In the wake of a Justice Department filing declaring that National Guard troops can form and join unions while serving on state active duty orders, a growing number of Texas troops assigned to the U.S.-Mexico border for Operation Lone Star have organized under an existing public sector union.
The first meeting of the Texas State Employees Union’s Military Caucus, which consists of troops on state active duty orders assigned to the border, is scheduled for next week, according to a soldier leading organizing efforts. The soldier requested anonymity due to fear of retaliation from Texas Military Department leadership ahead of the meeting.
The soldier affiliated with the union, whose identity Army Times has verified, posted about the upcoming meeting in a Reddit community dedicated to sharing news about the border mission.
They are the first-known troops to organize while in a state active duty status, though a small subset of full-time Guard troops, dual-status technicians, are already unionized in their civilian capacity as federal employees.