This weekend, I became a Second Lieutenant in the Texas State Guard. I received my commission at Camp Mabry in Austin with seven of my Officer Candidate School classmates. About eight months ago I enlisted in the Guard in order to serve Texas in times of natural disasters, emergency response, and homeland security. The pandemic and civil unrest were stark reminders to me that I needed to serve my community, state, and country in times of need. I decided that state military service was a great way to do that.
The training that we received was intense, but also a lot of fun. I trained for and passed the Army Physical Fitness Test, learned a lot about military leadership, and picked up new skills like land navigation and search and rescue techniques. OCS culminated in a 24-hour mission in near-freezing temperatures without sleep, very little food and water, and lots of physical and mental obstacles along the way. The training was tough, but very rewarding. I learned a lot about myself, especially since I decided to enlist at the age of 39. I am very excited to receive my assignment, continue training, and to lead troops in the field.
I am grateful to my entire family for all of their support and encouragement along the way, especially
Randan Marie Steinhauser. She was my rock throughout this process, and was patient with me and my new commitments. My Dad, Mike Steinhauser, pinned my new rank, and SFC
Brent Connett rendered my first salute as a 2LT. Derrick Dortch encouraged me to look into the Guard, and provided invaluable advice and guidance from day one. I could not have completed OCS without the support from these individuals, my seven classmates, and the entire TXSG OCS cadre. I am very grateful to all of you!
Brendan Steinhauser is a national political strategist focused on campaigns, media, and public policy.