texas State Guard continues to grow through the enlistment of civic-minded young men and women.

Volunteer TXSG recruiters around the state are eager to help bring Texans into the organization and be reached at http://www.txsg.state.tx.us/join-now.aspx

Late last year, the TXSG swore in the 2,000th Soldier. Even as the Texas State Guard grows, Commanding General Ray Peters says each new recruit brings new energy and expertise to the mission of the organization.

“It’s a pleasure to see so many new faces entering service to their fellow Texans,” said Peters. “No matter how large we grow, the Texas State Guard is a family that celebrates the achievements of people and encourages them to grow professionally. Every new recruit and enlistee is a cause for celebration.”

That commitment was on full display recently when the 2nd Civil Affairs Regiment held an enlistment ceremony at the Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery outside Killeen. While regiment regularly looks for opportunities to make enlistment and advancement ceremonies special for the honorees, this one took on unexpected significance.

This ceremony was to feature one enlistment, Manuel “Tony” Rodriguez. A special setting, but all expected it to be a relatively quiet affair.

Also at the cemetery on Memorial Day morning were a group of veterans, members of a motorcycle club, who had come to pay final respects to fallen comrades. Feeling there was no better way to honor the memory of the departed, they asked to be included in the ceremony.

LTC Peyton Randolph, commander of the 2nd Battalion of the 2nd Regiment, invited them to fall into formation. Afterwards, the veterans included attending TXSG personnel in a Memorial Day prayer.

Rodriguez, the son of BG Manuel Rodgriguez, commander of the TXSG Army Component, will join the 2nd Battalion, 2nd CA Regiment, for Annual Training in June. He will study Mass Care Operations, Wide Area Disaster Assessment, entering information into the Evacuee Tracking Network, working at a Point of Distribution, and learn other skills that will make him integral to supporting the citizens of Texas during times of emergency.

Freshly minted PFC Rodriguez eagerly grasped the opportunity to enlist on Memorial Day at the Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery. Surrounded by well-wishers and monuments to soldiers who have given their all for Texas and for the United States of America, Private First Class Tony Rodriguez joins a long tradition of service to his country, Texas, and his fellow citizens.

Texas troops, civilians march in honor of fallen heroes

Texas Military Forces, service members, families and local civilians participate in the 5th Annual March For Fallen Heroes in Austin, Texas, May 28, 2011.
In this image released by the Texas Military Forces, service members, families and local civilians participate in the 5th Annual March For Fallen Heroes in Austin, Texas, May 28, 2011. The event, held each year on Memorial Day weekend, honors service members who have lost their lives in the global war on terror, as well as lost veterans of past wars. Participants marched a 7.6 mile route from Zilker Park to the state capitol and back in memory of their lost loved ones. Army Staff Sgt. David Mendiola has organized and executed the Austin event ever since first hearing about a similar march in an issue of GX Magazine.


 Story by Sgt. 1st Class Daniel Griego

 For some, Memorial Day means little more than a long weekend of barbequing that starts off the summer each year with  fun and activities. For a small band of patriotic service members and civilians, however, the somber day that recognizes  the countless lives lost in American conflicts overseas and stateside is not a celebration, but a solemn reminder of the  sacrifices necessary to ensure the freedom and safety of our nation.

 "Keep in mind who we're walking for," said Army Staff Sgt. David Mendiola at the start of the 2011 March for Fallen Heroes. "Let's make sure the community knows, and never forgets."

 The annual event, now in its fifth year, brings together veterans, family members, current service members and citizens of  all ages for a 7.2-mile foot march from Austin's Zilker Park to the state capitol and back. As a staple affair in the Texas  Military Forces, which includes both the Texas Army National Guard and the Texas State Guard, the march additionally  serves as a community outreach program, inviting Austinites to participate who might not even have family in the armed  forces.

 "Today is great," said Mendiola. "We had a lot of participants show up today. We have more civilians this time, so I'm  pleased about that."
 Mendiola, who started the Texas march four years ago, first got the idea for a memorial foot march after reading a story in  Guard Experience Magazine about a Tennessee guardsman who carried the U.S. flag around his town in honor of those  who died in the Global War on Terror.

 "I immediately went to my first line supervisor," said Mendiola, recounting the day he read the article. "Within three weeks,  me and three other members of my section met up at Zilker park, we loaded up and we started walking toward the  capitol."

 "I'm marching for my buddy Anthony Green," said Army Sgt. Donald Denson, "[killed in action] in Afghanistan two years  ago, and every other soldier that fought for the 36th ID from World War I until now."

 Denson, a soldier with Austin's 36th Combat Aviation Brigade Headquarters, brought with him to the march his son, who  recently enlisted in the Texas Army National Guard.

 "I feel like a soldier now," said Army Pvt. Michael Denson, Donald's son. "It's a real good feeling to be able to march with  everybody out here."

 Texas veterans from outside the Texas Army National Guard proudly joined the march thanks to Mendiola's networking  efforts.

 Preston Rogers, an Army veteran who served in Vietnam from 1968 to 1970, learned about the event after meeting Mendiola on-line.

"We're on a Facebook group together, Friends of Texas," said Rogers.

Rogers also brought his older brother, William Rogers, a veteran of the Navy who served from 1960 to 1965.

"I'm grateful to the people that are here," said William Rogers. "I'd like to see more people out here."

The increased turn-out for this year's march means more and more Texans each year are getting the word. The support for those involved has been resounding.

"When I was out there this morning," said Mendiola, "looking out at the crowd, it hit me hard."

For more information about this year's March for Fallen Heroes and how to join the memorial walk next year, please visit www.marchforfallenheroes.com or e-mail the event coordinator, Staff Sgt. David Mendiola at mfh1775@yahoo.com.