|On Saturday, Aug. 18, 2012, Maj. Gen. Manuel "Tony" Rodriguez assumes command of the Texas State Guard from Maj. Gen. Raymond Peters at Camp Mabry in Austin, Texas. More than 2,200 men and women actively serve in the Texas State Guard, which is comprised of the Army, Air, Maritime and Medical components. (National Guard photo by CW2 Janet Schmelzer/Texas State Guard)
By Maj. Michael Sullivan, CW2 Janet Schmelzer and WO2 Cary Wintz
Texas State Guard
CAMP MABRY, Texas - In a change of command ceremony at Camp Mabry on Saturday, Aug. 18, 2012, Maj. Gen. Manuel "Tony" Rodriguez assumed command of the Texas State Guard (TXSG) from Maj. Gen. Raymond Peters.
The ceremony is a landmark event in the history of the Texas Military Forces and the Texas State Guard to bid farewell to one commander and welcome another. The Texas State Guard, along with the Texas Army National Guard and Texas Air Guard, is a major component of Texas Military Forces under the command of the governor.
The Texas Military Forces are commanded by the state's adjutant general, Maj. Gen. John F. Nichols.
Peters was commissioned in July 1965, as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army. In July 2009, he was promoted to Major General and appointed commander of the Texas State Guard.
Reflecting on his 49 years of uniformed service, Peters said he was honored to see the organization grow and evolve into its present role as a major component of the Texas Military Forces.
"I'm fortunate that I got to serve in the Texas State Guard. I never dreamed I'd go this far," he said. "To the men and women of the state guard I say, 'thank you.'"
He is succeeded by Rodriguez, who was commissioned in 1983, as a second lieutenant in the United States Army. During his career, Rodriguez served in Honduras, Germany, Desert Storm, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Afghanistan and Iraq.
As part of the change of command ceremony, Rodriguez was promoted to major general.
Rodriguez said he was honored by the appointment and looked forward to serving the people of Texas in this new role.
Paraphrasing WWII era Gen. Haywood Hansell, Rodriguez concluded his brief remarks by saying, "When I've done some more work, I'll do some more talking."
Nichols said the state guard has become a key component of the Texas Military Forces over the last two decades, with the defining moment occurring during the activations in response to hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005.
"I've asked Gen. Rodriguez to take the baton from Gen. Peters and make the organization even better," said Nichols. "I told him, get ready. Now he's going to get to work helping Texas."