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Texas Military Forces Ordered To Be Armed Following Deadly Attack

Ryan E. Poppe

Over the weekend,  Gov. Greg Abbott ordered troops serving in Texas National Guard units to be armed while on base.   But those same security requirements appear not to be in place for recruiters working in the civilian population

Abbott’s order is in response to the shooting deaths of three Marines and a U.S. Navy officer at a Tennessee recruiting center.

Marine and Navy recruiting offices in Northwest Austin display illuminated signs and recruiting posters, but from a distance the offices appear to be closed. Upon closer inspection, however, it’s easy to see that one office is locked. Three Marine recruiters sit inside at their desk, but have little comment when asked if they have new policies aimed at keeping them safe.

One Marine recruiter declined comment and quickly closed and again locked the door.

The Army’s Recruiting Battalion based in San Antonio says recruiters regularly receive training on how to respond to a shooting in an urban setting. Gen.Ray Odierno, Army Chief of Staff, says he's looking at security around the recruiting centers, but there are few details.

Officials at the Pentagon say U.S. Defense Secretary Ashton Carter is asking all branches of the military to make recommendations on what would be the best way ensures safety at the military’s off-base recruitment centers.  

Abbott’s order only applies to members of Texas military forces who are at one of the states 21 National Guard facilities. Canton Republican Rep. Dan Flynn has served in the Texas National Guard for almost two decades.  He says it’s important to protect troops while they are running drills and training for the next natural disaster or threat.

“It does give a sense of more clarity and understanding and maybe feeling a lot better that we’re not just going to be a soft target,” said Flynn.

A joint team of military forces is currently discussing the logistics of implementing Abbott’s order. Six other state governors have sent out similar orders to their state guards.   

Ryan started his radio career in 2002 working for Austin’s News Radio KLBJ-AM as a show producer for the station's organic gardening shows. This slowly evolved into a role as the morning show producer and later as the group’s executive producer.