Maj. Gen. Tracy Norris becomes 1st woman to command Texas Military Department
By JONATHAN TILOVE | The Austin-American Statesman | Published: December 3, 2018
AUSTIN (Tribune News Service) — Gov. Greg Abbott Monday named Army Maj. Gen. Tracy Norris of Austin as the adjutant general of Texas, the first woman to command the Texas Military Department, made up of the Texas Army National Guard, Texas Air National Guard and the Texas State Guard.
Norris, who was serving as deputy adjutant general for Army, will succeed Maj. Gen. John F. Nichols, who became the 51st adjutant general for Texas in 2011, and is retiring at the end of the year.
Norris served two deployments in Iraq. During the second deployment she served as chief of staff of the 36th Infantry Division, responsible for oversight of command and control throughout nine southern provinces of Iraq for part of 2010 and 2011. She has also served as commander of the 176th Engineer Brigade.
"Major General Tracy Norris has a distinguished career and I am honored to appoint her adjutant general of Texas," Abbott said. "General Norris exemplifies the values of service and sacrifice, and her record is nothing short of impeccable. Under her leadership, the Texas Military Department will continue its strong legacy of service to the Lone Star State."
Her decorations and awards include the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal with four oak leaf clusters, the Army Commendation Medal with four oak leaf clusters, and the Iraq Campaign Medal with two oak leaf clusters. A native of Delhi, La., Norris also received the Humanitarian Service Medal for service during Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, and is a recipient of the Department of State Franklin Award as well as the Army Engineer Association's Bronze Order of the de Fleury Medal.
The adjutant general is responsible for providing ready, trained forces to the governor in support of state operations, as well as providing Texas Army and Air Guard troops to the president in support of federal missions.
Norris received an Army ROTC scholarship and began her military career in 1984 after graduating from Florida State University with a degree in anthropology. She also has a master's degree in urban and regional planning from Florida State, a master's in strategic studies from the Army War College, and a master's in business administration from McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas.