Texas State Guard

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Texas State Guard
TXSG logo.png
Texas State Guard
Part of Texas Military Forces
Motto Equal To The Task
Website www.txsg.state.tx.us
Commander in Chief Governor Greg Abbott
Texas Adjutant General Major General John F. Nichols
Texas State Guard Coat of Arms Texas State Guard Coat of Arms.svg

The Texas State Guard (TXSG) is one of three branches of the Texas Military Forces. Along with the other two branches, the TXSG falls under the command of the Governor of Texas and is administered by the Texas Adjutant General, an appointee of the Governor. The other two branches of the Texas Military Forces are the Texas Army National Guard and the Texas Air National Guard.

The mission of the Texas State Guard (TXSG) is to provide mission-ready military forces to assist state and local authorities in times of state emergencies, to conduct homeland security and community service activities under the umbrella of Defense Support to Civil Authorities, and to augment the Texas Army National Guard and Texas Air National Guard as required.

Headquartered at Camp Mabry in Austin, Texas, the TXSG functions as an organized state militia under the authority of Title 32 of the U.S. Code and Chapter 431 of the Texas Government Code. The Governor of Texas has sole control over the Texas State Guard, until the Texas General Assembly approves otherwise.

Current structure[edit]

Governor of Texas Greg Abbott Commander in Chief.
Major General John F. Nichols Texas Adjutant General.

The Texas State Guard is a state defense force that assists and augments Texas military and civil authorities in times of state emergencies, and in on-going support of National Guard units and local communities. They are not part of the federal armed forces command structure, but rather operate purely as a state organized and controlled force.

The Texas State Guard consists of six Civil Affairs Regiments, two Air Wings, a Medical Brigade, and a Maritime Regiment.

Members' entry rank depends on prior federal military service and/or civilian education. Individuals with no prior military service or ROTC training must attend the Basic Orientation Training (BOT) course.

Texas State Guard personnel actively support the state in the event of catastrophic events, and ongoing state military missions. Members receive duty pay [currently $121 daily, regardless of rank] when activated by the Governor and placed on paid state active duty, and starting in 2008, for a limited number of mandatory training days.

The organizational structure follows the federal military component structure, with comparable positions, ranks, protocols, and authorities. Members wear the Texas military uniform according to branch of service (in accordance with branch regulations) in regards to state military forces when conducting activities while on duty. TXSG personnel are also eligible for the same State issued military awards and decorations as members of the Texas Army & Air National Guard. For example, deployed members of the Texas State Guard received the Governor's Unit Citation for Hurricane Katrina and Rita relief in 2005.

The governor is the supreme commander in chief of the Texas State guard, until the Texas General Assembly says otherwise. Article 3, Section 5 of the Texas constitution "mandates that the governor shall be the commander-in-chief of the Army and Navy of this state, and of the Militia, except when they shall be called into the service of the United States. But, the Militia shall not be called into service except in case of rebellion or invasion, and then only when the General Assembly shall declare, by law, that the public safety requires it."[8]


The Texas State Guard has its roots in Stephen F. Austin's colonial militia. On February 18, 1823, Emperor of Mexico, Agustín de Iturbide, authorized Austin who was the leader of the first non-Spanish efforts of Texas settlement "to organize the colonists into a body of the national militia, to preserve tranquility."[1] Austin was appointed to the rank of lieutenant colonel and allowed the colonists to elect all subordinate militia officers. Soon after, Austin’s militia was authorized to make war on Indian tribes who were hostile and molested the settlement. In 1827, in a move contrary to modern perceptions of Anglo-Texan colonists in Mexico, Austin's militia mobilized in support of the Mexican government to put down the Fredonian Rebellion, a group of Americans who tried to declare a part of Texas as an independent republic separate from Mexico.

In 1835, all of the local militias in Texas were annexed by Sam Houston to provide a unified military command for the provisional government of the Republic of Texas. After becoming an independent republic in 1836, these forces were aligned with the Army of the Republic of Texas. In 1845, with the annexation of Texas by the United States, this structure was supplanted by the United States Army, but local militia companies were maintained for ready response. After secession from the Union in 1861, existing militia companies rallied and new militia regiments were formed which were made available to the various armies of the Confederacy. (For example, many Texas companies were assigned to the Army of Northern Virginia.)

It was officially reorganized as the "State Guard" in 1871 during Reconstruction to unify the independent militia companies and regiments throughout the state and continued in operation until 1903, when it was replaced by the nationalized Texas Army National Guard.[2] It was revived in 1941, after thousands of Texas troops were deployed overseas in World War II, to provide state military forces and support for wartime civil defense.

When the National Guard was mobilized for service in the First World War, the federal legislature recognized the need for state troops to replace the National Guard. A law was passed authorizing the formation of home defense forces for the duration of the war. While Texas passed the necessary enabling statutes, it did not form such an organization. As World War II made mobilization of the National Guard again likely, steps were taken to provide for state troops as replacements for the National Guard. The Texas Legislature passed the Defense Act, HB 45, and the Governor signed the bill on 10 February 1941. This time, a force was organized, with the task falling to Brigadier General J. Watt Page, the Adjutant General of Texas. Within a year, the Texas Defense Guard numbered 17,497 officers and enlisted men. This number was in sharp contrast to the 11,633 members of the Texas National Guard mustered into federal service some months before. The Texas Defense Guard was organized into fifty independent battalions, each composed of a varying number of companies and a headquarters.

The federal legislation authorizing them expired on 25 July 1947. This was not taken lightly in some states and most notably in Texas.[citation needed] In that same year, the State Legislature authorized the Texas State Guard Reserve Corps. It was activated in January, 1948. The Reserve Corps continued in existence until ten years after the Congress had once again authorized state guards in 1955. Under statutes enacted by the 59th Legislature, the Texas State Guard Reserve Corps was abolished and Texas State Guard was again authorized and organized on 30 August 1965.

Maj. Liendo Alvaro, a Laredo, Texas native with the Texas State Guard Medical Brigade, talks to a Galveston resident while she is waiting for a bus to leave the island.

First made up of independent battalions, it was later organized along regimental lines, and at one time also included brigade-sized elements. It was at first organized as Infantry and "Internal Security" units. After the early 1970s, it was organized as Military Police with companies assigned to battalions for control and the battalions, in turn, assigned to groups. For several years, there were six Military Police Groups with boundaries generally following those of Texas Department of Public Safety command districts.

In 1979, the 7th Military Police Group was formed to provide for command and control over remaining separate battalions in East Texas. A reorganization in 1980 resulted in formation of the 8th and 9th Military Police Groups in San Antonio and Dallas. The original six groups were headquartered in Fort Worth, Houston, the Rio Grande Valley, Midland, Lubbock, and Austin.

In 1993, Texas State Guard was reorganized into regiments and the old group designations disappeared. Regimental headquarters were established in San Antonio (1st,) Austin (2nd,) Fort Worth (4th,) Houston (8th,) Dallas (19th,) and Lubbock (39th.) In ceremonies held in Killeen in July, 1993, during the Texas State Guard Association convention, the newly organized regiments were presented with their new colors by the incumbent general officers and three retired general officers of the Texas State Guard. For the first time since World War II, the regiments were authorized distinctive unit insignia for wear by assigned personnel. In March, 1995, a seventh regiment, the 9th, was organized in El Paso from elements of the 39th. This added regiment did not survive though and personnel were returned to the 39th in 1999.[3]


The Texas military uniform worn by most of the Texas State Guard is similar to US Army's Army Combat Uniform military uniforms, though with different markings; the Maritime Regiment's uniform is similar to the Marine's MARPAT Digital Desert uniform. Air units wear a Texas variation of the U.S. Air Force's Airman Battle Uniform. Personnel in the Medical Brigade wear the Army ACU style uniform, except for those personnel with prior federal military service who may, at their discretion, wear the uniform of the branch of the federal military under which they served.

Units and formations[edit]

Maj. Gary Sherman, 3rd Battalion, 4th Regiment, Texas State Guard, uses a compass to determine his bearing during a Land Navigation joint training exercise in Henrietta, Texas.

Command Group[edit]

Texas State Guard Headquarters, Camp Mabry, Austin, TX

Engineer Group[edit]

HQ Engineer Group, Camp Mabry, Austin, TX

Army Component[edit]

HQ Army Component, Camp Mabry, Austin,TX [4]

  • 1st Regiment (Alamo Guards) San Antonio, Corpus Christi, l, Zapata.
  • 2nd Regiment (Travis Rifles) Gatesville, Taylor, San Marcos, Austin.
  • 4th Regiment (Panther City Fencibles) Fort Worth, Arlington, Decatur, Wichita Falls, Mineral Wells.
  • 8th Regiment (Terry's Texas Rangers) Houston, Bryan, Huntsville, Beaumont, Port Arthur.
  • 19th Regiment (Parson's Brigade) Dallas, Grand Prairie, Wylie, Kilgore, New Boston.
  • 39th Composite Regiment (Roughnecks) Midland, Lubbock, Amarillo, El Paso.

Air Component[edit]

Formed in 1996, the Air Component Command supports the Texas Air National Guard and provides Defense Support to Civil Authorities, (DSCA).[5]

HQ Air Component Command, Camp Mabry, Austin,TX

HQ 4th Air Wing, Dallas,TX

417th Air Support Group, San Angelo, TX
454th Air Support Group, Dallas, TX
436th Air Support Group, Grand Prairie, TX
482d Air Support Group, Wichita Falls, TX

HQ 5th Air Wing, Camp Mabry, Austin, TX

401st Air Support Group, Camp Mabry, Austin, TX
447th Air Support Group, Ellington Field, Houston, TX
449th Air Support Group, Lackland AFB, San Antonio,TX

Medical Brigade[edit]

HQ Texas State Guard Medical Brigade [nickname "Texas Medical Rangers"][6]

  • Austin Medical Company
  • Conroe Medical Detachment
  • Corpus Christi Medical Company
  • Dallas-Fort Worth Medical Response Group
  • Galveston Medical Response Group
  • Hill Country Medical Company
  • Houston Medical Response Group
  • Rio Grande Valley Medical Group
  • San Antonio - Alamo Medical Response Group
  • Temple Medical Response Group
  • Tyler Medical Response Group
  • Wichita Falls Medical Company

Maritime Regiment[edit]

Established in 2006, the Maritime Regiment serves the state of Texas by providing maritime, littoral, and riverine operational support for homeland defense or in response to man-made or natural disasters, e.g. hurricanes or flooding. Additionally, the Maritime Regiment provides operational support for the Texas Parks & Wildlife Game Wardens and the United States Coast Guard (stationed in Texas).[7]

  • Maritime Regiment (TMAR), Regimental Headquarters, Austin, TX
  • Maritime Regiment (TMAR), 1st Battalion, East Texas
  • Maritime Regiment (TMAR), 2nd Battalion, San Antonio, Austin.
  • Maritime Regiment (TMAR), 3rd Battalion, Dallas, Ft Worth
  • Maritime Regiment (TMAR), Combined Engineering Command, Statewide
  • Maritime Regiment (TMAR), Regimental Band, Austin, TX


Recent operations and deployments[edit]


U.S. Armed Forces awards may be worn on the Texas State Guard uniform.
Texas Military Forces awards available to Texas State Guard members:

Texas State Guard (TXSG) Awards:

Texas State Guard Unit Awards:

  • Texas Governor's Unit Citation.svg Texas Governor's Unit Citation
  • USA - TX State Guard Meritorious Unit Award.png Texas State Guard Meritorious Unit Award
  • Texas State Guard Organizational Excellence Award.svg Texas State Guard Organizational Excellence Award

See also[edit]


External links[edit]