1. As the new Adjutant General for the Texas Military Forces (TXMF), I would like each of you to know it is an honor and privilege to serve with such a fine group of Soldiers, Airmen, civilians and families.
2. Purpose. The purpose of this document is to issue my primary policy letter forming the foundation from which all other Texas Military Forces (TXMF) policies and guidance flow. Additionally, it provides my vision for moving the TXMF to the next level and details my philosophy on leadership. In the absence of a specific policy in a particular area, leaders will find guidance in this policy letter to enable them to act within my intent regardless of the situation.
3. Priorities for Leaders:
a. Take care of Soldiers, Airmen, civilians and families. As leaders, our number one task is to act in the best interests of our troops and families. Put "personnel" concerns above "personal" concerns--always. Know our people; give high priority to actions that will help the organization serve people better; prove by your actions that our people are your top priority. Every Soldier and Airman should feel like the valued service member he or she is. I will not accept anything less. Neither should you.
b. Develop your people. Part of taking care of our Soldiers and Airmen is helping them grow professionally. Mentor them; delegate (but verify accomplishment); guide them in their appropriate career path.
c. Be open to new ideas; help leaders stay on course. I charge my staff: give me expert advice. No leaders are perfect. We need accurate counsel to stay on the right azimuth. Listen to one another; have the courage to speak up. Do it all professionally, with mutual respect.
d. Think long-term. I will think and plan 35 years out. While that period may be a stretch for some TXMF leaders, all of us need to think well beyond our current assignments in order to construct the best possible future for troops, families, the state and nation. Think about what you should be doing today to construct that future. Think of the impact of your actions in the long run. Help create the organization that you would be proud to have your children and your friends' children join. At a minimum, when you are re-assigned, leave your areas of
responsibility better off than you received them, and provide your replacement with a cogent plan for the road ahead.
e. Start with trust--expect the best. When we deploy in support of our state or nation, we cannot requisition a climate of trust--we must foster that today. Engender trust through operating with integrity, communicating with transparency, and staying true to our promises and responsibilities. Cultivate trust every day.
f. Don't be afraid of failure--it means you are trying. If leaders are afraid to make mistakes, we won't improve as an organization. Do the risk analysis; assess the variables; but be prepared to underwrite the mistakes of your people and take responsibility for them.
g. Be good stewards. As TAG, I secure relevant missions and equipment sets for the future. To do that well, I need your help. First of all, we need to take prudent care of the budget and equipment we have today. Secondly, the TXMF, judged by any standard, must be widely and consistently regarded as a model of outstanding stewardship. Our reputation as stewards must be the very best. Thirdly, our citizens and political leaders must become familiar with the great services our Soldiers and Airman render our state and nation. In short, we must clearly demonstrate that we merit the public trust.
h. Conduct business in a professional, ethical and legal manner. I will tolerate nothing less.
i. Be ready. Finally, it goes without saying that we need to be ready to go when called--fully trained, deployable and equipped to do the job. A key component to our readiness is the preparation of our families. Single parents need to have a proper family care plan and those with a spouse need to ensure that they are fully integrated into their unit's family readiness support structure.
4. If we work together, we can achieve all this and more. I am confident that the proud tradition of excellence earned by the TXMF will continue into the future. Thank you for your service and your sacrifice.
JOHN F. NICHOLS
Major General, TXANG
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