There are a number of benefits offered to the members of the Texas State Guard to encourage enlistment. These benefits are offered by several different entities including the State of Texas, various county authorites, local municipalities, and private businesses.

Benefits include:

  • Daily Stipend for Training and During State Emergency Activations
  • Free Texas Concealed Handgun License
  • Free Texas Super Combo Hunting and Fishing License
  • Job Protections When Called to Duty
  • Paid Military Leave (for State Employees)
  • Texas Guard License Plate Eligibility (This is NOT Free and must be paid for by the TXSG Member)
  • Travel Allowances when Activated by Governor
  • College Tuition Assistance
  • Waiver of Toll Road Fees (varies by local toll road authority)
  • Worker's Compensation for On-Duty Injury

State Health Insurance:

  • After a State Guard member has been on active duty for 90 consecutive days, the member is eligible to purchase State health insurance.
  • This is a new process as of the biennium and at this point ERS believes that the insurance purchase will be handled by ERS and the state guard member directly. 

Workers Compensation and Other State Guard Benefits:

  • According to the State Office of Risk Management (SORM), member of the state military forces, during authorized training, duty, or activation under state authority, are considered full state employees for workers' compensation purposes. This authority is delegated under chapter 201.001 (5) (D) of the Texas Labor Code.
  • Pay and travel entitlements are determined by the Texas Adjutant General (TAG). The TAG has been granted this authority under Section 431.016 other Texas Government Code. According to SORM, travel from a private residence to a place of duty is not covered for workers' compensation benefits, however, travel between two places of duty is covered by workers' compensation.
  • The state does not carry insurance to cover damages to privately owned vehicles. SORM reports that each agency carries their own vehicle insurance policy. TAG's insurance policy provides that hired, non-owned vehicles that are operated in course and scope of employment of an employee of the TAG are covered for $250,000 in liability insurance only. TAG's office state that there is a claims process of the TMD personnel and whether or not the claim would be awarded depends on the working of the service member activation orders.

The Texas State Guard exists as part of the state militia under the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution and a defense force under 32 U.S.C. Section 109.

Headquartered at Camp Mabry in Austin, Texas, 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 also includes the Texas Army National Guard and the Texas Air National Guard. The mission of the Texas State Guard 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 other branches of the TXMF as required.

The sections of the Texas Government Code relating to the TXMF are found in Chapters 431, 432 and 437. The following texts are relevant portions of the Texas Government Code, which provide a statutory synopsis of (1) how the three branches of the TXMF were formed and how they operate; (2) when TXMF service members may be called to active duty; and (3) the TXMF members’ employment-related rights while under orders for authorized training or state active duty by proper authority.

Sec. 431.001. DEFINITIONS. In this chapter:

(1) "Reserve militia" means the persons liable to serve, but not serving, in the state military forces.

(1-a) "Service member" has the meaning assigned by Section 161.551, Health and Safety Code.

(2) "State militia" means the state military forces and the reserve militia.

(3) "State military forces" means the Texas National Guard, the Texas State Guard, and any other active militia or military force organized under state law.

(4) "Texas National Guard" means the Texas Army National Guard and the Texas Air National Guard.

(5) "Employee" has the meaning assigned by Section 21.002, Labor Code.

(6) "Employer" has the meaning assigned by Section 21.002, Labor Code.

(7) "Political subdivision" has the meaning assigned by Section 21.002, Labor Code.


(a) The governor may call all or part of the state military forces to repel or suppress an invasion of or insurrection in or threatened invasion of or insurrection in the state or if the governor considers it necessary to enforce state law. If the number of state military forces is insufficient, the governor shall call the part of the reserve militia that the governor considers necessary.

(b) The governor may call all or part of the state military forces to assist civil authorities in guarding prisoners, conveying prisoners within the state, or executing law as the public interest or safety requires.

(c) The governor may order a commander of a unit of the state military forces to appear at a time and place directed to suppress or prevent tumult, riot, or the actions of a group of persons acting together by force with intent to commit a breach of the peace or violence to a person or property or to otherwise violate state law.


(a) The governor is the commander-in-chief of the Texas military forces, except any portion of those forces in the service of the United States. The governor has full control and authority over all matters relating to the Texas military forces, including organization, equipment, and discipline.

(b) If the governor is unable to perform the duties of commander-in-chief, the adjutant general shall command the Texas military forces, unless the state constitution or other state law requires the lieutenant governor or the president of the senate to perform the duties of governor.


(a) The governor may activate all or part of the Texas military forces to state active duty or for state training and other duty. The governor may delegate all or part of the authority granted by this section to the adjutant general.

(b) On delegation of the authority by the governor, the adjutant general may order all or part of the Texas military forces to state training and other duty if funding has been provided in the General Appropriations Act or volunteer resources are available.

(c) On delegation of the authority by the governor, the adjutant general may order all or part of the Texas military forces to state training and other duty if requested by a federal, state, or local governmental entity and the entity authorizes reimbursement of the costs to this state.

(d) A service member called to state active duty or to state training and other duty has the rights, privileges, duties, functions, and authorities conferred or imposed by state law.


(a) Except as provided by Subsections (b) and (c), a person who is an officer or employee of this state, a municipality, a county, or another political subdivision of this state and who is a member of the Texas military forces, a reserve component of the armed forces, or a member of a state or federally authorized urban search and rescue team is entitled to a paid leave of absence from the person's duties on a day on which the person is engaged in authorized training or duty ordered or authorized by proper authority for not more than 15 workdays in a fiscal year. During a leave of absence, the person may not be subjected to loss of time, efficiency rating, personal time, sick leave, or vacation time.

(b) An officer or employee of this state is entitled to carry forward from one fiscal year to the next the net balance of unused accumulated leave under Subsection (a) that does not exceed 45 workdays.

(c) A member of the legislature is entitled to pay for all days that the member is absent from a session of the legislature and engaged in training or duty as provided by Subsection (a).

(d) A state employee who is a member of the Texas military forces, a reserve component of the armed forces, or a member of a state or federally authorized urban search and rescue team and who is ordered to duty by proper authority is entitled, when relieved from duty, to be restored to the position that the employee held when ordered to duty.

(e) This state, a municipality, a county, or another political subdivision of this state shall provide written notice of the number of workdays of paid leave to which an officer or employee described by Subsection (a) is entitled each fiscal year under Subsection (a) and, if applicable, the number of workdays of paid leave to which an officer or employee described by Subsection (a) is entitled to carry forward each fiscal year under Subsection (b):

(1) on employment, in the case of an employee; or

(2) as soon as practicable after appointment or election, in the case of an officer.

(f) This state, a municipality, a county, or another political subdivision of this state shall, on the request of an officer or employee described by Subsection (a), provide to that officer or employee a statement that contains:

(1) the number of workdays for which the officer or employee claimed paid leave under Subsection (a) in that fiscal year; and

(2) if the statement is provided to an officer or employee of this state:

(A) the net balance of unused accumulated leave under Subsection (a) for that fiscal year that the officer or employee is entitled to carry forward to the next fiscal year; and

(B) the net balance of all unused accumulated leave under this section to which the officer or employee is entitled.


(a) An employer may not terminate the employment of an employee who is a member of the state military forces of this state or any other state because the employee is ordered to authorized training or duty by a proper authority. The employee is entitled to return to the same employment held when ordered to training or duty and may not be subjected to loss of time, efficiency rating, vacation time, or any benefit of employment during or because of the absence. The employee, as soon as practicable after release from duty, must give written or actual notice of intent to return to employment.

(b) A violation of this section is an unlawful employment practice. A person injured by a violation of this section may file a complaint with the Texas Workforce Commission civil rights division under Subchapter I.


(a) A person commits an offense if the person physically and intentionally hinders, delays, or obstructs or intentionally attempts to hinder, delay, or obstruct a portion of the Texas military forces on active duty in performance of a military duty.

(b) An offense under Subsection (a) is a Class B misdemeanor.

(c) The commanding officer of a portion of the Texas military forces parading or performing a military duty in a street or highway may require a person in the street or highway to yield the right-of-way to the forces, except that the commanding officer may not interfere with the carrying of the United States mail, a legitimate function of the police, or the progress or operation of an emergency medical services provider or fire department.

(d) During an occasion of duty, a commanding officer may detain a person who:

(1) trespasses on a place of duty;

(2) interrupts or molests the orderly discharge of duty by those under orders; or

(3) disturbs or prevents the passage of troops going to or coming from duty.

(e) The commanding officer shall make a reasonable effort to forward detained individuals to civil authorities as soon as practicable.

Sec. 437.213. CERTAIN BENEFITS AND PROTECTIONS FOR STATE SERVICE. A service member of the Texas military forces who is ordered to state active duty or to state training and other duty by the governor, the adjutant general, or another proper authority under the law of this state is entitled to the same benefits and protections provided to persons:

(1) performing service in the uniformed services as provided by 38 U.S.C. Sections 4301-4313 and 4316-4319, as that law existed on April 1, 2003; and

(2) in the military service of the United States as provided by 50 App. U.S.C. Sections 501-536, 560, and 580-594, as that law existed on April 1, 2003.

Sec. 437.221. OTHER DUTY AND COMMUNITY SERVICE MISSIONS. The governor or the adjutant general, if designated by the governor, may require other duty for officers and enlisted persons in the Texas military forces. The other duty may include community service missions.

As reflected in the applicable statutes, Texas employers are prohibited from discriminating against or causing negative consequences to their employees due to an employee’s service in the TXMF. Please feel free to contact me or the Office of the Staff Judge Advocate at Texas State Guard Headquarters if you have any questions concerning your employee’s service in the Texas State Guard. Our mission would not be possible without the sacrifices made by the men and women of the Texas State Guard along with their employers.

Members of the TXSG are required to volunteer a minimum of 200 hours annually. Part of that time is spent at Unit Training Assemblies (drills or meetings) which are usually one full weekend each month. These drills are used for training sessions and activity coordination. Your particular assignment may require additional hours of work to plan, lead, organize and complete necessary tasks. As a general rule, we work to completion, not to time. In addition, there are continuing education requirements, which include attending Annual Training (AT), TXSG Online Coursework, and taking independent study distant learning courses. In the event of an emergency, the State will call you to State Active Duty for a specified period of time within Texas.

If you are activated for State Active Duty, the minimum number of days you will be deployed will be three. Dependent upon the nature of the emergency, this active service may be for longer, but generally not longer than two weeks. However, in dire emergencies it may be slightly longer.

If you are actively attending high school you will not be called to State Active Duty during the school year but must continue to attend regularly scheduled drills. If you are actively attending college, generally, you will not be called to State Active Duty if it would adversely impact your classes. Again, you would be expected to attend regularly scheduled drills. You may be called to duty during the summer or a semester you are not attending.

No. Federal military forces are covered by the Soldiers and Sailors Civil Relief Act of 1940 which offers protection for their employment, against certain legal actions, and other financial issues. Texas State Guard personnel are not subject to the provisions of this law. However, Texas State Guard personnel are offered some protections under the Texas Government Code Articles 431 and 432.

TXSG enlistments and appointments are “open-ended”. There is no minimum term of service, although personnel are requested to serve a minimum of 3 years. The first longevity award is given at the 3 year anniversary. Personnel wishing to continue service in the TXSG are not required to “reenlist” at any time. If conditions of participation in the TXSG cause a conflict with the individual’s employment, family, or other obligations, personnel are free to resign at any time and request discharge for any reason.

For State Active Duty, full pay and approved expense reimbursement are applicable. Generally, there is no pay for the minimum of approximately 200 hours a year spent at drills, online coursework, or in distant learning. Some training opportunities may be funded by the State or Department of Homeland Security.

No. At this time all officers and enlisted members are responsible for purchasing their uniforms, patches, rank insignia and accessories. However, efforts are currently being made to provide uniforms for enlisted ranks.

Applicants will be evaluated and appointed or enlisted in accordance with Texas State Military Forces regulations to an appropriate rank based on prior military service, education, civilian occupation, and other factors. It also depends on the authorized job position (billet) the applicant will be filling within the unit. Personnel with prior Federal military service will normally enter the TXSG no lower than the same grade as their Federal grade when separated and “may” be recommended to begin at the next higher grade. Prior service personnel in senior ranks (E7 and above or O4 and above) require TXSG Headquarters review prior to admittance or assignment of rank as the authorized positions are limited. Non-prior service personnel will normally enter the TXSG no lower than (E2). However, each applicant package is reviewed on an individual basis by an enlistment or appointment Board. Personnel with prior service in the U.S. Marine Corps may be authorized to wear Marine Corps rank but will also be required to adhere to Marine Corps grooming standards. All others wear Navy rank.

TXSG ranks are State and not Federal ranks. All appointments, commissions, warrants, and enlistments are recognized and authorized by the Governor of the State of Texas through the Adjutant General of the State of Texas. TXSG military personnel render to all members of the military community, and receive from them, all courtesies common to all such members, such as saluting, forms of address etc.

TXSG promotion eligibility includes a combination of Basic Orientation Training (BOT), required self study courses, Professional Military Education (PME), time in grade, satisfactory drill participation, demonstrated leadership, and recommendation of your superiors. Enlisted personnel grade E7 or above with at least 3 years active duty in the federal forces, one year satisfactory drill in the TXSG, and having at least 30 semester hours of college may apply for Warrant Officer grade. Enlisted personnel with prior service at any grade, one year satisfactory drill in the TXSG, possessing a Bachelor’s degree, and demonstrating leadership ability, may apply for Officer Candidate School. Enlisted personnel with NON-prior service at any grade, TWO years satisfactory drill in the TXSG, possessing a Bachelor’s degree, and demonstrating leadership ability, may apply for Officer Candidate School.

Applicants are initially only required to submit a "Report of Medical History" as part of the application package. Generally, a physical examination is NOT required. The review of this medical history by TXSG review boards could require that the candidate produce other evidence of medical capability to serve in the TXSG if there is evidence of some possible physical disability or condition that may impact on your ability to serve.

There are no specific physical fitness requirements to join the TXSG other than being in reasonably good physical condition, able to endure moderate stress and physical activity. Generally, there is no requirement for routine physical fitness training. Participation in the TXSG Physical Fitness Test is voluntary and members who pass the test are awarded the TXSG Physical Fitness ribbon. Some special assignments (voluntary) may require additional physical fitness qualifications. Some of these assignments include TMAR Dive Team, TMAR Coast Guard support.

You will take an oath of enlistment or appointment when you join, and you must fulfill that oath. Examples of some of your other obligations include attending all drills, performing duties assigned to you, and participating successfully in training and continuing education. You must wear your uniform properly, and only when attending drills, other TXSG functions, or as otherwise allowed by regulations and your commander. All rules of military courtesy will be observed while in uniform.

The Texas State Guard does not have recruit training per se. Basic Orientation Training (BOT) is required for ALL TXSG personnel that do not have federal military service. This training is intended to introduce you to common military customs and courtesies, regulations, military topics, ranks and relationships, in order for you to become acclimated to the military lifestyle and responsibilities. This training is conducted periodically by local units and usually takes place over the course of two consecutive weekends. BOT does not have to be completed prior to joining the unit but normally should be scheduled and completed within the first year of service. Completion of BOT is a requirement for all non-prior service personnel before they can be considered for promotion. Prior service personnel are credited for their federal military service.

There are several aspects and avenues of training available for TXSG personnel. The TXSG does not have any formal schools and generally are not eligible to attend schools conducted by federal military forces.

Self Study Courses – there are several self study correspondence courses available online from FEMA, the National Fire Academy, and some other agencies that are required for all personnel. Some are required for promotion others are required for emergency management qualifications. All are free.

Professional Military Education – these are required for promotion in the TXSG. BOT is the ground level course for ALL non-prior service personnel. For enlisted personnel, the Airman Leadership Course sponsored by the TXSG Air Branch and available for self study with a proctored written test is required for promotion to E5. The Basic NCO and Advanced NCO courses are conducted online through the TXSG email server. These courses take approximately 6 months to complete and are required for promotion to E6 and E7 respectively. For officers, the Basic Officer course is required up through O3 with the Advanced Officer course required for O4 and O5. Command and Staff College is required for O6.

External Courses – All TMAR personnel are required to complete the Texas Parks & Wildlife Boating Safety Course. This course can be taken online at your own pace and costs around $13. TMAR has TPWD Boating Safety Instructors in-house but the cost is the same. All TMAR personnel are also required to be CPR & First Aid certified. These courses can be taken locally at such agencies as American Red Cross, American Heart Association, Health & Safety Institute etc. Costs may range up to $50. 1st Battalion has in-house instructors and the cost is $15-$20 for both.

Special Skills Training – Although TMAR does not have Military Occupational Specialties like the federal forces, TMAR does have several “Special Skills” areas where we focus training. Dive Team members are required to obtain their own professional diver training at a certified facility at their own expense, if they volunteer to be on the dive team. Opportunities to train with other agency divers such as Texas Parks & Wildlife occur periodically. Medical training for our Medical Team is conducted in-house. First Battalion has a physician, two nurses, former Navy Corpsmen, and paramedics that periodically conduct training. Boating and Seamanship training is obtained by our Coast Guard platoon with the Coast Guard Station Houston as the training facility. Other skill areas are Communications, Search & Rescue, and Security. This training is periodically scheduled with local agencies and other State Guard units. Besides the U.S. Coast Guard, TMAR personnel periodically receive training from the Texas Parks & Wildlife Game Wardens, and the Texas Forest Service.

Additional Training Opportunities – As a State military organization, there are a wealth of courses hosted by the Texas Division of Emergency Management, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Department of Homeland Security, and members of the National Homeland Security Consortium that are available at no cost to the member and in some cases are fully funded for travel, and lodging. In many cases, the individual can request permission from First Battalion to attend a course of their choice under the auspices of TMAR and be able to sign up on your own to attend or to receive command sponsorship when required

The Texas State Guard generally does not have any formal bases or assets of its own. Each Texas State Guard unit is usually assigned to a National Guard Armory that is located in their general vicinity. Routine drills and training will normally take place at that Armory, however, special training opportunities may require travel to other locations in the general geographic area or on occasion, in distant locations. Annual Training is conducted at one of the National Guard Bases in Texas such as Camp Swift in Bastrop, TX or Camp Bowie in Brownwood, TX. There may be additional opportunities to attend special training on a volunteer basis at other locations. Some training like the Annual Training will receive some Active Duty Pay. Other voluntary training courses may be funded by state or federal agencies. Other voluntary training opportunities may require the individual to bear all associated expenses, but would be entirely voluntary.

No. The Texas State Guard is governed by Title 32 of the United States Code as a State Defense Force only. As such, the Governor is our Commander in Chief and we work solely at his direction. The Army National Guard may be activated to serve with the U.S. Army and the Air National Guard may be activated to serve with the U.S. Air Force, but the Texas State Guard would never be activated to serve with federal military forces.

No. The Texas State Guard is not an armed force, nor does it have any law enforcement authority. There may be an opportunity to qualify on pistol dependent upon unit training schedules. Also, TXSG members may voluntarily compete in the annual Texas Military Forces rifle and pistol competitions if they desire.

The Texas State Guard does have a variety of Texas Specific Military ribbons and medals that are awarded when appropriate and may be worn on your optional service or service dress uniforms. There are two service awards, one awarded after 3 years service and one awarded after 5 years service and every 5 years after that. There are qualification awards such as the Physical Fitness ribbon, the Enlisted Basic Military Education ribbon, and the Enlisted and Officer Professional Military Education Ribbons. Additionally there are awards for Achievement and Meritorious service as well as bravery. Additionally, TXSG personnel are encouraged to earn the Military Emergency Management Specialist (MEMS) Badge. This qualification is earned under the auspices of the Texas State MEMS Academy and the State Guard Association of the United States, and the Basic, Senior, and Master level badges may be worn on the field uniform.

Our standards are high. We want men and women who are joining us for the right reasons, and who are capable of making a real and needed contribution. The interview helps us determine those qualifications. The interview also helps ensure that the applicant is fully aware of his/her obligations as well as all aspects relating to membership in the organization. This is your chance to ask any still open questions and to mention any concerns you may have.

The enlistment or officer appointment process normally will take no longer than three months (of course perhaps more if any part of your application packet is incomplete or requires clarification.). All enlistment or appointment orders originate in Austin and are processed through the Office of the Adjutant General. Be advised that the TXSG forms become official Texas Military Department documents, and any misrepresentations or omissions are subject to penalties as defined under the Texas Military Code.

No. Non-members may not participate in drills or any other official TXSG activities. When you are accepted in the TXSG you will be notified and given time to purchase uniforms. When processing is complete and you are sworn in, you are then subject to the Texas Code of Military Justice. While awaiting review of your application, you may allowed to attend some classroom training at the regularly scheduled drills as a guest but you will not be allowed to participate in any practical training until you are sworn in to the unit.

Mandatory retirement age is 70. In accordance with TXSG regulations, a small percentage of the total strength of the TXSG may serve for short periods beyond the age of 70.

The Texas State Guard regulations are promulgated under the TXSG 600-10 regulations (TXSG Reg 600-10). The Texas Code of Military Justice also applies.

Texas State Guard patches and Texas State Guard Awards may be purchased at the Camp Mabry General Store. Texas State Guard shirts and Texas State Guard merchandise is also available from many individual TXSG units. We will speak with you more about this at your first official drill.

All TXSG personnel are encouraged to become members of the State Guard Association of the United States (SGAUS) and the National Guard Association of Texas (NGAT) as a professional association, however there is no mandatory requirement to join either of these organizations. Membership in SGAUS is a requirement to earn the Military Emergency Management Specialist (MEMS) Qualification since this qualification is awarded under that organization’s auspices.