Guard is cost-efficient way to defend America


Story by Sgt. Todd Boyles

AUSTIN, Texas - Members of the Texas Military Forces take part in the annual National Guard Association of Texas conference in Austin during March 23 through 25.

At the NGAT conference, service members share ideas and concerns about combat readiness and family issues.

"We get together to speak as to where we have been in the past year and where we are going in the future," said U.S. Army Maj. Justin Perryman, the president of the National Guard Association of Texas. 

The association assists in communicating the Texas Military Forces interests to the state and federal lawmakers. The NGAT's mission is to illustrate the value of the service members and the Texas Military Forces to Texans and the American people. 

As of Sept. 30, 2010, the National Guard has mobilized more than 650,000 service members in support of Department of Defense overseas contingency operations. 

According to the National Guard Bureau 2012 Posture Statement report, the Guard contributes 35 to 40 percent of all active Army and Air Force manpower at only 7 percent of the budget. 

"The Guard is the most effective way to defend America and the most cost-efficient," said Ray Linder, executive director of the National Guard Association of Texas. "You can keep four Guardsmen for what it will cost you to maintain one regular Army soldier."

In addition to supporting the "Big Army," the Guardsmen also respond to all domestic emergencies. 

Texas is one of few states that have a Homeland Response Force certified unit. The HRF units add capabilities that allow the Guard to rapidly respond to situations such as natural disasters, biomedical emergencies or riots, said Perryman.

To be an effective fighting force, the Guard needs to have stability on the home front. One place this stability comes from is the Texas State Family Programs.

"Family readiness is a crucial element to mission readiness," said Tara Gaspar, a Senior Family Readiness support assistant with the State Family Programs. "We are a force multiplier. If you do not have a ready family at home, that service member is not ready."


Texas State Guard wins rifle competition... Again!

CPT Esperanza Meza, PAO, TXSG
AUSTIN, Texas – For the second time in the last two years, the Texas State Guard’s 19th Regiment Marksmanship Team has won top honors in this year’s 2012 Adjutant’s General’s Combat Rifle Competition Match and Sustainment Exercise held at Camp Swift. This is the second competition won this year, with part of the same winning team for the Combat Pistol Match held earlier this year.

The Rifle Team included CPT Theodore Baroody, Quick Response Team Commander and Officer in Charge of the team, SGT Scott Hunt, 19th REGT HQ, SGT Sean Mounger, 1st Battalion, and SGT Wade Lay, 19th REGT HQ. Of the eight Governor’s 20 tabs for the Rifle Competition in 2012, four went to the State Guard. SGT Hunt was awarded one of the coveted tabs that included the Pistol Competition earlier along with SGT Mounger.

For the past two years, 19th Regiment’s rifle and pistol team has dominated the Adjutant General’s rifle and pistol competitions winning both events, a feat not held by the same unit since the start of the Texas State Guard’s initial entry into the events in 2008.

Approximately 100 competitors from the Texas National Guard, Texas Air Guard and Texas State Guard participated in the event held February 25 and 26 at Camp Swift, a training facility near Bastrop.

COL David Erinakes, Commander of the 19th Regiment, congratulated his soldiers on their performance.

“This win showed the drive and determination of their team that represents the same drive and determination the entire State Guard brings to the table for the citizens of Texas.“

CPT Baroody, the team’s OIC, added “The 19th Regt Marksmanship Team purchased their own ammo and rifles for the competition, and practiced on their own time.“

The competition was organized by the State Competitive Marksmanship (SCM) Program in the Texas National Guard. The SCM is managed by the State Competitive Marksmanship Coordinator, MAJ John Suprynowicz.