The Texas Legislature should expand and formalize the Texas A&M Corps to other state colleges and otherwise formalize the normative commissioning process of state troops via this system.
Many youth-auxiliaries such as Civil Air Patrol and Junior ROTC provide valuable venues for educating young people about civil defense, signal and communication, flight and boat operation. Students in such programs develop self-confidence and a solid military bearing. Texas should establish and encourage a comprehensive youth auxiliary for the Texas Military Forces, and encourage that chapters be established in Texas High Schools.
Texas should support and encourage participation in state military forces including but not limited to:
Opening up the purchase of state insurance to any activeTexas Guardmembers. This would not be free to participants but could actually reduce the costs by adding a population of healthy soldiers to the plan. State troops would worry less about holding a certain type of job simply to have access to health insurance, and instead pursue careers that make them more accommodating to state active duty deployments.
Freezing property tax for all active Texas Guardmembers.
Any member of the Texas Guard should have access to affordable loans available via the Texas Veterans Land Board.
Enforce existing benefits that are currently ignored. For instance, Texas Guard members are not required to pay tolls while on duty, but the Texas Toll Authorities provide no mechanism for members to avoid paying these tolls. Also, Texas Guardsmen are not required to pay property taxes directed toward roads and bridges, but municipalities have narrowly construed this to essentially nullify this provision.
All branches of the Texas Guard should be sufficiently funded so that troops are always compensated for drill attendance, training, and deployments.
All Texas Guard members should have access to state-provided life, disability, and accidental death and dismemberment insurance.
Texas should seek to strengthen its military for state-active-duty contingencies by establishing a statewide high-frequency communication network in collaboration with the Amateur Radio community, with equipment that can be used for routine amateur communications in peacetime, and which can serve as a backbone to be leveraged by trained Texas Guard members on military channels during times of emergency.