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1 January 2015
MEMORANDUM FOR SEE DISTRIBUTION
SUBJECT: Policy Directive #1 - The Adjutant General's Philosophy
1. Purpose: As the Adjutant General of Texas, Commander of the Texas Military Forces (TXMF) and head of the Texas Military Department (TMD), I would like each of you to know it is an honor and privilege to serve with such a fine group of Soldiers, Airmen, civilians and families. This document forms the foundation from which all other policies and guidance flow. Additionally, it provides my vision and details my philosophy on leadership. In the absence of a specific policy in a particular area, leaders will find guidance which will enable them to act within my intent regardless of the situation.
2. Vision. America’s premier state military organization comprised of professional mission-ready forces, fully engaged with our communities, and relevant through and beyond 2035
3. Mission. Provide the Governor and the President with ready forces in support of state and federal authorities at home and abroad
a. Put People First - invest in our human capital. Put people first; with no exceptions! As leaders, our number one task is to act in the best interests of our subordinates and their families.
(1) Know our people. Give high priority to actions that will help us serve people better; prove, by your actions, that our people are your top priority. Every Soldier, Airman and civilian should feel like the valued service member he or she is. I will not accept anything less. Neither should you.
(2) Develop strong ethical leaders. Part of taking care of our Soldiers and Airmen is helping them grow professionally. Mentor them; delegate (but verify accomplishment); guide them in their appropriate career path
(3) Start with trust-expect the best. When we deploy in support of our state or nation, we cannot requisition a climate of trust-we must foster that today. Engender trust through operating with integrity, communicating with transparency, and staying true to our promises and responsibilities. Cultivate trust every day.
(4) Family Readiness. A key component to our readiness is the preparation of our families. Single parents and dual military couples need to have a proper family care plan and those with a spouse need to ensure that they are fully integrated into their unit's family readiness support structure.
b. Be Relevant - become the force provider of choice. It is critical that we continue to find new ways to distinguish ourselves as the force provider of choice. We cannot fail to recognize current threats and ignore opportunities to expand our capabilities. It is critical that we refine the tasks for which we are particularly well suited; demonstrate the cost effectiveness of the Texas Military Forces and market the unique skill sets we can provide. We are at the center of change.
(1) Think long term. I think and plan 35 years in the future. All of us need to think well beyond our current assignments in order to construct the best possible future for troops, families, the state and nation. Think about what you should be doing today to construct that future. Think of the impact of your actions in the long run. Help create the organization that you would be proud to have your children and your friends' children join. At a minimum, when you are re-assigned, leave your areas of responsibility better off than you received them, and provide your replacement with a cogent plan for the road ahead.
(2) Be open to new ideas, help leaders stay on course. I charge my staff: give me expert advice. No leaders are perfect. We need accurate counsel to stay on the right azimuth. Listen to one another; have the courage to speak up. Do it all professionally, with mutual respect.
(3) Don't be afraid of failure-it means you are trying. If leaders are afraid to make mistakes, we won't improve as an organization. Do the risk analysis; assess the variables; but be prepared to underwrite the mistakes of your people and take responsibility for them.
c. Be Ready. Provide the right forces at the right time. As we go forward we enter an ever changing and more uncertain environment in terms of our politics, budget, and the constant change that shapes the environment in which we operate both at home and overseas. Leaders at all levels must make maximum use of our resources and find creative ways to change, train, adapt and ensure that we remain ready to answer all challenges and missions.
(1) Be good stewards. As TAG, I secure relevant missions and equipment sets for the future. To do that well, I need your help. First of all, we need to take prudent care of the budget and equipment we have today. Secondly, the Texas Military, judged by any standard, must be widely and consistently regarded as a model of outstanding stewardship. Our reputation as stewards must be the very best. Thirdly, our citizens and political leaders must become familiar with the great services our Soldiers and Airman render our state and nation. In short, we must clearly demonstrate that we merit the public trust.
(2) Keep the Public Trust. Conduct business in a professional, ethical and legal manner. I will tolerate nothing less.
d. Communicate - get our message out. We must have effective communication between all four components of the Texas Military Forces; Army, Air, State Guard and the Texas Military Department. Not only must we continually improve our internal communications it is critical to our success in the new operating environment that we improve our ability and willingness to communicate with our State Agency partners, first responders and external agencies.
e. Partner - build relationships that matter. We must never forget that our organization’s success is dependent on effective multi-national, joint, interagency, public, and private sector collaboration; we cannot accomplish our mission without the support of our partners, both within and outside the government. We must continue to foster strong relationships with our State leadership, with the Department of Defense and among all components of the Texas Military Forces.
5. lf we work together, we can achieve all this and more. I am confident that the proud tradition of excellence earned by the Texas Military will continue into the future. Thank you for your service and your sacrific
//JOHN F. NICHOLS//
TXANG Adjutant General