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The Texas Military Forces (TMF) are the principle instrument through which the Texas Military Department (TMD) executes security policy for Texas, which has the second largest population and border in the United States, and the tenth largest economy in the world. After the United States Armed Forces, the Texas Military Forces are the most capable, mission-ready military in the United States.[3] They currently include the Texas Army National Guard, Texas Air National Guard, and Texas State Guard. It formerly included the Texas Rangers, Texas Army, Texas Navy, and Texas Marines. They are commanded by the Adjutant General of Texas, who is appointed by and subordinate to the Governor of Texas.

Texas Military Forces
Texas Army National Guard subdued seal.jpgTexas Air National Guard subdued seal.jpgTexas State Guard subdued seal.jpg
Seals of the three service branches
Founded18 February 1823; 196 years ago (1823)
Service branches
HeadquartersBuilding Eight
Camp Mabry, Austin, Texas
30°18′42.173″N 97°45′38.338″W
Commander-in-ChiefGovernor Greg Abbott
Adjutant GeneralMajor General Tracy R. Norris
Senior Enlisted LeaderChief Master Sergeant Michael E. Cornitius
Joint Staff DirectorBrigadier General Thomas Suelzer
Executive DirectorShelia Taylor
Military ageVaries;18-70 for voluntary service
ConscriptionInactive; Authorized:
Title 4, Sub. C, Ch. 431,
Sub. E, Sec. 431.073
Active personnel23,200 (2017)[1]
Budget$101.1 million, FY2017[2]
Percent of GDP58% federal
0.00002% of TX GDP

Texas Military Forces are authorized under Title 32 of the United States Code. Texas Army and Air National Guard units are also subject to Title 10 of the United States Code. Since the September 11 attacks, Texas National Guard units have been deployed under command of the United States Department of Defense more than any other state, with more than 30,000 service members deployed worldwide from 613 units, and over 150,000 combat flight hours.

The Texas military was established by Stephen F. Austin on February 18, 1823, under the authorization of the emperor of Mexico, Agustín de Iturbide, who directed Austin "to organize the colonists into a body of the national militia, to preserve tranquility," as well as to make war on Native American tribes who were hostile to newly established Texas settlements. All of the Texan militias would come under the command of Sam Houston during the Texas War of Independence between Texas and Mexico beginning in 1835 and ending in 1836 after Texas secured its independence to become the new nation of the Republic of Texas.

From 1836 to 1845, the Texas militias being a part of the Army of the Republic of Texas fell under the command of the President of the Republic of Texas. After Texas became the 28th US state in 1845, the state military and its various branches have fallen under the command of the Governor of Texas.

Texas National GuardEdit

The Texas National Guard consists of the Joint Force Headquarters for Texas (JFHQ-TX), the Texas Army National Guard, the Texas Air National Guard and the Domestic Operations Command (DOMOPS). The Guard is administered by the Adjutant General of Texas, an appointee of the governor of Texas. The Constitution of the United States specifically charges the National Guard with dual federal and state missions. Those functions range from limited actions during non-emergency situations to full scale law enforcement of martial law when local law enforcement officials can no longer maintain civil control.

The National Guard may be called into federal service in response to a call by the President or Congress.[4]

Major General Tracy R. Norris Texas Adjutant General

When National Guard troops are called to federal service, the President serves as Commander-in-Chief.[5] The federal mission assigned to the National Guard is: "To provide properly trained and equipped units for prompt mobilization for war, National emergency or as otherwise needed."

The Governor may call individuals or units of the Texas National Guard into state service during emergencies or to assist in special situations which lend themselves to use of the National Guard. The state mission assigned to the National Guard is: "To provide trained and disciplined forces for domestic emergencies or as otherwise provided by state law."

The Texas State Guard is a military entity authorized by both the State Code of Texas,[6] U.S. Code[7] and executive order. Additionally, the U.S. Constitution grants the states the right to organize a state militia.[8] The Texas State Guard (TXSG) is the state's authorized militia and is partly composed of retired and former active, guard and reserve military personnel. Other members include those with no prior military service plus selected professional persons who volunteer their time and talents in further service to Texas.

The current adjutant general for the Texas National Guard is Major General Tracy R. Norris. She is the 52nd Adjutant General for the State of Texas and the first female to hold that post in Texas.

Texas Army National GuardEdit

Texas Army National Guard Insignia

Formations of the Texas Army National Guard include the 36th Infantry Division, the 56th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, the 72nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, the 36th Combat Aviation Brigade, the 71st Battlefield Surveillance Brigade, the 36th Sustainment Brigade, the 176th Engineer Brigade, the 136th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, the 136th Expeditionary Signal Battalion, and the 136th Regiment (CA) (RTI).

The current Assistant Adjutant General-Army, for Texas is Major General William L. Smith.

Texas Air National GuardEdit

US-AirNationalGuard Emblem

The Texas Air National Guard is composed of the 149th Fighter Wing, the 136th Airlift Wing, the 147th Attack Wing, the 254th Combat Communications Group, the 272nd Engineering Installation Squadron, and the 204th Security Forces Squadron. The 149th Fighter Wing prepares pilots for combat, the 136th Airlift Wing flies C-130s in-and out of theater and the 147th Reconnaissance Wing has recently acquired Predators to be the eyes in the hostile sky.

The 136th Airlift Wing in Fort Worth flies C-130 cargo aircraft carrying personnel and equipment around the world. The 531st Air Force Band is co-located with the 136th Airlift Wing. The 147th Attack Wing, headquartered in Houston on the Ellington Field Joint Reserve Base, provides a worldwide deployable dual-role fighter/attack capability while covering the Gulf Coast from Brownsville, Texas to New Orleans, Louisiana in the Air Sovereignty Alert mission.

The 111th Attack Squadron is attached to the 147th Attack Wing. The Squadron flies the MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aerial vehicle.

The 149th Fighter Wing is headquartered in San Antonio on Lackland Air Force Base. The fighter wing is assigned to the US Air Forces Air Education and Training Command and is one of the primary "school houses" for F-16 pilots. The 182nd Fighter Squadron is attached to the 149th Fighter Wing. The Squadron flies the Block 30 F-16C/D Fighting Falcon dual-role fighter.

The 204th Security Forces Squadron is located at Biggs Army Airfield, Fort Bliss, El Paso. They are the only security forces unit in the Air National Guard. Since September 11, 2001 attacks, members of the 204th SFS have seen duty in central and southwest Asia, in Africa and onboard ship in the Persian Gulf. They have served on installations in several states in the U.S. and taught military base defense in Latin American countries. The unit still has members serving in the Iraq area of operations as part of Aerospace Expeditionary Forces.

The 254th Combat Communications Group, located at Hensley Field in Dallas since 20 Sept. 2010, provides worldwide command, control, communications and computer (C4) systems, information management and combat support. The 254th's primary mission is to provide planning and engineering for Combat Communications Squadrons that provide tactical (high-frequency radio, telephone, satellite and network) communications and terminal air traffic control services to support emergency U.S. Air Force requirements. The 254th provides a staff element for management of communications personnel and equipment when deployed in support of Air Force missions worldwide in locations where these capabilities don't exist, and are prepared to do so under hostile conditions and during peacetime as well.

The 272d Engineering Installation Squadron, headquartered in La Porte, provides engineering, installation and relocation of command, control, communications, computers and intelligence systems.

Domestic Operations CommandEdit

The Domestic Operations Command is focused primarily on Domestic Operations including Defense Support to Civil Authorities (DSCA), Homeland Defense, and all military response to State emergencies. DOMOPS consists of the JFHQ-TX Joint Staff, Joint Task Force-136 (Maneuver Enhancement Brigade), 176th Engineer Brigade, and Task Force Signal. Joint Task Force-136 (Maneuver Enhancement Brigade) is custodian of the Department of Defense-mandated, National Guard Bureau-certified Homeland Response Force Mission. This mission bridges the gap between civilian first responders and National Guard assets during stateside emergencies, such as natural disasters, domestic terrorist attacks, or mass-casualty accidents. JTF-136 (MEB) fulfills the requirements of the Homeland Response Force mission through its subordinate units, to include the 6th Civil Support Team (6th CST), and 6th Chemical Biological Radiological Nuclear (CBRN) Enhanced Response Force Package.

The 6th WMD Civil Support Team was one of the first of 57 teams that are spread across the United States of America that is tasked with immediate, less than 4 hour response to any chemical, biological, and/or radiological incident. The 22-man joint Army/Air Guard team can self-sustain for 72 hours of continuous operation and is constantly training to stay on top of the technology and techniques for sampling, evidence collection, identification, and education of the possibilities that the team may be alerted for.

The team members initially sign-on to the team through the Active Guard Reserve (AGR) program for three years. Through this time, each member goes to Civil Support Skills Course at Fort Leonard Wood, MO, and many advanced WMD detection, sampling and laboratory courses.

6th CST has deployed to numerous actual and standby missions including 2002 Salt Lake Winter Olympics, 2003 Shuttle Columbia Disaster Response, 2004 NFL Super Bowl (XXXVIII) in Houston, 2005 Hurricane Rita, 2008 Hurricane Ike, 2011 NFL Super Bowl (VXV) in Arlington, and 2011 World Series, the 2011 Magnablend Chemical fire, and the 2013 West Fertilizer Plant explosion[permanent dead link]

Texas State GuardEdit

Texas State Guard Insignia

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

Texas State Guard personnel actively support the state in the event of catastrophic events and ongoing military missions. Members receive duty pay when activated by the Governor and placed on paid state active duty, and starting in 2008, for a limited number of mandatory training days. At this time duty pay is an honorarium of $129 per day, regardless of rank. Other service is not compensated.

The organizational structure follows the active 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 military awards and decorations as members of the Texas Army and 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 Texas military uniform worn by most of the Texas State Guard is similar to US Army's "ACU" military uniforms, though with different markings; the Maritime Regiment's uniform is similar to the Marine's MARPAT Digital Desert uniform.

The Texas State Guard is a military entity authorized by both the State Code of Texas and Executive Order and is the state's only authorized militia and assumes the state mission of the Texas National Guard in the event the National Guard has been deployed.

The Texas State Guard is composed of many retired and former active, guard and reserve military personnel as well as non-prior service civilians who volunteer their time and talents in further service to their state. All are eligible to wear the Texas State Guard uniform once their application is approved and they are formally sworn in. Non-prior service State Guardsmen (and women) are required to attend a Military Basic Orientation Training during Annual Training as well as ongoing military training at monthly drills. Texas State Guard is an unarmed force, though a number of members compete against National and Active Army in shooting qualifications and competitions.

These forces are federally recognized, but are separate from the National Guard and cannot be federalized, but rather serve the state exclusively. 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."[9]

Units of the Texas State Guard:[10]

  • 1st Regiment (Alamo Guards) San Antonio, Corpus Christi, Weslaco, Zapata
  • 2nd Regiment (Travis Rifles) Temple, Brownwood, Clifton, Killeen, Waco, Austin
  • 4th Regiment (Panther City Fencibles) Arlington, Fort Worth, Denton, 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) Lubbock, El Paso, Midland, Amarillo
  • 4th Air Wing
  • 5th Air Wing
  • Maritime Regiment, serving statewide
  • Galveston Medical Company
  • Medical Brigade
  • Austin Medical Company

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Sunset Advisory Commission Staff Report 2018-2019 8th Legislature" (PDF). Texas Military Department. Retrieved 31 August 2019.
  2. ^ "Sunset Advisory Commission Staff Report 2018-2019 8th Legislature" (PDF). Texas Military Department. Retrieved 31 August 2019.
  3. ^ Foster, Caitlin (February 19, 2019). "These 6 states have National Guard forces that could rival a foreign army".
  4. ^ "10 U.S. Code § 12406 - National Guard in Federal service: call". Legal Information Institute. Cornell University Law School.
  5. ^ "Commander of Militia". The Heritage Guide to The Constitution. The Heritage Foundation.
  6. ^ "Chapter 437 of the Texas Government Code". Texas Constitution and Statutes. State of Texas.
  7. ^ "32 U.S. Code § 109 - Maintenance of other troops". Legal Information Institute. Cornell University Law School.
  8. ^ "Legal Basis of the National Guard". Army National Guard. Army National Guard. Archived from the original on 2013-05-21. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  9. ^ State Constitutions of the United States by Robert Maddex; page 376
  10. ^

External linksEdit