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Volume 55

Number 4

Winter 2015


2014–15 Board of Directors President............................................................ Charles Chavers President-Elect.........................................................Daniel Quick Vice President........................................................... Kenn White Secretary/Treasurer..............................................Ashley Bloom Joint Forces Hqs............................. Michael Courade (Enlisted) TX ARNG.................................................. Terri Marshall (Officer) 176th Engr Bde.....................................Calvin Jenkins (Officer) 36th Infantry Division......................Kenneth Henry (Enlisted) 72nd IBCT......................................... Brian Hildebrand (Officer) 72nd IBCT.................................................Tony Carter (Enlisted) 56th IBCT..........................................................Jet Hays (Officer) 56th IBCT...................................................... Jim Horn (Enlisted) 36th CAB....................................................Bob Roark (Enlisted) 71st BfSB................................................. Patrick Harty (Officer) 36th Sustainment Bde ...............Murphy McCardell (Enlisted) 136th MEB..............................................John Crawson (Officer) HQ, TANG...........................................Michael Selheim (Enlisted) 136th AW...................................................Doug Clark (Enlisted) 147th RW....................................................Anita Blue (Enlisted) 149th FW.................................................. John Pollard (Officer) TX State Guard Rep......................Kristopher Krueger (Officer) Retired Rep - Region 1..........................................Priscilla Leger Retired Rep - Region 2...........................................Jerry Horsley Retired Rep - Region 3.........................................Buck Allbright Family Readiness Rep...........................................Miguel Torres Executive Director.................................................... Ray Lindner

 Editor............................................Theresa Billeck-Zuniga Copy Editor...................................................Laura Bianco Graphic Designer..........................................Kathy White Publisher.............................. Aus-Tex Printing & Mailing

NEWScontents 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 14 16 18 20 21 22 24

Letter from the President Members Spotlight Legislative Update New Commander-in-Chief for TXMF Leadership Changes CSM Mark Weedon-New Senior Enlisted Advisor Homecomings/Deployments Farewell to CSM Brandt Around the World with the Texas National Guard Salute to Retirees Hooah Holidays Around Texas with the Guard NGAT 2015 Conference Information Texas State Guard OCS Class TAPS/Corporate Members and Sponsors NGAT Planning Calendar




3706 Crawford Ave. Austin, TX 78731

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


FOLLOW US! National-Guard-Association-of-TexasNGAT/354269962037

Chief Justice Nathan L. Hecht, chief justice of the Texas Supreme Court, administers the oath of office to Greg Abbott, who is being sworn in as the 48th governor of Texas in Austin, Texas on Jan. 20, 2015. The Texas Military Forces supported the 2015 Texas Inaugural Committee by providing a joint color guard, which presented the American and Texas flags during the inaugural ceremony and parade; a four-ship flyover of F-16 Fighting Falcons assigned to the 149th Fighter Wing, Texas Air National Guard based at Joint Base San Antonio – Lackland, Texas; and a 17-gun salute from a Howitzer cannon battery assigned to the Texas Army National Guard at Camp Mabry in Austin; and the 36th Infantry Division Band, Texas Army National Guard, which marched in the parade. (Photo by 2nd Lt Phil Fountain)



President's Report As 2014 comes to a close and we move forward into the New Year, I wanted to take a moment and thank each of you for the individual sacrifices that you and your family make on behalf of our great state and nation. I am proud to say that I serve with each of you, and I am ever hopeful of the great things we will accomplish in the coming year. Since our last issue went to press, the United States populace elected a new Senate and House of Representatives. Texas also elected a new Governor and State Commander in Chief for the Texas Military Forces. These events offer our elected officials the opportunity to make positive change on behalf of issues important to each one of us. And just like the past 56 years, NGAT will be right there within the process representing the needs and desires of the men and women of the Army, Air and State Guard. When the 84th Texas Legislature moves into full session this month, I want to ask that each of you stay informed by visiting the NGAT website ( for legislative updates. And while you are there, you can sign up for legislative alerts and the call for action. All it takes is a few minutes, and your efforts can mean the difference between success and failure of vital legislative efforts. I strongly urge each of you to make your voices heard in Austin and on Capitol Hill by getting involved with this vital process. And speaking of vital processes, preparations are underway for the 56th annual NGAT conference in Corpus Christi, TX from 13–15 March 2015. You can rest assured that your conference committee and the NGAT staff are working diligently to ensure that the event will be one to remember. We have been working hard to ensure that all attendees will be offered professional development and informational breakouts relevant to all in attendance. We also have a slate of optional activities for the more adventurous members of the association. I am excited about the 2015 conference, and I hope to see each of you there. If you have questions, you can visit the NGAT website for the latest conference updates. As always, I want to thank you for your continued support of the association and the men and women of the Texas Military Forces. Thank you for a great 2014 and I look forward to the opportunities that 2015 offers the National Guard Association of Texas. If there is anything I can do for you, let me know. I can be contacted 24/7 through the NGAT website.

   2014 NGAT Membership Contest Results    (1 Jan 2014 - 31 Dec 2014)

Highest Membership at the end of 2014: Highest % of Increased Membership in 2014: Most New Members in 2o14:

Charles Chavers CMSgt, TANG President NGAT


149th FW 136th MEB 147th RW

ORDER OF SAINT BARBARA LTC Miguel Torres (far left), commander of 3-133rd Field Artillery, proudly stands with the newest recipients of the Order of Saint Barbara presented at the annual Saint Barbara’s dining-out held in El Paso, Texas. LTC Torres is also a member of the NGAT Board of Directors. (Photo by Elizabeth Loman) 

SMSgt Doug Clark (NGAT Board Member) and CMSgt Charles Chavers (NGAT President) greet Snowball Express families in DFW Airport. 





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.

VIETNAM WAR REFUGEE, CAREER GUARDSMAN RETIRES A career guardsman capped off a 27-year military career by paying tribute to Texas and the United States, his adopted home, during a retirement ceremony in November. Lt Col Don Nguyen, assistant director of operations for the 273rd Information Operations Squadron (IOS), retired from military service after lifting himself up from unlikely circumstances – a child refugee of the Vietnam War. In the late 1970s, Nguyen’s family took to the high seas to escape Vietnam’s Communist regime, which took control of that nation in 1975. “Our family and other families barely survived the five days lost at sea as ‘boat people refugees,’” Nguyen said. “We experienced starvation, dehydration, turbulent weather, life and death situations, and (were) without fuel – drifting until rescued by Malaysia’s international humanitarian effort.” Following the ordeal, Nguyen’s family was initially sheltered in Malaysia and then became sponsored to come to the United States. “I was just 10 years old when we immigrated to America in November 1979,” Nguyen said. “I grew up in Houston, Texas and quickly learned the English language and how to become a Texan and an American.” In 1987, Nguyen enlisted in the U.S. Army and later served as a signal officer in the Texas Army National Guard before transferring to the Texas Air National Guard in 2002 when he became a U.S. Air Force cyber-communications officer. “During my service with the U.S. Army,” Nguyen said, “I was naturalized and received my U.S. citizenship.” During the ceremony, Nguyen was presented with the Meritorious Service Medal and the Texas Outstanding Service Medal. Lt Col Nguyen is an NGAT Life Member. 

Government Affairs Office Welcomes New Officer Lt Gen Joseph L. Lengyel (left), a former Texas Air National Guardsman and Vice Chief, National Guard Bureau, administers the oath of office to 2nd Lt Phil Fountain at Maxwell Air Force Base, AL. 2nd Lt Fountain is a new NGAT Life Member who serves as a Public Affairs Officer for the 149th Fighter Wing and works full-time in the Government Affairs Office within the Office of the Adjutant General of Texas at Camp Mabry. (Photo by COL Nahaku A. McFadden) 

Over 10 Years of 386th Engineer Battalion Leadership

Current and former commanders of the 386th Engineer Battalion gathered for a photo during a dining-out held in Austin, Texas for the 176th Engineer Brigade. Pictured left to right are: COL James Junot (02-06), COL (Ret) Frank Zuniga (06-08), LTC (Ret) Jim Cline (08-10), COL (Ret) Richard Jordan (10-12) and LTC Richard Stradinger (12-present). 

Public Affairs Top Honor Congratulations to SSgt Mindy Bloem (right) and SrA Chasity Lollis for receiving top honors in the Video and Photography categories of the Texas Military Forces Public Affairs Media Competition. 

Honor Graduate Congratulations to NGAT Member SSG Mireya Cruz for being named the Honor Graduate at her Advanced Leadership School in Camp Parks, CA. 


Legislative Report by Ray Lindner, NGAT Executive Director

Our legislative focus this quarter is largely at the state level, as the new legislature is just beginning to take focus as committee assignments are announced. In the State Senate, Senator Donna Campbell (R-25) is the new Chair of the Veteran Affairs and Military Installations Committee. Representative Susan Lewis King is the new Chair of the House Defense and Veterans’ Affairs Committee. Both the House and the Senate have referred general appropriations bills to committee, and those bills largely reflect a continuation of funding of the Adjutant General’s department at existing levels, with some exceptions. The department will be requesting increased funding in some areas, and NGAT will be prepared to assist in that effort. The most significant challenge to veterans’ benefits this session will likely be concerning the Hazlewood Act. On 26 January 2015, a federal judge in Houston struck down a clause in the state law limiting veterans’ tuition benefits to those who enlisted in the military while living in Texas, which is the basis for the Hazlewood Act eligibility. The judge found that the provision violates the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Hazlewood costs to universities have soared since implementing transferability of benefits to dependents, reaching $169 million in 2014 and predicted to reach $379.1 million in 2019. The economic implications of this ruling put the entire Hazlewood program in jeopardy. NGAT will strive to ensure that education benefits will remain for the Texas National Guard, regardless of the fate of the Hazlewood program. NGAT will host a Texas Military Forces Day at the state capitol on 19 March 2015. The Guard will provide static posters and displays, and NGAT will host breakfast and evening receptions. At the federal level, threats to Guard force structure and equipment continue to bubble. In addition to Hill visits, NGAT will host a reception for the Texas Congressional delegation and staff in late February and has also budgeted funding for activities surrounding the separate Army and Air “State of the State” briefings at NGB. As always, keep abreast of legislative activities by following the NGAT website and Facebook. Keep your email current with the membership department ( to ensure you receive legislative updates and alerts. 


Col Kurt Leslie (left), Rep. Pete Olson (center) and Col Terence Winkler (right) cut the ribbon during a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the 147th Reconnaissance Wing’s newly-renovated maintenance hangar at Ellington Field JRB in Houston. 




Lieutenant governor sworn in

Judge Ryan Patrick, district judge for the 177th District Court in Harris County, Texas, administers the oath of office to his father Dan Patrick (right), who is being sworn in as lieutenant governor of Texas in Austin, Texas on Jan. 20, 2015. (Photo by 2nd Lt Phil Fountain) 

NEW COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF FOR THE TEXAS MILITARY FORCES Republican Greg Abbott has been officially sworn in as Texas’ first new governor in 14 years and the new Commanderin-Chief of the Texas Military Forces. Abbott promised the state will stay as defiantly conservative as ever – vowing to battle Washington on border security, spending, regulation and any federal initiative “that uses the guise of fairness to rob us of our freedom.” Fighter jets streaked through sunny skies, ceremonial cannons boomed, the University of Texas marching band blared and the smell of four tons of beef brisket prepared for the inaugural barbeque hung in the air over the steps of the State Capitol, where Abbott and new lieutenant governor Dan Patrick formally took office. Organizers said they raised more than $4.5 million for the festivities, which also included a parade, a ball and a concert featuring Lady Antebellum. Shortly after Gov. Greg Abbott and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick were sworn in, the Texas Military Forces Joint Color Guard led the inauguration parade down Congress Avenue, followed by the 36th Infantry Division Band out of Camp Mabry in Austin. The 57-year-old Abbott succeeds Rick Perry, who took office in December 2000, and says he’ll announce an expected second presidential run perhaps as early as May or June. Perry, who succeeded George W. Bush after being elected president, was the longest-serving governor in Texas history. Unlike Perry and his political cowboy persona, Abbott has a more lawyerly, almost judicial, mentality. He nearly choked up when thanking his wife and daughter and God during his speech. “We must seek higher ground that will continue to elevate Texas, not just as a leader in this nation, but as a leader in this world,” he said.  (Photos by SFC Malcolm McClendon and 2nd Lt Phil Fountain)


MG Lester Simpson (right),

commander of the 36th Infantry Division promotes

COL James Pleasant as his

wife Linda looks on. COL Pleasant is the Fires Chief for the 36th Infantry Division.

COL Michael Adame

Commander 136th Regiment (CA) (RTI)

COL Stanley Golaboff Director Human Resources

CSM Carl T. Davis

Command Sergeant Major 1-112th CAV

CMSgt Marlon Nation (right) reads the promotion orders for

COL Marvin Johnson

Faith Federspiel

Director TXARNG G4

Maj Gen Kenneth Wisian (left), Texas Air

during her promotion ceremony to Chief Master Sergeant. She will serve as the Command Chief for the 147th Medical Group.

National Guard commander, passes the guidon to Col George W. Holt Jr. during the 136th Airlift Wing change of command ceremony at Naval Air Station in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo by MSgt Charles Hatton)

The adjutant general of Texas,

Col Christopher G. McGraw Vice Commander 136th Airlift Wing



CSM Anthony Simms

Command Sergeant Major 176th Engineer Brigade


Maj Gen John F. Nichols (left), and MG Lester Simpson unfurl the two-star general’s flag on 6 Dec. 2014. Simpson, who commands the 36th Infantry Division of the Texas Army National Guard, was promoted to his new rank during a ceremony at Camp Mabry in Austin, Texas. (Photo by MAJ Randy Stillinger)

CSM Mark A. Weedon assumed responsibility as the Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Texas Military Forces from CSM Bradley Brandt in a ceremony held at Camp Mabry in Austin on 15 Nov. 2014. During the ceremony Weedon took time to thank his family for their many years of love, support and sacrifice. He also reflected on his early days in the Texas National Guard including his decision to make a long-term commitment to the force. “I fell in love with the guard when I recognized the true sacrifice and the true patriot that guardsmen and women are,” said Weedon. “I am very humbled and proud at the same time to serve you in this position,” said Weedon while speaking to the men and women of the Texas Military Forces. As the Senior Enlisted Advisor for the Texas Military Forces, Weedon will advise the Adjutant General of Texas on all enlisted matters concerning training, effective utilization, health of the force and enlisted professional development. 

The 1136th Infantry Det. (Pathfinder) is holding its first reunion since its deactivation in 1990. The reunion will be held April 17-18, 2015, in Austin.

All past members and support personnel are being invited. Initial contact has been made with those individuals whose whereabouts are known.

If you have not yet received an invitation to attend, contact the reunion organizers via phone, text or email: Roberto Chavira, (512) 917-6351, Mark Erwin (512) 750-6028,

CSM Weedon, a native of Bryan, TX, graduated from Bryan High School in 1986 and joined the United States Army in January of 1988. He married his wife Shelli in 1988 and they have four children: Stefani, Kyndal, Alan, and Arin. He attended Basic Combat Training and the Army’s Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical Advanced Individual Training at Fort McClellan, Alabama. During 26 years of service, CSM Weedon has held numerous leadership positions to include Fire Team Leader, Squad Leader, Platoon Sergeant, Operations Sergeant, First Sergeant, Sergeant Major, and Command Sergeant Major. His previous command sergeant major assignments have included: Commandant 136th Regiment (RTI), Command Sergeant Major Texas Army National Guard Recruiting and Retention Battalion, and Command Sergeant Major 1st Battalion 141st Infantry Regiment. CSM Weedon’s other assignments include: 95th Chemical Company, Giessen, Federal Republic of Germany; 3rd Battalion, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, Fort Bragg, N.C.; HQ 49th Armored Division, Camp Mabry, Austin, TX; and 4-112th Armor Battalion, Bryan, TX. CSM Weedon was deployed to Iraq during Desert Shield/ Desert Storm in 1990-1991 and again to Iraq in 2009-2010 during Operation Iraqi Freedom. CSM Weedon is a graduate of all the Noncommissioned Officer’s Education System Courses including the United States Army Sergeants Major Academy, Air Assault School, Airborne School, Army National Guard Basic Recruiting Course, M1A1 Armor Crewman Course, Senior Management Course, and the Lean Six Sigma Process Improvement Course. He holds an Associate Degree in Applied Science from Central Texas College, a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration from Franklin University, and is currently pursuing a Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy from Amridge University. CSM Weedon has been awarded numerous awards and decorations including the Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal (4th award), Army Commendation Medal (4th award), Army Achievement Medal (6th award), Southwest Asia Service Medal with 2 Bronze Stars, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Kuwait Liberation Medal (Saudi Arabia), Texas Faithful Service Medal, Texas Combat Service Ribbon, Texas Outstanding Service Medal, the German Armed Proficiency Badge, the Master Recruiter Badge, and the Centurion Order of Saint Maurice.


HOMECOMINGS/DEPLOYMENTS 1-112th Cavalry Regiment Mobilization Ceremony


MAJ Gabe Simonds (left) and CSM Tom Davis (right) case the colors of the 1-112th CAV Rgmt for their deployment to Egypt. 

BG Patrick Hamilton, commanding general of the Texas Domestic Operations Task Force greets Soldiers from the 454th Engr Co as they deplane to return home from a mission in Afghanistan. 

The 1st Squadron, 112th Cavalry Regiment conducted a Mobilization Ceremony on 19 December 2014 in preparation for deployment to Egypt. MAJ Gabe Simonds and CSM Tom Davis welcomed MG Lester Simpson, commander of the 36th Infantry Division, as the keynote speaker for the event which was attended by family members and several leaders from the Texas Military Forces. The unit will be a part of the Multinational Force and Observers (MFO) mission while deployed to the Sinai Peninsula. (Photos by MAJ Randy Stillinger)

Soldiers of the 454th Engineer Company Route Clearance, Texas Army National Guard returned state-side 12 January at the Silas L. Copeland Arrival/Departure Air Control Group airfield after completing their mission in Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Greeting them as they deplaned was BG Patrick Hamilton, commanding general of the Texas Domestic Operations Task Force, Texas Army National Guard. According to CPT Eric L. Leatherman, company commander, 454th Engr Co, the unit was the tip of the spear when it came to route clearance. The 454th Engr Co cleared the way for all coalition forces by removing improvised explosive devices off the main routes in Afghanistan. Once the demobilization process is complete, the 454th Eng Co will return to San Angelo, Texas where their unit is based.


Soldiers assigned to the 454th Engineer Company, Texas Army National Guard, San Angelo pose with a flag from the Lone Star State which flew in Afghanistan.  (Photo by Amabilia Payen)

Members of the 176th Engr Bde, commanded by MG Lester Simpson (center), that deployed to Afghanistan from 2010 to 2011 gathered for a photo during the 176th Engr Bde Dining Out recently held in Austin, Texas.  (Photo by MSG (Ret) Theresa Billeck-Zuniga)

Is your unit deploying or returning from deployment? Send your photos to 10



(Below) More than 10 members of the 136th Security Forces Squadron arrive at DFW Airport on 27 Jan. 2015 after serving over seven months in Southwest Asia in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. 

An Airman with the 136th Security Forces Squadron is greeted by a family member that is happy to see him upon his return from Afghanistan. 

With a ceremonial passing of the Non Commissioned Officer’s Sword, CSM Bradley Brandt handed over responsibility of the Texas Military Forces’ Senior Enlisted Leader to CSM Mark Weedon and began preparing for retirement. CSM Bradley Brandt began his military career in June of 1975 as a U.S. Army UH-1 Huey helicopter mechanic with the 2nd Armored Division at Fort Hood, Texas. After completing his active duty tour in 1978, Brandt took a break before transitioning into his career with the Texas Army National Guard. During his career, Brandt worked in six different military occupational fields including motor vehicle mechanic, water purification, logistics, sergeant major, and two in army aviation. During his three-year role as senior enlisted leader for the Texas Military Forces, Brandt worked to better unite the Texas Air Guard and the Texas Army Guard. His efforts led to the first ever Joint-Best Warrior Competition in all of the National Guard. Brandt enlisted the help of other senior enlisted leaders to open the traditionally Army-only competition to Airmen. As Brandt ends his time as the senior enlisted leader for the Texas Military Forces, he hopes that his efforts to bring the Texas Army and Air Guard components closer will continue to grow as a model for other states. NGAT is proud to call CSM Bradley Brandt an NGAT Life Member.

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RLD with

Soldiers from the 1-143rd Inf Rgmt (Airborne) line-up and prepare to exit the aircraft during a training jump. The battalion departed Austin’s Bergstrom International Airport on two Altus Air Force Based C-17s, flew to Fort Hood, and then jumped into the Rapido Drop Zone wearing full combat gear. (Photo by MAJ Randall Stillinger)

SMSgt Miguel Arellano, 149th Fighter Wing, and fellow Airmen visit the children’s ward at the Leonardo Guzman Regional Hospital in Antofagasta, Chile to distribute gifts and bring a few moments of joy to hospitalized children. (Photo by SMSgt Elizabeth Gilbert)

A water purification specialist with A Company, 636th Brigade Support Battalion explains how their system can produce drinking water from pond water during an Employer Support to the Guard and Reserve event at Camp Bowie in Brownwood, Texas. (Photo by 1LT Melinda G. West)

Engine mechanics from the 149th Maintenance Squadron perform an engine change on an F-16 Fighting Falcon during Salitre 2014 in Chile. (Photo by SMSgt Elizabeth Gilbert)




Lt Gen Stanley E. Clarke III (center), Director, Air National Guard, stands with members of the 149th Fighter Wing, Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland as he visited the unit to observe day-to-day operations. Lt Gen Clarke III was requalified on the F-16 Fighting Falcon by the 182nd Fighter Squadron, a subunit and a schoolhouse for the 149FW. (Photo by SSgt Rebekkah Jandron)


NCOs from across the Texas Army National Guard recently graduated from the Unit Retention NCO Training course, held at the Recruiting & Retention Battalion Headquarters on Camp Mabry. Each of the graduating NCOs will be charged with identifying and assisting Soldiers in their units who are eligible for reenlistment.

Members of the 36th Combat Aviation Brigade (CAB) hoist members of Texas Task Force 1 (TX-TF1) into their UH-60 “Black Hawk” helicopter during overwater search and rescue training near the San Luis Pass bridge. The Soldiers were conducting several days of training on the Gulf Coast near Galveston, Texas. (Photo by MAJ Randall Stillinger)

Delegates of the Swedish Armed Forces International Centre complete their visit with the Joint Task Force 136 (Maneuver Enhancement Brigade) at the Round Rock Armed Forces Reserve Center with a group photo by the brigade’s mobile command vehicle. The group of service members from Sweden, Finland, and Norway toured various military and civil agency sites throughout central Texas to learn more about the National Guard approach to disaster response. (Photo by MSG Daniel Griego)

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TXARNG Senior Warrant Officer Strength Manager CW3 Michael Long (right) presents CPT Hunter Smith with the first place medal for his win in the Audie Murphy Chapter of the U.S. Army Warrant Officers Association 5K Run scholarship fundraiser.

PV2 Thomas Porath of the Recruit Sustainment Program examines an M-249 Squad Automatic Weapon during a skills test at the Recruiting & Retention Battalion’s Best Warrior Competition tryouts in December.


VETERANS DAY SALUTE During the holidays NGAT ran into a lot of NGAT members who are retirees and we wanted to salute some of them for Veterans Day!

MG (Ret) Sam Turk Former Adjutant General of Texas

LTG (Bvt, Ret) Wayne Marty Former Adjutant General of Texas

COL (Ret) Garry Patterson

Col (Ret) John Conoley III

CW4 (Ret) Larry Williams

CW4 (Ret) Adrian Munoz

CSM (Ret) James Danner

CMSgt (Ret) Scot W. Hrbacek

CMSgt (Ret) Marcus Falleaf

1SG (Ret) Michael English


MSgt (Ret) Velma Grant

SSG (Ret) Sharon Carr

SFC (Ret) Russ Filyaw

Col (Ret) Wilbert Smith (left), CPT (Ret) Roberto Deleon (center) and Maj Gen (Ret) John H. Bailey

Retirees from the Retired Old Men Eating Out (R.O.M.E.O) Club attend the 149th Fighter Wing’s (149 FW) annual steak luncheon at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas on 19 Dec. 2014. The steak luncheon is an event put together by the 149 FW Chiefs Group for wing members and retirees to come together and celebrate the holidays.  (Photo by SSgt Rebekkah Jandron)




Texas Military Forces

March 30, 2015 8:30 am Shotgun Start Pine Forest Golf Club, Bastrop, TX Four-Person Teams or Individuals $55 Per Person $5 Mulligans Sponsor a Hole!!! $200 Tax Deductible Donation Hole in One, Longest Drive, Closest to Pin Prizes and Much More

Register at Hosted by Pine Forest Golf Club and The National Guard Association of Texas

Operation Guard Care The Texas National Guard Family Support Foundation (TXNGFSF), through a $300,000 grant from the Texas Veterans Commission, Fund for Veterans’ Assistance, announces that grant funds are available for eligible Texas National Guard Soldiers, Airmen, and family members.

Eligible Recipients

TXNG Army or Air Service Members currently serving, DD-214 or NGB-22 required

Former TXNG Army or Air Service Members 3 years service or medical discharge

Spouse of TXNG Army or Air Service Members (proof required)

Dependents of TXNG Army or Air Service Members (proof required) Must be in DEERS & under the age of 18

Spouse of Deceased TXNG Service Member (proof required)

eligible expenses for Emergency Financial Assistance  Housing, Utilities, Childcare, Auto Repairs  TRICARE Medical/Dental Insurance Premiums and/or Co-pays  Financial Counseling Services (Childcare expenses paid to enable attendance)

For more information Eligible applicants may apply by contacting: Texas Military Forces - State Family Programs Family Assistance Specialist 1 (800) 252-8032 or 1 (888) 443-2124, en Español “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.”


The commander of the 36th Infantry Division, MG Lester Simpson (right), and CPT (Ret) Tom Loftis, a member of the Texas State Guard, make a food and gift delivery as part of Operation Blue Santa. Operation Blue Santa provides needy families with a full holiday meal and wrapped Christmas gifts for each child under the age of 14. (Photo by MAJ Randall Stillinger)

(Above) The Texas State Guard (TXSG) Young Heroes of the Guard program was initiated by a couple of chaplains in 2009 and has grown tremendously, surpassing last year’s record of distributing about 6,600 toys to over 20,000 this year. This program helps to provide toys to hospitalized children in 14 hospitals across the state. Soldiers from 19th Regiment (TXSG) provide toys to children during the holidays at Medical City Children’s Hospital in Dallas.

Hundreds of Texas Army National Guard Soldiers joined volunteers across Central Texas on 21 Nov. for the 24th annual Food for Families food drive, which collected more than 1 million pounds of donations across 21 locations. TXARNG troops were visible at locations in Temple, Gatesville, Hillsboro and Mexia, where they assisted local volunteers in collecting, sorting and stocking thousands of pounds of food donations. Pictured above, a Soldier from the 36th Sustainment Brigade assists volunteers with sorting donated food at a food drop-off site. National Guard members have been assisting with the food drive since 1998.

SPC Kaycee Stocker, a member of Joint Task Force 136 (Maneuver Enhancement Brigade), supports the Veterans’ Hill Elementary School Veterans Day event on 7 Nov. 2014 in Round Rock, Texas. The event allowed National Guardsmen an opportunity to reach out to the local community and discuss with students what it means to be a veteran. (Photo by MSG Daniel Griego)

The Texas Military Forces participated in a community partnerships with the Austin Police Department (APD), Austin Fire Department (AFD) and Operation Blue Santa 2014. Pictured left to right are LTC Darrell Debish, Joint Forces Headquarters; an Elvis impersonator provided by Chuy’s; SFC John Cody, 36th CAB; and CPT Benjamin Hickman, Co B 1-149th Avn Rgmt.




Members from the 136th Airlift Wing, 254th Combat Communications Group and service members and civilians from the Naval Air Station Fort Worth volunteered at DFW Airport in Dallas, Texas to meet, greet and assist families during the Snowball Express arrivals on 11 Dec. 2014. Snowball Express is an organization that brings children of fallen military heroes together for a four-day experience filled with fun activities like sporting events, dances, amusement parks and more. (Photo by TSgt Vanessa Reed)


LTC Gary Beatty, Commander HHBN 36th Infantry Division, administers the oath of enlistment to a group of re-enlisting Soldiers during the unit’s holiday party. Such ceremonies are encouraged as a way to bring public recognition to the commitment and service of re-enlisting Soldiers.

Members of the Texas State Guard, 1st battalion, 19th Regiment presented the colors in Italy’s Annual Christmas Festival and Parade held in Italy, Texas. First battalion SGM Sylvester and commander LTC Diggs were honorary guests in the grandstand as the battalion passed by. The event consisted of vendors, a parade, entertainment and a community Christmas program and tree lighting.

COL (TX) Douglas Sewell

SSG (TX) John J. Gately In an effort to meet the Texas State Guard toy drive goal, COL (TX) Douglas Sewell and SSG (TX) John Gately organized the first Texas State Guard Veterans Day Celebration & Toy Drive in Frisco, Texas. Gately also oversaw coordination with donation providers and created the toy drive website, With a personal goal to raise 3,000 toys, Gately fanned out to local businesses setting up donation boxes, partnering with a golf event in Denton and received donations from a non-profit organization for teddy bears. Above, members of the Texas State Guard pose for a photo at the 1st Annual Texas State Guard Veterans Day Celebration & Toy Drive Kickoff dinner and pose with toys collected for the toy drive.

Texas Army National Guard Recruiting, Region I, Team 4’s SFC Danny Anderson (left) and SGT Michael Miraglia (right) pose with Josh Walterscheid of Rednecks With Paychecks (RWP). Team 4 took part in RWP’s Operation Santa program, which collected toys for families throughout North Texas.





BG Orlando Salinas (center) poses with Washington’s Birthday Celebration Association (WBCA) representatives Matt Gibson and Veronica Castillon at the Laredo International Airport after being named 2015 Air Show Marshal for the WBCA Stars and Stripes Air Show Spectacular. (Photo by Cuate Santos/Laredo Morning Times) 

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More than 210 homeless veterans participated in the Veteran’s Stand Down Day at Fort Worth Resource Center where they received various items such as clothes, food, haircuts, health assessments, healing touch massages, blankets and anything that could help them improve their quality of life. Members of the 136th AW and the 254th CCG volunteered to assist the homeless veterans. 

Former Texas Air National Guardsman becomes San Antonio middle school namesake Story by Capt. Joshua Amstutz Courtesy archive photo of David Lee “Tex” Hill

An outside shot of San Antonio’s North East Independent School District’s David Lee “Tex” Hill Middle School. 




The San Antonio Northeast School District dedicated its newest middle school to David Lee “Tex” Hill, a San Antonio native and former Texas Air National Guardsman on 11 Nov. 2014. A World War II fighter pilot, Hill served with the Flying Tigers and became a triple ace. In 1944, Hill returned to the U.S. and took command of the 412th Fighter Group, America’s first operational jet fighter group. He separated from active service in 1945. Hill became a member of the Texas Air National Guard when former Texas Governor Coke Stevenson asked him to command the 58th Wing of the Texas Air National Guard. He accepted and activated Guard units throughout the area, becoming the youngest brigadier general in the history of the Guard. “Hill was a great Texan, ground-breaking pioneer and founding member of the Texas Air National Guard, which made it appropriate to name the middle school after him on Veterans Day,” said Maj. Gen. Kenneth Wisian, Deputy Adjutant General - Air and Commander of the Texas Air National Guard. 


The 136th Regional Training Institute (RTI), Texas Army National Guard gathers for a regimental photo at Camp Mabry in Austin, Texas. (Photo by MSG Daniel Griego) 

Original Story by CPT Martha Nigrelle

The Texas Army National Guard’s 136th Regional Training Institute (RTI), headquartered at Camp Mabry in Austin, received national recognition as an Institution of Excellence, the highest accreditation a training institute can receive, from the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command in November 2014. There are 54 RTI units in the country, one for each state and territory. Their mission is to provide an alternate location for training to any service member in the U.S. Army, active, guard or reserve. Each RTI has a variety of courses that they specialize in, and each course must be certified by the Army Training and Doctrine Command before it can be taught. RTI instructors go through the same training all Army instructors go through prior to teaching any of the same courses at the Army’s traditional locations. Army Training Command began accrediting RTIs in 2011. Per Training Command Regulation 350-18, RTIs across the country are evaluated every three years by numerous proponents. For each course offered, the traditional schoolhouse for that course must visit the RTI and evaluate the program, usually more than once. Training command also conducts a separate evaluation. During the last year of accreditation, the 136th RTI had more than 20 visits from different proponents. The 136th RTI offers numerous courses to soldiers across the force including military occupational specialty

producing courses, NCO professional development courses and officer commissioning courses. As the RTI looks to continue developing its programs and maintain its accreditation as an institute of excellence, they plan on making some minor changes. The biggest challenge in Texas is the geographic disbursement of training locations. Texas’ RTI currently works at several different locations in central Texas. The plan over the next two years is for the RTI to relocate to North Fort Hood providing more space and more accessibility to various training facilities. The 136th RTI offers the following accredited courses: 25U-Signal Support Systems Specialist 10-level advanced individual training; 68W-Army Combat Medic advanced individual training; 11B-Infantry transition course and advanced leader course; 19D-Cavalry Scout advanced individual training, transition course and advanced leader course; 13B, F, and R-cannon crew member, Fire Support Specialist and Field Artillery Firefinder Radar Operator advanced individual training, advanced leader course and senior leader course; Master Fitness Program; Officer Candidate School and Warrant Officer Candidate School.  Read more: texas-136th-regional-training-institute-receives-nationalrecognition#.VNOL92FgOpo#ixzz3Qsv3gPom


Join us in Corpus christi at the NGAT Conference The 56th Annual NGAT conference will be held 13–15 March 2015 at the Omni Corpus Christi Hotel and the American Bank Center in Corpus Christi, Texas. registration (ONLINE REGISTRATION NOW AVAILABLE) All attendees must pay the registration fee. Registration fee is $15.00 per person.

Meal Packages • Regular Registration fee is $110 and closes on 2 March 2015. (The deadline for meal packages is 2 March 2015. After this date, meals must be purchased individually as available.) • A $25 late fee will be added to all registrations received after 2 March 2015. • All cancellation requests must be received in the NGAT office prior to 1 March 2015.

Hotel • Omni Corpus Christi Hotel, 900 N. Shoreline Boulevard, Corpus Christi, Texas, 78401 • Make your reservations directly with the hotel at: 1-800-843-6664 Make sure to identify yourself as a member of the National Guard Association of Texas • Hotel rate: $107 single/double plus tax per night • Hotel reservations can also be made online at the NGAT website. (NGAT cannot guarantee rooms after 20 February 2015)

Attire Welcome Party: Hawaiian Shirt or MuuMuu NGAT Business Session: Business Casual NGAT Dinner: Army - Class A/Service Dress/Mess Dress; Air - Mess Dress/Service Dress; Civilians - Business Suit/ Evening Formal Wear; Spouses - After-Five Attire

REGISTER ONLINE by visiting the NGAT Website at




Conference Optional Events • Golf Tournament – NorthShore Country Club, 801 E. Broadway, Portland, TX 78374. Shotgun, Florida scramble with low net/low gross competition. The golf tournament is open to both registered and non-registered attendees of the conference. Registration includes green fee, cart, continental breakfast, lunch, and award plaques. • Fun Run - Lace those running shoes and join us on a “fun” 5k run. • 12th Annual Silent Auction – Bid on over 200 auction items and take advantage of some great bargains on gift baskets, jewelry, weekend getaways, and tickets to music, sports and other entertainment venues. • Wine Tasting – Enjoy a delicious variety of Texas wines at our wine tasting. • Spirits Tasting – Come sample tequila and learn a little about the history and production of the many classic tequila brands. The session will feature several 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 our Margaritaville themed party at Brewster Street Ice House. The Welcome Party menu includes beef and chicken fajita stations with all the trimmings. Live entertainment will be provided. Wear your craziest Hawaiian shirt or muumuu and enjoy an evening with friends. • Spouse Luncheon – Enjoy a guided tour of the Art Museum of South Texas and lunch at Hester’s Café in the museum. The museum showcases regional fine art, photography, and crafts. For more information on the museum, visit Registration fee also includes transportation. • Saturday Dinner – Dinner presentations include the Minuteman and Scholarship awards. • Hospitality Suites will be located at the hotel, and units will compete for “Best Suite” award. • NGAT Social Lounge – Visit and mingle with friends in a more conversation-friendly environment. • Enjoy a delicious breakfast, fellowship, and prayer during the NGAT Prayer Breakfast on Sunday morning.

See you in Corpus Christi

TEXAS STATE GUARD OCS CLASS GRADUATes The Texas State Guard (TXSG) Officer Candidate School (OCS) graduated Class 14 on 17 January 2015. Class 14, which began in October 2014, is the first to complete the newly revised five month accelerated OCS program which includes one month of preparatory online classes and 4 monthly drill events at Camp Swift. Previously, candidates completed OCS over eight months; completing the condensed course has not been an easy feat for the eight candidates remaining from the 15 who started. The TXSG began the OCS program in 2011 to meet the need for junior officers who are trained and prepared to fulfill the missions unique to the TXSG. The first month of the new OCS program utilizes the online Moodle platform After successfully clearing the low-crawl obstacle on his for completion of pre-commissioning courses. The monthly four-day training stomach, Officer Candidate Michael Ross goes for round 2 on exercises are designed to test the mental and physical endurance of candidates his back. (Photo by CPT (TX) Shaw James)  while simultaneously requiring the devotion of countless off-duty hours to OCS academic and fitness demands. Class 14 is comprised of three candidates from the Army Component, two candidates from the Air Component, and 3 candidates from the Texas Maritime Regiment. Candidates are blended from their respective components and come together as one team working towards their graduation and commissioning. 


rence Program. The program will be nfe Co AT NG 15 20 the in nt me ise ert adv an ce Pla online after the conference. le ilab ava and ees end att e enc fer con all to d distribute 5. 50% of all sales generated Business card sized ad prices start at only $2 to from 1/8 page ads and above will be donated al Foundation. the unit of your choice or to the NGAT Education ttp://

Applications for advertising are available at h

NGAT conference Golf Tournament Sponsorship Opportunities NorthShore Country Club Friday, 13 March 2015 nt Tourname  Sponsor a $300 Golf Hole   Donate a Raffle Item 

he benefits t nal io at c NGAT Edu n Foundatio

Contact Rob Casias ( for more information Sponsorship Form Available at


TAPS as of 01/29/15

MSG Thomas J. Abel III, Life Member #3205, Retired, Cedar Park TSgt Don L. Angie, Life Member #13863, Retired, Houston *SGT Franklin R. Aguilar, 1-136th RGT BN (AR), Killeen MSG Paul M. Baker, Life Member #4989, Retired, Fort Worth COL Billy B. Blankenship, Life Member #3814, Retired, Round Rock CW4 Billy H. Brunette, Life Member #1134, Retired, Austin *SGT Stephanie Cardenas, TX ARNG Staff JFHQ, Pflugerville MSgt Joseph L. Cicherski, Life Member #15756, Retired, La Vernia SPC John H. Cook, Life Member #13438, Retired, Fayetteville Maj Frank Dominguez Jr., Life Member #16759, Dallas CW4 Sidney B. Eckstein Jr., Life Member #1591, Retired, Arlington SPC James A. Flores, HHC 3rd 141th INF RGMT, Edinburg

Mr. George G. Gordon, Life Member #735, Retired, Deport *SGT Fernando Guillen, Life Member #23610, Retired, El Paso Ms. Delee A. Kitchen, Life Member #28413, Retired, Pleasanton CA CW4 Jackson Kuhlmann, Life Member #5641, Retired, Fredericksburg Mr. Danny R. Langford, Life Member #5688, Retired, Rule 1LT Nein Jen Lee, SIG Co HHB 36ID (NON-EPLRS), Dallas Mr. Charles R. Maley, Life Member #2286, Retired, Fort Worth Mr. Robert W. Marsh, Life Member #6047, Retired, New York NY SPC Elroy Mayberry, Life Member #20591, Retired, Waco MAJ Joanne McLeod, Life Member #32257, Retired, Boling CPT Scott McLeod, Life Member #32259, Retired, Boling SPC Anthony R. Moralez, Co G (-) 949th SPT BN, Wellington

Mr. Harry F. Morgan, Life Member #3416, Retired, Salado Mr. Thomas H. Pfeiffer, Life Member #1508, Retired, Lockhart Mr. Joe A. Rangel, Life Member #14849, Retired, San Antonio Mr. Faustino G. Salinas, Life Member #6435, Retired, San Antonio SSG Alberto Segarra, B BTRY (-) 4-133 FA RGMT, San Antonio SPC Billy Joe Stanley, Retired, Wellington SFC Don W. Statham, Life Member #5481, Retired, Big Spring MSG Gerald J. Stayton Sr., Life Member #2769, Retired, Abilene SSG Walter J. Thompson, Life Member #12756, Retired, Grand Saline Mr. George H. Tuttle, Life Member #5040, Retired, Port Arthur SGT Dawnyale L. Williams, Det 1 TX ARNG MED DET, Fort Worth COL Norman C. Wilmeth, Life Member #686, Retired, Guymon Ok *Had NGAT Life Insurance Policy

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

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Whole Life Insurance Policies are now available for NGAT Members ages 66–75 Members (including associate members) may now apply for whole life insurance even if they have been discharged or retired from the Guard.

 Whole Life Insurance – Pay the same premium for the rest of your life and accrue a cash value  Members ages 66–75 may apply  Amounts of insurance available: $5,000; $10,000; $15,000; $20,000; $25,000; $50,000; and $75,000  Evidence of insurability may be required  Spouses may be insured  Premiums are the same regardless of tobacco usage UNDERWRITTEN BY AMERICAN EQUITY INVESTMENT LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY If interested, please complete the information below and return to: NGAT, 3706 Crawford, Austin TX 78731, FAX (512) 467-6803 PHONE (512) 454-7300 or email NAME_____________________________________________________________________ ADDRESS__________________________________________________________________ CITY__________________________________ ST___________ ZIP__________________ SSN______________________________ DATE OF BIRTH__________________________ DAYTIME PHONE___________________________________________________________ CIRCLE AMOUNT OF INSURANCE DESIRED: $5,000 $10,000 $15,000 $20,000 $25,000 $50,000 $75,000

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


NGAT PLANNING CALENDAR (As of 1 February 2015)

2015 16 Feb 20-21 Feb 23 Feb 12 Mar 13-15 Mar 16 Mar 24-26 Mar 30 Mar 3 Apr 4 May 25 May 15 Jun 9-10 Jun 3 Jul 2 Aug 8-12 Aug 10-13 Sep

President’s Day/Washington’s Birthday (NGAT Office Closed) EANGUS Area IV Mid-Winter, Tulsa, Oklahoma NGAT Board Meeting, Austin NGAT Board Meeting, Corpus Christi 56th Annual NGAT Conference, Corpus Christi NGAT Conference Recovery (NGAT Office Closed) NGAT Legislative Visit, Washington, D.C. Best Warrior Golf Tournament, Bastrop Good Friday (Easter Holiday Observed) NGAT Board Meeting, Austin Memorial Day (NGAT Office Closed) U.S. Army Birthday/Flag Day NGAT Executive Committee Meeting, Austin Independence Day (4th of July Holiday Observed) NGAT Board Meeting, Austin EANGUS Conference, Indianapolis, IN NGAUS Conference, Nashville, TN

NGAT News Magazine - Winter 2015  

NGAT News is the official publication of The National Guard Association of Texas.

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