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Volume 54

Number 4

Winter 2014

NEW 36 ID CSM.......................... 7

WINTER STORM......................... 10

HOOAH HOLIDAYS...................... 16

AROUND THE WORLD.................. 18


Mine was earned in Vietnam. By my dad. Barbara Q., USAA member

USAA Auto Insurance. Earned once. Cherished from generation to generation. At USAA, our commitment to serve the financial needs of our military members, veterans who have honorably served and their families is without equal. In fact, families regard USAA Auto Insurance so highly, 95% of USAA members plan to remain with USAA for life.1 Begin your legacy. Get a quote. | 800-531-3550 Insurance Banking Investments Retirement Advice Based on 2011 Member Communications Trend Survey. Use of the term “member” or “membership” does not convey any eligibility rights for auto and property insurance products or legal or ownership rights in USAA. Ownership rights are limited to eligible policyholders of United Services Automobile Association. The term “honorably served” applies to officers and enlisted personnel who served on active duty, in the Selected Reserve or in the National Guard and have a discharge type of “Honorable.” Eligibility may change based on factors such as marital status, rank or military status. Contact us to update your records. Adult children of USAA members are eligible to purchase auto or property insurance if their eligible parent purchases USAA auto or property insurance. Automobile insurance provided by United Services Automobile Association, USAA Casualty Insurance Company, USAA General Indemnity Company, Garrison Property and Casualty Insurance Company, USAA County Mutual Insurance Company, San Antonio, TX, and is available only to persons eligible for P&C group membership. Each company has sole financial responsibility for its own products. © 2013 USAA. 139265-0113


2013-14 Board of Directors President............................................................ Charles Chavers President-Elect.........................................................Daniel Quick Vice President...........................................................Scott Wedel


Publisher...................................................Ames Printing

4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 14 16 18 20 22 24

Executive Director.........................................Ray Lindner

ON THE COVER (left side photos, top to bottom):

Secretary/Treasurer..............................................Ashley Bloom Joint Forces Hqs............................. Michael Courade (Enlisted) TX ARNG..........................................Ambrosio Aguilar (Enlisted) 36th Infantry Division......................Kenneth Henry (Enlisted) 72nd IBCT..................................................Les Edwards (Officer) 72nd IBCT...............................Paula Daigle-Hutchins (Enlisted) 56th IBCT....................................................Kenn White (Officer) 56th IBCT................................................Jeremy Amis (Enlisted) 36th Sustainment Bde ...............Murphy McCardell (Enlisted) 36th CAB.................................................Ashley Bloom (Officer) 176th Engr Bde...............................Delmas Vandine (Enlisted) 71st BfSB......................................... Todd Richardson (Enlisted) 136th CSB (ME)..................................... Ardis Harden (Enlisted) HQ, TANG...................................................... Ian Manire (Officer) 149th FW.................................................. John Pollard (Officer) 147th RW....................................................Anita Blue (Enlisted) 136th AW................................................... Scott Wedel (Officer) TX State Guard Rep......................Kristopher Krueger (Officer) Retired Rep - Region 1..........................................Stan Kitzman Retired Rep - Region 2...........................................Jerry Horsley Retired Rep - Region 3.........................................Buck Allbright Family Readiness Rep...........................................Miguel Torres Executive Director.................................................... Ray Lindner

 Editors..........................................Theresa Billeck-Zuniga Laura Bianco Graphic Designer..........................................Kathy White

Letter from the President Members Spotlight Legislative Update Key Leadership Changes Homecomings/Deployments Texas Guard Opens New Facility Guard Responds To Winter Storm Building Houses Around The World Salute to Retirees Hooah Holidays Around Texas with the Guard NGAT 2014 Conference Information TAPS/Corporate Members and Sponsors NGAT Planning Calendar

CSM John F. Sampa addresses family, friends and Soldiers of the 36th Infantry Division following his change of responsibility ceremony held at Camp Mabry on December 8, 2013.



3706 Crawford Ave. Austin, TX 78731

(512) 454-7300 1-800-252-NGAT (6428)


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SPC Douglas Rose, 236th Engineer Company, hands food and water to a long-haul driver near Sanger, Texas after a winter storm stranded his rig on December 7, 2013. (Photo by SSG Jennifer Atkinson) Soldiers in the Texas Military Forces take time to visit with Santa during the holidays. Col Mathew Alinson, 147th Mission Support Group Commander, and CMSgt Marlon Nation, 147th Reconnaissance Wing, greet Vice President Joe Biden after his arrival at Ellington Field Joint Reserve Base on November 18, 2013 in Houston, TX. The Vice President was in Houston for an event at the Port of Houston. Right Side Photo: LTC Daniel Quick, NGAT President-Elect, presents 2LT Brandon S. Luke, a member of Co A 3-144th INF with the NGAT Distinguished Honor Graduate Award for Officer Candidate School Class #56. 2LT Luke was also presented a life membership with NGAT for his accomplishments. NGAT NEWS (USPS 015-752) PUBLISHED QUARTERLY BY THE NATIONAL GUARD ASSOCIATION OF TEXAS, 3706 CRAWFORD AVENUE, AUSTIN, TEXAS 78731-6308 PERIODICALS POSTAGE PAID AT AUSTIN TX 78710 AND ADDITIONAL OFFICES POSTMASTER SEND ADDRESS CHANGES TO: NGAT NEWS, 3706 CRAWFORD AVENUE, AUSTIN, TEXAS 78731-6308 MEMBERS MAY EMAIL ADDRESS CHANGES TO: MEMBERSHIP@NGAT.ORG


President's Report 2013 was a challenging year for the United States military, the Department of Defense, and the men and women of the Texas Military Forces. Furloughs, government cutbacks, a government shutdown, and a general breakdown of leadership and cooperation exercised by our elected officials made the last year an example of how not to get things done in a representative republic government. The past year is an example of how easily the democratic process can bog down into ineffectiveness. Throughout 2013, the active duty Air Force made moves to downplay the importance of the Air National Guard in the defense of our nation. Now the active duty Army is attempting to do the exact same thing to the Army National Guard. NGAT is front and center in the attempt to protect and secure the future of the National Guard, but we need your help in the battle to protect National Guard interests in the state of Texas. To better serve our men and women within the Texas Military Forces, NGAT needs to grow. Our association has grown in membership, but our growth is not what I would expect during these times of political and military upheaval. NGAT needs to expand its growth. We need to grow not only larger, but also grow younger. The Board of Directors has noticed that the Association membership is growing older each passing year, and we need to recruit younger airmen and soldiers to ensure that our Association will continue to serve the men and women of the Texas Military Forces for years to come. I am asking for each of you to reach out and share the NGAT story with potential members in your unit, and remember to pay extra attention to the young men and women within your ranks. You can rest assured that I expect the National Guard Association of Texas to set the standard by which all state associations are measured. A strong national presence can only be achieved by an association that has a solid home-state identity. Currently, NGAT has 13 committees dedicated to resolving important issues for the men and women of the state of Texas. As a state entity, we are strong and we continue to grow stronger. With a focused expansion in membership, we can do even better things for our state. Help us to better serve your needs. I humbly ask that you help NGAT grow. This year, we will hold our state conference at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Houston, Texas. NGAT Conference dates are 21-23 March 2014. Again, we will be hosting breakout sessions in the areas of financial management, legislative initiatives, military affairs, family support, national political initiatives, and personal growth. The Association is hard at work creating a conference venue that not only appeals to senior enlisted and officers of the Texas military, but also to the younger officers, soldiers, and airmen that we represent. We are expecting a big showing in Houston, and I look forward to seeing all of you there. As always, I want to thank you for your continued support of the Association. If there is anything I can do for you, let me know. Here is to a successful new year.

Charles Chavers CMSgt, TANG President NGAT

CONGRATULATIONS NGAT congratulates our President-Elect LTC Daniel Quick (left) on his promotion to the rank of COLONEL! Baylor President and Chancellor Judge Ken Starr (right) congratulates COL Quick following the promotion ceremony that took place on December 7, 2013 at Baylor University at the end of the football game. ď‚ľ




ELF ON THE SHELF Even COL (Ret) Santa Claus needs some help from time to time and this year he called out to one of his chief elves, NGAT President CMSgt Charles Chavers, to assist with events at the 136th Airlift Wing. ď‚ľ

WALK OFF THE WAR A Life Member of NGAT, SGT (Ret) Robert Crampton, is heading out for a walk this spring…a long walk, 2,185-miles. He will be joining forces with the Warrior Hike “Walk off the War” Program as they hike the entire National Scenic Appalachian Trail (AT) from Maine to Georgia. This outdoor therapy program supports combat veterans transitioning from their military service by thru-hiking the AT. 85-year-old Robert was last deployed to a combat zone during WWII, and he will be the oldest person to complete such an adventure. He will be joining other younger veterans who have recently returned from the wars from Iraq and Afghanistan. The program will provide them with their equipment and supplies required to complete the six-month hike. Trail town support will also be coordinated in the form of transportation, food, and lodging with other veteran organizations and community groups located along the trail. Robert will be part of a handful of older Warrior Hikers who will hike along, offering support, guidance, and camaraderie. Robert claims to have no aches and pains and is practicing hiking thirty miles a week with a loaded pack to keep up with the younger Warriors. He is proud to be a member of NGAT and to have served in the Texas Army National Guard. He will be an inspiration to everyone up and down the entire Appalachian Trail. For more information about “Warrior Hike” go to 

OCS GRADUATE HONORED NGAT President-Elect LTC Daniel Quick presents 2LT Kristen M. Blakeway, a member of HHD 1-133 FA, with a free Annual Membership in NGAT and a statue in recognition of her selection as Honor Graduate for Officer Candidate School Class #56. 


The NGAT Silent Auction is a vitally important fundraising tool for our National Guard Association of Texas Education Foundation. We are always seeking new support through donated items. Your generous gift of an auction item will help us be able to continue to offer scholarships and support unit activities. Your donations to the auction are tax deductable. To donate, contact MSG (Ret) Billeck-Zuniga at 512-454-7300.

149TH FIGHTER WING BIDS FAREWELL TO CHIEF RODGERS Members of the 149th Fighter Wing bid farewell to NGAT Life Member Chief Master Sgt John Rodgers at his retirement ceremony at Joint Base San Antonio – Lackland, Texas, on Jan. 11, 2014. Col Michael Reid, the wing’s maintenance group commander, officiated the ceremony for Chief Rodgers who is retiring after 33 years of dedicated military service. 

COL JEFF ADKINSON HONORED AT CHANGE OF COMMAND CEREMONY NGAT Life Members LTC Marvin Johnson (left) and LTC Michelle Bryant (center) congratulate COL Jeff Adkinson (right) following his change of command and retirement ceremonies held recently in Temple, Texas. COL Adkinson relinquished command of the 36th Sustainment Brigade to LTC Stephanie Purgerson. During his retirement ceremony, COL Adkinson was presented with the Legion of Merit Medal and the Lone Star Distinguished Service Medal for his years of dedicated military service. 

THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE, RITA Recently the Joint Forces Headquarters bid farewell to Executive Secretary Rita Sanchez who is moving to another position within the Joint Forces Headquarters. Rita has been the Executive Secretary for four Adjutant Generals: MG Wayne Marty, MG Jose Mayorga, MG Charles Rodriguez and Maj Gen John Nichols, and she has seen a lot of change within the National Guard over the years. During her farewell ceremony, SSG Michael Courade presented her with a plaque displaying photos of the four generals she has worked for and the current Joint Forces Headquarters staff for her years of faithful service. 


Legislative Report by Ray Lindner, NGAT Executive Director In previous legislative reports, we predicted that the active vs. reserve component fight that erupted first on the Air side would spread to the Army - and now it has. Speaking recently at an AUSA function, Army Chief of Staff Ray Odierno identified the key reason that the Army and the Army National Guard are beginning to fire salvos at each other. “This is about affordability,” Odierno said, and he is right. “This is about not having the money to sustain the fleets [and force structure - my addition] we have now, so we have to make some tough decisions…. That doesn’t mean we think it’s the right way necessarily but it’s the best way forward.” But Odierno’s proposed best way is the wrong way. It is time for the nation to face a very stark reality: we can no longer as a nation afford the all volunteer force as currently structured. Funding for the force comes primarily in three broad categories - readiness, equipment, and personnel. Readiness is already suffering under current funding cuts and if reduced further, we would be left with a hollow force. Equipment must continue to be modernized and improved even as we are forced to retire aged weapon systems and platforms, leaving little room for deep budget cuts. That leaves personnel as the largest bill payer. The choice appears stark: reintroduce the draft and thereby reduce personnel costs dramatically (but severely degrade readiness due to constant massive turnover), or return to our historic roots - maintain a smaller but lethal and agile active component, and increase our reserve component to provide a trained and ready complementary force (and because of recent deployment activity, a largely combatexperienced force). The argument set forth above applies across the entire military force - Army, Air, Navy, and Marines. The Air Force has probably the best force structure approach for moving forward in the future-that of associated units. The other two services (Army and Navy/Marines) need to adopt that model and create habitual association and mission sharing with reserve component forces. Many non-combat missions (Kosovo, Sinai, etc.) should be undertaken exclusively by associated forces (small active component, large reserve component). Even the mission in Korea can be manned in the same fashion. The active army would become partly a cadre force, but also retain a rapid response capability. Reserve troops may not be immediately deployed in a crisis, but would very quickly flesh out early deployed formations. Increasing the size of the National Guard and Reserves would allow the longer dwell times at home required to balance deployment with employment. It’s time to share our vision with our elected officials. Please do so and help by asking others in the communities across our state and nation to do so. The future of the Guard, both as we know it and as the nation needs it, is at stake. 

AUDIE MURPHY RECEIVES THE TEXAS LEGISLATIVE MEDAL OF HONOR Members of the Texas Military Forces and government officials render salutes at the Texas Legislative Medal of Honor presentation ceremony honoring the service of Audie L. Murphy in Farmersville, Texas. Texas Governor Rick Perry (center right) presented the medal, which is the state’s highest military award for valor, to Murphy’s sister, Ms. Nadine Murphy Lockey, (center) on his behalf. Representative Scott Turner (left) spearheaded the effort to recognize Murphy with the honor. Born in 1925, Murphy enlisted in the military at the age of 17. Audie Murphy became the most decorated American soldier of the Second World War, receiving a total of 33 US medals, including the Medal of Honor, the nation’s highest honor for bravery in combat, plus five medals from France and one from Belgium. It has been said that he received every U.S. medal available at the time, five of them awarded more than once. He joined the Texas Military Forces in 1950, eventually reaching the rank of Major. After the war, Murphy became a celebrated movie star, appearing in 44 films. He also found some success as a country music composer. In 1971, Audie Murphy died at the age of 45 in a plane crash. He was interred with full military honors and buried in Arlington National Cemetery. Murphy’s grave site is the second-most visited grave at Arlington, after that of President John F. Kennedy. His dedicated service exemplifies the long and proud tradition of Texans answering the call of both the state and the nation.(Photo by SSG Jennifer D. Atkinson) 




Audie Murphy proudly displays the many medals he received during his military service. Also note he is wearing the 36th Infantry Division patch.

36TH INFANTRY DIVISION NAMES A NEW COMMAND SERGEANT MAJOR On 8 December 2013 the 36th Infantry Division conducted a change of responsibility ceremony at the parade field on Camp Mabry, Austin, Texas, where Command Sergeant Major John F. Sampa assumed responsibility as the command sergeant major of the 36th Infantry Division, Texas Army National Guard, where he will serve as the senior enlisted adviser to more than 14,000 Texas soldiers. “The soldiers of the 36th Infantry Division have continually answered their nation’s call and served with honor and courage,” said Sampa. “I’m excited about the opportunity to lead the men and women of the 36th Infantry Division and to be an integral part in providing them with the tools and guidance they need for their military and personal development, which will ensure that our force is mission ready to serve the people of Texas and our great nation.” Sampa is no stranger to the division. In 2005, he deployed to Iraq and served as a company first sergeant for the 56th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, the first Texas National Guard combat brigade to deploy to a theater of war since World War II. Sampa also served a second tour in Iraq as the installation sergeant major for the 72nd Brigade Joint Area Support Group. In his previous assignment, Sampa served as the command sergeant major for the 56th Brigade Special Troops Battalion based in Grand Prairie, Texas. Sampa is employed with the Texas Department of Public Safety as a Texas state trooper in Houston and holds the rank of sergeant in the Texas Highway Patrol Division. CSM Sampa lives in Katy, Texas, with his wife, Carlette, and two children, John and Julia. 



Col Susan Dickens, the wing’s mission support group commander, places the commander’s pin onto Lt Col Lawrence R. Flannigan’s uniform during a change of command ceremony at Joint Base San Antonio – Lackland, Texas. Also pictured, MSgt Marvin Williams, the group’s first sergeant, holds the unit’s guideon while 1st Lt Terrance Johnson, the outgoing commander, stands at attention.  (Photo by SSgt Phil Fountain)

Lt Col Gordon Niebergall salutes Col John F. Kane, the wing’s commander, during a change of command ceremony, where he took over command of the 149th Operations Group from Col Mike Mitchell (right), who recently became the wing’s vice commander. SMSgt Brian Schaefer, superintendent of the 149th Operations Group, holds the group’s guidon.  (Photo by TSgt Eric L. Wilson)


More than one hundred senior enlisted leaders representing the Texas Air and Army National Guard gathered in Abilene, Texas, for two days in early November to conduct briefings and visit with vendors during their annual workshop. (Photo by MSgt Ken Walker)


HOMECOMINGS/DEPLOYMENTS 36TH COMBAT AVIATION BRIGADE TURNS KUWAIT MISSION OVER TO NEW YORK A ceremony was held in mid-December to commemorate the Transfer of Authority from the 36th Combat Aviation Brigade (Texas) to the 42nd Combat Aviation Brigade (New York). The traditional event is a visual symbol of the transfer from one command to another as one brigade’s guidon (or colors) is encased for the trip home and the other is unfurled for the mission ahead. The 42nd CAB will utilize both the UH-60 “Black Hawk” and AH-64 “Apache” helicopters and fixed-wing assets to conduct security cooperation, joint exercises, and training in the Middle East. Partnership events with other countries will promote security, stability, and mutual interests in the region.

enhancing maritime security and concept development, and the coordination of deck landing qualifications. “You were able to train in the most volatile and strategic areas in the Middle East,” Pittard said. “The 42nd will continue the legacy of the 36th Combat Aviation Brigade.” After casing the guidon, COL Rick Adams, commander of the 36th CAB, said that the brigade has had many enormous opportunities. “The partnership piece of our mission has been huge, and the engagements we’ve had with the Middle Eastern people have been enjoyable,” Adams said. The incoming brigade assuming the mission is from the New York Army National Guard and is headquartered in Latham. When all subordinate units are in place, the 42nd will include Army National Guard units from six states and an active duty battalion.

The 36th CAB of the Texas Army National Guard is headed home after a tremendously successful nine-month deployment. Their COL Rick Adams and CSM Elizabeth Shockley case the colors of the 36th Combat deployment included training in Aviation Brigade during a transfer of authority ceremony held at Camp Buehring in several Middle Eastern countries, Kuwait. (Photo by SGT Mark Scovell) flying off of five U.S. Navy ships, and working with two ships from the U.S. Army’s fleet of With the transfer of authority complete, there was only one watercraft. Maj. Gen. Dana J.H. Pittard, deputy commanding thing left to do: lower the Texas flag in front of the brigade general for Army Central Command, said that the 36th CAB led headquarters building and hoist the state flag of New York.  contingency operations by developing a tactical environment, (Pictured right) Maj Gen John Nichols, the Adjutant General of Texas, coins SPC Alyssa Lafosse, 454th Engineer Company, at Camp Swift, Texas on January 14, 2013. The 454th Engr Co will be deploying to Afghanistan this year and is the only route clearance mission team within the Texas National Guard. (Photo by SSG Malcolm McClendon)

(Pictured above) Members of the 449th Aviation Support Battalion complete their de-mobilization process at the Fort Hood Mobilization Brigade, North Ft Hood, Texas. 




Maj Gen John F. Nichols, the Adjutant General of Texas, takes time to visit Soldiers from the 454th Engineer Company as they prepare to conduct the land navigation portion of their premobilitazation training at Camp Swift, Texas.

TEXAS GUARD OPENS NEW STATE-OF-THE-ART FACILITY After more than ten years of planning and construction, the Armed Forces Reserve Center, attached to Austin Bergstrom International Airport, celebrated its completion by officially opening the main center, and announcing the successful delivery to the 36th Combat Aviation Brigade of the 36th Infantry Division as the first unit recipients of the newest AH-64D Apache Longbow helicopter. “This facility brings us outstanding capabilities to install components and things we need to do here at home for the citizens of Texas as well as preparing for our title 10 overseas missions that we do regularly in deployment status,” says COL Rick Adams, Commander of the 36th Combat Aviation Brigade.

(Pictured above) Crew Chief SGT Eddie Hejl, polishes the windows on his team’s newly upgraded Longbow for visitors attending the opening ceremony.

This new, state-of-the-art military training facility provides a more costeffective, higher training capability setting for the U.S. Army, Navy,

and Marine Reserve components formerly quartered at Camp Mabry, Texas. The 209,000 square-foot reserve center contains configurable classrooms, service-specific libraries and medical support facilities, a fitness center, and Virtual Battlefield Systems and weapons simulations range. The building is part of a program called BRAC, or Basic Realignment and Closure Commission, which closes dilapidated cold-war bases and opens newer facilities. “This is one of 17 BRAC facilities we have in the great state of Texas that was part of legislation that was done several years ago,” MG James Brown said. “More importantly, it is a facility for young people who serve our great state and nation.” The Texas Army National Guard also inducted the new $450 million AH-64D Apache Longbow helicopter to the brigade, though it will not be stationed in Austin.  Texas Army National Guard AH-64 pilot, LTC Robert T. Jarrett, discusses the improvements and enhanced specifications of the Apache Longbow to distinguished guests and visitors after the official opening of the Armed Forces Reserve Center in Austin, Texas. The 36th Combat Aviation Brigade of the 36th Infantry Division is the first unit recipient of the newest AH-64D Apache Longbow helicopter.

(Pictured left) District 25 State Senator Donna Campbell (center) is joined, from left to right with the Texas Adjutant General Maj Gen John Nichols; Lt Col James F. Korth, Commander of the 1st Battalion, 23d Marine Regiment, 4th Marine Division, U.S. Marine Forces Reserve; 36th Combat Aviation Brigade Commander COL Richard Adams; 36th Infantry Division Commander, MG James K. "Red" Brown; Project Manager for the Apache Attack Helicopter, COL Jeffrey E. Hager amd the 36th Infantry Division Command Sergeant Major John Sampa, officially opening the Armed Forces Reserve Center attached to Austin Bergstrom International Airport in Austin, Texas.



Soldiers from the 236th Engineer Company give a DPS trooper a hand to get moving again. (Photo by SPC Juan Flores)

Story by SSG Jennifer Atkinson

Citizen-soldiers with the 176th Engineer Brigade provided support to state and local officials during Winter Storm Cleon, as named by the National Weather Service, in north Texas on December 5-9, 2013. At the request of Governor Rick Perry, about 50 members of the Grand Prairie-based brigade suited up in cold weather gear and headed out in Humvees and Light Medium Tactical Vehicles (LMTVs) to help preposition state assets as the storm approached. Soldiers were stationed

along the major highways in Denison as well as in Wichita Falls. In fact, preliminary reports from the Texas Military Forces Joint Operations Center indicate the deployed soldiers aided more than 120 stranded vehicles, conducted more than 225 welfare checks, and assisted with the setup of a Red Cross Shelter in Valley View near Wichita Falls. “We had a great response when the call went out,” said 2LT Clayton Harrison, an engineer with the brigade’s Lewisville-based 236th Engineering Company. “We were ready to move out in less than 12 hours after we got notified that we’d be responding to this storm.” Although no one was quite certain what the storm would bring, Harrison said he and his soldiers were in contact with the Texas Department of Public Safety.




On Friday, December 6, 2013, when the storm had come and gone, the real scope of the job ahead was revealed to Harrison and his soldiers. Although the storm had not dropped much snow in the area, it was the ice underneath that proved to be the biggest challenge for those on the highways. With traffic flow a top priority, members of the Texas Military Forces conducted 24-hour a day operations monitoring and assisting citizens along Highways 75, 82, 380 and Interstate 35 near Denison. Simultaneously, personnel from the 840th Engineer Company monitored flow on the icy and slushy roadways of Highways 281, 181, Interstate 35 East and West, and I-20 near Weatherford and Denton. Jonathan Bilger, a pulled-over motorist who was passing through to visit family, said, “Those guys are great,” as he gestured toward several of the soldiers hooking up chains to tow a stranded 18-wheeler. “They’re out here, helping out, when most of us are just trying to figure out how to get home the fastest.” “These men and women are the epitome of what the Texas Military Forces stand for,” said COL Patrick Hamilton, commander of domestic operations for the Texas Military Forces. “These Citizen-Soldiers volunteered their time, at a moment’s notice, to serve their fellow citizens during a time of need. It’s situations like this that show the caliber of our service members and their ‘Always Ready, Always There’ mentality,” Hamilton said. 

N AIRME RE O T S E R OME g H ’ S T VE nce Win th Reconnaissa

Three members of the 147th Reconnaissance Wing remove dry-rotted wood from a Vietnam veteran’s home during a Rebuilding Together Houston project.

h the 147 am An Airman wit airs to a Vietn p re l a ic it cr h it gmen needed help w rned to his win tu e h so , e m ills o veteran’s h ng time and sk ri e te n lu vo , d ere us and they answ ember TSgt Kla M e if L AT G N . chnician to the project aintenance te M le ic h e V th 7 ther Riel, a 14 ebuilding Toge R h it w s rk o w s lowwith the wing, arity that help ch t fi ro -p n o n ncy Houston, a le get emerge p o e p y rl e ld e d team income disable es. Riel and a m o h ir e th to s ry-rotted critical repair ing replaced d w e th m o r, fr n of Airme new storm doo a d lle a st in , g and wood and sidin es and trees, sh u b n w ro rg e ve cut back o use. This is th o h e th f o r o ri e ot about painted the ext rked on. “It’s n o w s a h l ie R g it and I third house s; I enjoy doin n ra te ve e th r rt of the me-it’s fo out being a pa b a id sa l ie R enjoy giving,” ject.  restoration pro (Photos by MSgt Sean Cowher)

Pictured are members of the 147th Reconnaissance Wing who volunteered their time and skills to make critical repairs to a Vietnam veteran’s home.


The Texas National Guard Family Support Foundation (TXNGFSF) was awarded a Texas Veterans Commission, Fund for Veterans’ Assistance Grant to provide: • Emergency Financial Assistance (i.e. housing, utilities, childcare, etc.) • Financial Counseling Services • TRICARE medical/dental insurance premiums and/or copays Eligible recipients are: • Army & Air Service Members • Dependents of Service Members • Spouse of Deceased Service Members For more information, contact: Brent Green, Family Assistance Center Coordinator

Luann Barron, State Family Program-Administrative Assistant

Visit us at “This program is made possible by a grant from the Texas Veterans Commission Fund for Veterans’ Assistance. The Fund for Veterans’ Assistance provides grants to organizations serving veterans and their families.”



Members of the 327th Engineer Company conduct Annual Training at the Fort Leonard Wood, MO quarry site. Over the course of 2 weeks, Soldiers received training on rock crushing, blast design, site prep, and blasting. The training was culminated with a 2,000 lb dynamite blast.

RLD with

Congratulations to CPL Andrew Friswell, SGT Adam Priebe, SGT Bennett, and SSG Garcia (not shown) for graduating Airborne School! All are members of Able Company, 1-143 Infantry Regiment - Airborne.

Members from the 147th Reconnaissance Wing Air Support Operations Squadron arrive at Avon Park Air Force Range, Florida, to complete required periodic evaluations on December 15, 2013.

Members of the Klein Oak High School Air Force JROTC who joined the Texas Army National Guard in their junior year and went to basic military training this past summer are back in school working on completing their senior year. Pictured left to right in the front are: PV2 Luis E. Torres, PV2 Parker H. Linehan, PV2 Dylan S. Beebe, and PV2 John Peterson. Pictured in the back left to right are: Msgt Vale, Msgt Johnson, COL Leblanc, and SSG Victor Cruz.

SSG Benjamin Swisher, a member of the 36th CAB, helps decorate the Camp Buehring Chapel in Kuwait thanks to donations from the First United Methodist Church of Hurst, Texas.




Aircrew members from the 181st Airlift Squadron, 136th Airlift Wing stationed at Naval Air Station, Fort Worth Joint Reserve Base, transport paratroopers from all branches of the service onboard the C-130 Hercules aircraft to accomplish their joint airborne/air transportability training (JAATT) at McDill AFB, FL.


NGAT would like to give a shout out to members of Company B, 3-133 Infantry Battalion who are currently deployed in Afghanistan providing Infantry Support.

SFC Jason Broyles finished 4th overall in the Best Ranger Competition, securing himself a primary spot in this year’s Best Ranger Competition at Fort Benning, GA. Way to go, Jason!

Ultimate Fighting Championship Mixed Martial Arts fighter, SSG Tim Kennedy, speaks to the audience at Sports USA during the 2013 Fort Bragg Army Combatives Championship Invitational finals Dec. 14. SSG Kennedy is a member of the Special Operations Detachment - Airborne. (Photo by SPC Paul A. Holston)

NGAT Life Member SGM Roberta Castro receives her diploma signifying her graduation from the Sergeant Majors Academy in El Paso, Texas.

Follow Us! The 36th Combat Avaiation Brigade S3 (Operations) Team headed by LTC Jim Nugent send greetings from Camp Buehring, Kuwait.




NGAT Life Members MSgt (Ret) John Doubledee and TSgt (Ret) JoAnn Doubledee proudly display a U.S. Air Force flag with their names and ranks on it for Veterans Day. Both served in the U.S. Air Force and Texas Air National Guard. 


Retired members of Company C, 2-141 Infantry, 49th Armored Division recently got together at the American Legion Post in downtown Laredo to exchange ideas and recall old times while serving in the Guard. This is an event they try to do at least once a year to stay in touch with each other. Pictured left to right top row are: SGT Eduardo Rendon, MSG Adolfo Gonzalez, SGT E. Rabago, SFC Jose Artolozaga, SSG Marin Moreno, 1SG Alfredo Rendon, and SSG Henry Rendon. Seated left to right are: SGT Alberto Elizalde, SPC Jesus Lemos, MAJ Juan Sanchez, and SFC Antonio Martinez. 

We regret to inform you of the passing of NGAT Life Member SGM (TX) (Ret) Estevan “Steve” Gamboa, a longtime friend of the Texas Military Forces and of NGAT. Steve passed away on December 30, 2013, and was interred at the Assumption Cemetery in Austin, Texas. Steve retired from the Texas Army National Guard at the rank of SFC and then joined the Texas State Guard where he obtained the rank of SGM. For more years than we can remember, Steve took photos at our NGAT conferences. He truly loved the Guard and was always there ready with camera in hand to take a photo. We extend our deepest sympathies to his family and many friends during this difficult time. He will be truly missed. 

BLAST FROM THE PAST Here is an oldie but goodie of MAJ Todd Matthys (center) and LTC Jack Taliaferro (far right) in the Czech Republic around 1995. Sure looks cold there. Glad to see LTC Taliaferro was a little more prepared for the cold weather. Both are NGAT Life Members. 




Does anyone in the Texas Air National Guard recognize this NGAT Life Member? It’s SGT Norm King, 12th Security Police Squadron, U.S.A.F., Vietnam 1969. Chief, you have come a long way!!! 

APPLYING FOR VA BENEFITS Applying for a VA disability claim online is the fastest and quickest way to receive a decision. eBenefits, VA-Department of Defense’s joint portal, lets Veterans enter claim information electronically using a step-by-step, interviewstyle application, with pre-populated data fields and drop-down menus similar to popular tax preparation software. For more information visit:


Confidential help for Veterans and their families

Confidential chat at or text to 838255

THE TOP CHOICE OF SERVICEMEMBERS. People talk. And right now, they’re talking about AMU. Built upon student referrals, AMU is the global leader in education for the U.S. military. Since we offer more than 90 online degree programs, from Business to Transportation Logistics, you can do anything you set your mind to— whether in the military or transitioning out.



Texas Military Forces Annual Open House April 26-27, 2014 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free Displays and Events American Heroes Air Show (Saturday only) Traveling Vietnam Wall (Saturday & Sunday) For more information, visit

*As reported by Military Times/Edge Magazine We want you to make an informed decision about the university that’s right for you. For more about the graduation rate and median debt of students who completed each program, as well as other important information—visit Image Courtesy of the DoD.


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Brig Gen Brian Newby, Chief of Staff, Texas Air National Guard, thanks a World War II veteran for his sacrifice and service following a Veterans Day ceremony held in Lewisville, Texas.

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Chaplain (MAJ) Guillermo Cardona of the 449th Aviation Support Battalion serves Thanksgiving lunch to soldiers at Camp Buehring in Kuwait. (Photo by SGT Mark Scovell)




d in an F16 e iv r r a a t n Sa h Fighter at the 149t n Antonio Wing in Sa units holiday during the activities.

s exa ent T the Regimuring m d fro 19th ised the s r a die rd r of o Sol e Gua toys roes rive t e d y d t Sta livere ung H toy al Cit ital l de ‘Yo ard’ edic Hosp edica Gu he M en’s ’s M . The t ildr ren llas ’s Ch Child of Da omen so l and enter esis W was a for of C Gen lter toys mes o She vided om h buse. le to pro en fr stic a re ab oys ldr e we t chi domdiers f the o ol G S some to S TX liver smile ing de d a dur an hers isit. ot eir v th

Members of the 136th Airlift Wing volunteer to welcome the children of our fallen heroes during the Snowball Express 2013 arrivals at Dallas-Fort Worth Airport, December 12, 2013. More than 1750 children arrived at DFW. The Snowball Express creates a weekend of events to connect the children and surviving spouses of the fallen with others going through the same experience. (Photos by SMSgt Elizabeth Gilbert)

Treats for the children of unit members assigned to Co A, 949 BSB in Fort Worth, Texas show the creativity of our military families.

Members of the Texas State Guard’s 4th & 19th Regiments, in conjunction with local JROTC, students unfurled the U.S and Texas flag during pregame ceremonies conducted at the Armed Forces Bowl at Amon G. Carter Stadium at Texas Christian University in Ft. Worth, Texas. The bowl game was between Navy and Middle Tennessee State (MTS) with Navy winning 24-6.




On 8 January 2014, Cinemark and the GI Film Festival partnered to host Soldiers, military retirees, and veterans at the new Cinemark XD Theater in Temple, Texas for a screening of “Lone Survivor” and two short films from the GI Film Festival repertoire. More than 70 Soldiers from the 36th Sustainment Brigade attended the event. Cinemark’s Construction Project Manager and Texas State Guardsman Rick Schroeder worked for a year to bring the GI Film Festival to Texas. The GI Film Festival and Cinemark will likely invite the Texas National Guard to more events in the future. 

The 36th Infantry Division Band opened its newly rehabilitated rehearsal hall in a ceremony on December 8, 2013 at building 24 on Camp Mabry, Texas. MG James K. “Red” Brown, commander of the 36th Infantry Division; Chief Warrant Officer Jeff Lightsey, commander of the 36th ID Band, and CSM Wilson Early, 36th ID, participated in the official opening. (Photo by Spc. Christina Clardy) 



Several members of the Texas Guard and area Veterans competed in the 10th annual Lake Travis Open Water Relay on Saturday, October 12. The race is a six-person open water, approximately 10-12 mile, swimming relay. This group called the “Hill Country Snot Rockets” won 1st place in their division! Pictured left to right seated: NGAT Life Member, MSG Art Phillips (TXARNG) and SSG Charles Barr (TXARNG). Pictured left to right in the back are: Marielle McCoy, Jeff Yevcak (retired Air Force pilot), Garrett McCoy (retired Air Force pilot) - in the kayak, NGAT Life Member, MAJ Laura Jane Stephens (TXARNG), MSgt Carri Villarreal (TXANG), Eric LaBouliere (former Army combat veteran), and Nancy Hardin. This group is a bunch of hard-core triathletes who kept waiting for the bike and run portions after the swim, but after 6.5 hours of swimming, I think they were glad that’s all there was. Congratulations!! 

SFC Richard “Stretch” Allen assist SSG Joe Gomez with adding ingredients to the “Artillery Punch” during the 4-133 FA Dining out. 


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3-144 Infantry Regiment staff stand tall during a foggy December 2013 drill weekend. 


At the 2014 Trail of Lights on “Heroes Night” in Austin, Texas, a member of the Texas National Guard Family Support Foundation Board, LTC (Ret) Kristine Shelstad, accepts a donation check along with a representative from Fort Hood from Jim Ramsey (center), President of Lamb’s Tire & Automotive, following the completion of the 11th Annual Operation Call Home. The donated funds were shared with Fort Hood to purchase calling cards for soldiers from Fort Hood and Camp Mabry who were stationed overseas in Afghanistan during the holiday season. This year’s Operation Call Home was conducted by KLBJ 93.7 FM, New Radio 590 AM, and Lambs Tire & Automotive. (Photo by Rebecca Hinojosa) 


SPC (TX) Rachel Carmickle, CPL (TX) Joe Gahm, and SGT (TX) Eddie Thomas, members of the Texas State Guard’s 4th Regiment, stand ready to raise the morning colors at Tarleton University prior to the beginning of the days training. (Photo by PFC (TX) Ryan Stephens) 



SMSgt Darryl Shelly is doused down with water and champagne after the completion of his final flight on a C-130 to commemorate his 20 plus years in the 136th Airlift Wing, Texas Air National Guard at Naval Air Station Fort Worth Joint Reserve Base, Texas. (Photos by SMSgt Elizabeth Gilbert) 

TEXAS STATE GUARD SOLDIER RECEIVES A PERFECT SCORE CPL (TX) Suzanne Slaughter, a member of the Texas State Guard’s 19th Civil Affairs Regiment, was named Honor Graduate at her Basic Non-Commissioned Officers Course (BNCOC) back in September 2013. She is the first in the Texas State Guard to receive a score of 100 on her end-of-course online exam. CPL (TX) Slaughter joined the Texas State Guard in April 2013. Having served in the Air Force for 2 years and the Army for 4 years, CPL (TX) Slaughter says her prior service played a key in helping her achieve the perfect score.  Members of the 36th Infantry Division Band perform at the opening of the 2014 Trail of Lights “Heroes Night” in Austin, Texas. 


JOIN US IN HOUSTON AT THE NGAT CONFERENCE The 55th NGAT Conference will be held 21-23 March 2014 at the Hyatt Regency Houston, Houston, TX. REGISTRATION


(ONLINE REGISTRATION NOW AVAILABLE) All attendees must pay the registration fee. Registration fee is $15.00 per person.

• Golf Tournament – Shotgun, Florida scramble with low net/low gross at Tour 18 Golf Club, 3102 FM 1960 East, Humble, TX 77338. • 11th Annual Silent Auction – Bid on over 200 auction items and take advantage of some great bargains. • Bernhardt Wine Tasting Tour - Includes transportation, tour of Bernhardt Winery, wine tasting, and lunch. Tour is from 1000-1330. • NGAT Wine Tasting - Not up for a trip to the vineyard? Enjoy a delicious variety of wines from the comfort of NGAT’s personal hotel suite. • Spirits Tasting - Come sample some spirits and learn a little about the history, production, and pleasures of many classic spirits. The session will feature several delicious selections displaying a variety of characteristics and flavors. • Texas Hold’em Tournament - How good is your poker face? Do you have what it takes to go all-in? Then try your luck at the NGAT Texas Hold’em Tournament. • NGAT Welcome Party – Come enjoy an Italian buffet dinner, try your hand at Black Jack or Texas Hold’em, dance to live entertainment, and visit with friends at the NGAT “Casino Night” Welcome Party. • Spouses Luncheon - Enjoy a leisurely lunch at the Spouses Luncheon on Saturday. Registration fee includes lunch, entertainment, and prizes. • Saturday Dinner – Dinner presentations include the Minuteman and Scholarship awards. After dinner, guests will have the opportunity to visit the (in)famous hospitality suites. • Hospitality Suites will be located at the hotel, and units will compete for “Best Suite” award. • The NGAT Social Lounge – Visit and mingle with friends in a more conversation-friendly environment. • NGAT Prayer Breakfast - Enjoy delicious breakfast, fellowship, and prayer during the NGAT Prayer Breakfast on Sunday morning.

MEAL PACKAGES • Regular Meal Package fee is $115 and closes on 7 March 2014. (The deadline for meal packages is 7 March 2014. After this date, meals must be purchased individually as available.) • A $25 fee will be added to all registrations received after 7 March 2014. • All cancellation requests must be received in the NGAT office prior to 13 March 2014.

HOTEL • Hyatt Regency Houston, 1200 Louisiana Street, Houston, Texas, 77002. • Make your reservations directly with the hotel at: 1-800233-1234. Make sure to identify yourself as members of the National Guard Association of Texas. • Hotel rate: $95 single/double plus tax per night. • Hotel reservations can also be made online through the NGAT website. (NGAT cannot guarantee rooms after 15 February 2014)

ATTIRE NGAT Business Session: Business Casual NGAT Dinner: Army - Blue Class A/Blue Mess Dress. Air - Mess Dress/Service Dress. Civilians - Business Suit/ Evening Formal Wear. Spouses - After-Five Attire.




Annual NGAT Holiday Open House

The annual NGAT Holiday Open House was held on December 17, 2013. Over fifty guests enjoyed a variety of holiday food prepared by NGAT staff.

Prepare and Modernize the Networked Battlefield Get convenient service with rapid turnaround time at our facility in Kileen (3300 E. Central Texas Expressway, Suite 300), so you can stay connected. For troubleshooting, repair, and hardware/software upgrades of your Harris equipment, simply contact us at 866-264-8040 or


Mr. Efrain R. Balderas, Life Member #14746, Retired, San Antonio 1SG Edward E. “Danny” Boutwell, Life Member #6174, Retired, Aledo Major Tom Callahan, Retired, San Antonio

CW4 Wayne J. Jackson, Life Member #1199, Retired, Somerset

SGM Robert E. “Bobby” Warren, Life Member #433, Round Rock

SGT Fred Keesee, Retired, Plainview

SFC Jackie E. Yandell, Life Member #20335, Retired, Idalou

CMSgt William F. “Bill” Mead, Life Member #101, Retired, Houston Mr. Humberto J. Negrete, Life Member #7558, Retired, Laredo SSG Deborah A. Palacios, Retired, Houston

SFC Esteban “Steve” Gamboa, Life Member #13137, Retired, Austin (Former Photographer for many NGAT Conferences) CW4 Calvin Gilbert, Retired, Denton SMSgt Charles E. Holmes, Life Member #2932, Retired, San Antonio SFC Melvin Jackson, Life Member #26440, Retired, Huntsville

CSM John L. Terrell, Life Member #5136, Retired, Austin SGT Leonides Valenzuela, Retired, Victoria BG (BVT) John L. Waldrip, Life Member #1037, Retired, Bertram

If you are aware of the passing of a current or former National Guard member, please notify us by phone, a letter to our office, or by email at





Because your mission-critical assets must arrive quick and secure • Rapid Deployment Equipment



• Expeditionary Systems • Contingency Response Communication Systems • Integration, Reset, & Repair Services

Place an advertisement in the 2014 NGAT Conference Program. The program will be distributed to all conference attendees and available online after the conference. Business card size ad prices start at only $25. 50% of all sales generated from 1/8 page ads and above will be donated to the unit of your choice or to the NGAT Educational Foundation.



Applications for advertising is available at

Texas Military Forces Best Warrior Golf Tournament Monday, March 3, 2014 0830 Shotgun Start Pine Forest Golf Club 636 Riverside Drive Bastrop, TX 78602

Single Player $55 4 Player Team $220 Hosted by Pine Forest Golf Club and National Guard Association of Texas

Register online at

Consider our Whole Life Insurance Policy as a replacement for your Service Member’s Group Life Insurance (SGLI) when you get out of the Guard. • Pay the same premium for the rest of your life and accrue a cash value. • NGAT Members age 18 - 65 may apply. • Insurance amounts from $2,500 - $100,000 available. • Spouses and dependent children may be insured. • Premiums are the same regardless of tobacco usage. Underwritten by American Equity Investment Life Insurance Company

For more information, contact (512) 454-7300 or email

National Guard Association of Texas 3706 Crawford Avenue Austin, Texas 78731-6308


NGAT PLANNING CALENDAR (As of 3 February 2014)

2014 24


NGAT Board Meeting, Austin


Mar NGAT Board Meeting, Houston

21-23 Mar 55th Annual NGAT Conference, Houston 5


NGAT Board Meeting, Austin



Memorial Day (NGAT Office Closed)



U.S. Army Birthday/Flag Day

18-19 Jun

NGAT Executive Committee Meeting, Austin



Independence Day (NGAT Office Closed)



NGAT Board Meeting, Austin



EANGUS Conference, Phoenix, AZ

22-25 Aug

NGAUS Conference, Chicago, IL

NGAT News Magazine - Winter 2014  

The official publication of The National Guard Association of Texas.

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