TXSG Changes Command - Tony Rodriguez will take command from Raymond Peters

TXSG Changes Command - Tony Rodriguez will take command from Raymond Peters
MAJ Michael Quinn Sullivan, PAO, TXSG
AUSTIN, Texas – A new commanding general for the Texas State Guard was announced today by the Adjutant General of Texas Military Forces. The official change of command ceremony is slated for August 18, 2012.

Maj. Gen. John F. Nichols announced today that Brig. Gen. Manuel "Tony" Rodriguez will take command upon the retirement of Maj. Gen. Raymond Peters, who has commanded the TXSG since July 2009.

More than 2,200 men and women actively service in the Texas State Guard, divided into four operational components: Army, Air, Maritime and Medical. The TXSG is organized under the authority of the Texas Military Forces, which includes the Army National Guard and Air National Guard.

"After 40 years serving our nation and state -- in the regular Army, the National Guard and the Texas State Guard -- Raymond Peters has distinguished himself in war and peace," said Nichols. "Under his leadership, the Texas State Guard has become an intregal part of the Texas Military Forces mission and critical to the safety of the people of the Lone Star State."

Peters was commissioned as a 2nd Lt. in the US Army in 1965. Upon retirement from the Texas National Guard in 1997, he became chief of staff and director of the Texas State Guard.

Also retired from the United States Army, Rodriguez was introduced to the Texas State Guard by a friend as a way to give back to his adopted home state.

“I couldn’t believe what I saw,” said Rodriguez of his first visit to a training weekend. “The men and women serving in the state guard ask for nothing, but give a whole lot to Texas, and want to do the right thing. I had to be a part of that.”

Rodriguez joined the TXSG in March 2006, serving first as commander of the 2nd Civil Affairs Regiment, and later as the headquarters personnel officer. He is currently the TXSG Deputy Commander in charge of the Army Component.

Rodriguez was commissioned in 1983 upon graduation from the University of Southern Mississippi, and first posted at Fort Hood. During his career, Rodriguez served in Germany, Kuwait, Bosnia, Afghanistan and Iraq, among other assignments. Ending his career as an Army Strategist, he retired from active duty in 2005. He and his wife own a ranch outside Fort Hood. He has three children and a granddaughter.

Rodriguez said he was honored to take command from Peters, and humbled by the trust placed in him by Gen. Nichols and the civilian leadership of Texas.

“Gen. Peters is a model of selfless service, both to the people of Texas and the soldiers under his command,” said Rodriguez. “Every soldier in the state guard, including me, looks forward to building on his work.”

Gen. Peters, whose retirement was announced in the spring, said he could not be more pleased by the selection of Rodriguez as his successor.

“Tony Rodriguez’s emphasis on strategic planning and substantive training will ensure the state guard continues to mature in its mission. He is committed to seeing an even stronger, more robust state guard," said Peters. "The best days of the Texas State Guard are ahead. I can honestly say that of all the postings I've had, wearing the Texas State Guard is the one of which I am most proud because of the caliber of people I have been fortunate to wear it alongside."

Partnering together to serve others

On Thursday, July 26, 2012, a volunteer with Remote Medical Access prepares a set of lenses to be cut into glasses.
On Thursday, July 26, 2012, a volunteer with Remote Medical Access prepares a set of lenses to be cut into glasses. One of the largest humanitarian missions of its kind, Operation Lone Star is an annual joint exercise involving the Texas Military Forces, several other military and civilian agencies that partner together to provide medical, dental and vision services to the under-served communities of south Texas, while taking part in a disaster preparedness exercise.


 Story by Laura Lopez

 BROWNSVILLE, Texas - As hundreds of volunteers from various local, state and federal agencies provide free medical  services to the under-served communities in south Texas, members of the Texas Military Forces spent Thursday, July 26,  2012, in Brownsville, Texas, receiving a first-hand look at everything from blood pressure checks and diabetes screenings  to dental care and prescription glasses, as part of Operation Lone Star VIP Day.

 A partnership that started 14 years ago is now the largest public health humanitarian mission of its kind in the United States  and includes the Texas Department of State Health Services, United States Public Health Services, international  representatives, as well as countless of volunteers from other local, state and federal agencies. For the man behind  Operation Lone Star, it is the memories of constantly being sick in the second grade that has made Dr. Brian Smith, Texas  Department of State Health Services Region 11 medical director come to appreciate medical care and those who continue  to help others.

 “Everyone involved in Operation Lone Star has been selfless over the years and been extremely dedicated to the mission,”  said Smith. “It has been an honor and privilege to work with all of you over the years.”

 A full-scale operation providing disaster recovery training and emergency preparedness, Operation Lone Star 2011 saw  nearly 10,000 people for more than 53,000 services that included immunizations, hearing and vision exams, sports  physicals for students, medical evaluations and exams, dental services and social services. 

 Also joining forces at this year’s exercise, members of the Remote Area Medical Foundation stated that while they have  completed over 674 missions across the United States in the last 20 years, this was their first time, and hopefully not their  last time, in Texas. Able to bring various medical, dental and vision services to the shorter one-week long Operation Lone Star, the message was clear.

“Some people may as well be on the moon in terms of the access they have to necessary medical care, that’s how essential this program is,” said Stan Brock, founder of Remote Area Medical Foundation.

Honored and thankful for the Texas Military Forces to be a part of Operation Lone Star for the last 14 years, Texas Adjutant General, Maj. Gen. John F. Nichols referenced Hurricane Dolly from 2008 as a situation where this very mission not only enabled our service members to deploy quickly, but also get much needed assistance to the citizens of Texas.

“When we go overseas to support our country we sometimes forget about what is going on back here at home and Operation Lone Star is just one example of how we can demonstrate ‘Texans serving Texas,’” said Nichols.

Despite Operation Lone Star being able to provide free medical care to more than 100,000 south Texas residents over the last 14 years and its ability to continue growing and strengthening to include international partners, many feel the mission is still a critical part in an on-going battle.

“It will never be enough, but it’s a great start,” said Cameron County Judge Carlos Cascos.