Governor Abbott Reappoints Five To Texas Military Preparedness Commission
Governor Greg Abbott has reappointed Tom Duncavage, Benjamin Miranda, Jr., Annette L. Sobel, M.D., Michael Bob Starr, and Timothy “Bounce” Strawther to the Texas Military Preparedness Commission for terms set to expire on February 1, 2029. The Commission's goal is to preserve, protect, expand, and attract new military missions, assets, and installations. Additionally, the Commission encourages defense-related businesses to expand or relocate in Texas.
Tom Duncavage of League City serves as the senior engineer and simulation branch concept exploration laboratory manager for the Automation and Robotics Division at NASA Johnson Space Center. Duncavage, a retired United States Marine Corps Lieutenant Colonel with 23 years of active and reserve service, has previously served as an assistant chief engineer at NASA Headquarters, a flight test engineer for Naval Air Test Center, and a supervisory engineer for Naval Air Systems Command. He is a member of the Marine Corps Reserve Association, the United States Navy Test Pilot School Alumni Association, the Houston Military Affairs Committee, the Marine Corps League, and the University of Houston’s William P. Hobby Jr. Center for Public Policy. He supports the Wounded Warrior Project and the Xena Project. Additionally, he is a four-time Blue Star Parent, with all four of his children being active-duty combat officers across the Air Force, Navy, and Marines. Duncavage received a Bachelor of Science in Physics from Providence College and is a National Security Fellow at the Maxwell School at Syracuse University.
Benjamin Miranda, Jr. of El Paso is the deputy senior director of Operational Business Development at Endeavors, a nonprofit organization serving vulnerable people in crisis through innovative, personalized approaches. He is responsible for ensuring the success of the development, implementation, operation, and expansion of Endeavors’ many lines of service. He also creates and maintains strategic partnerships with local, state, and federal government and stakeholders to promote Endeavors and seek support for the expansion of programs. He is the co-owner and owner of veteran-owned businesses in Texas. Additionally, he serves on the board of directors for the El Paso Homeless Coalition-Continuum of Care and is the co-chair for the 151st Veteran Affairs' Community Veterans Engagement Board. A 24-year veteran of the United States Air Force, he rose to the Air Force’s highest rank of Chief Master Sergeant. In the Air Force, he served in various senior executive leadership positions in law enforcement, force protection, anti-terrorism, international military affairs, and professional military education. He deployed in support of Operations Enduring Freedom, Iraqi Freedom, New Dawn, Unified Response, and multiple counter-drug operations in Latin America. He was awarded the Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal with six Oak Leaf Clusters, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal with one Service Star, and International Legion of Merit—Cooperation System of the American Air Force. He is a lifetime member of the Disabled American Veterans and the Air Force Sergeants Associations. Miranda received a Bachelor of Science in Social Services from Wayland Baptist University and a Master of Science in Educational Leadership from Walden University. Additionally, Ben is a graduate and alumni of the George W. Bush Institute’s Stand-To Veteran Leadership Program.
Annette L. Sobel, M.D. of Lubbock is an adjunct professor at the Department of Medical Education and at the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Texas Tech University (TTU), adjunct professor of electrical and computer engineering at TTU, and an adjunct professor at the TTU Health Science Center School of Nursing. She is a former distinguished member of the technical staff at the Sandia National Laboratory in Albuquerque, New Mexico and guest scientist at Los Alamos National Laboratory. Previously, she served as director of intelligence for the National Guard Bureau in Arlington, Virginia; Homeland Security director and deputy secretary for public safety, New Mexico; senior advisor to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, Defense Threat Reduction Agency; and assistant secretary of defense in the field of countering chemical biological radiological weapons. She served as chair of the Permanent Monitoring Panel for mitigation of acts of terrorism for the World Federation of Scientists. She achieved over 20 years of military service in 2008 and retired as a Major General in the Arizona Air National Guard with an honorable discharge with prior service in the United States Army, during which she held several medical commands. She is board president of the Red Cross for the South Plains and Panhandle and a board member of the Women’s Protective Services. Additionally, she is vice president of West Texas Susan G. Komen, chairman and board member of the Lubbock Veterans Advisory Committee, and a board member of the Boy Scouts of America, South Plains Council. She is also a fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians and the Aerospace Medical Association. She is one of a small number of non-nurses to be elected Honorary Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing and is a Fellow of the International Association of Aviation and Space Medicine. Sobel received a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry and Computer Science from Rutgers University, a Doctor of Medicine from Case Western Reserve University, and a Master of Science in Aerospace Medicine and Human Factors from Wright State University. She currently serves on the United States Air Force Scientific Advisory Board. Sobel is recipient of multiple awards and recognition from NATO, Anti-Defamation League, and community service organizations.
Michael Bob Starr of Abilene is retired from the United States Airforce after serving 23 years. Following his retirement from the Air Force, he was the executive director of Global Samaritan Resources until his full retirement in 2021. Additionally, he serves as the founder, director, and head coach of Abilene Sport Fencing and on the executive committee for the Abilene Regional Growth Alliance. Starr received a bachelor's degree in economics from the United States Airforce Academy, a Master of Business and Government Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, and a Master of Art and Science from Air University.
Timothy "Bounce" Strawther of Fredericksburg is the lead executive for San Antonio at Lockheed Martin Corporation. He is a member of the Air Force Association, the United States Air Force Academy Association of Graduates, and Military Officers Association. He serves on the board of directors for I Care San Antonio, The Dee Howard Foundation, and Virtual Flight Academy and as an advisor for Hallmark University. Additionally, he is an honorary commander of the 12th Flying Training Wing and of the 433rd Airlift Wing. He served in the United States Air Force from 1983-2009 and is a graduate and former instructor at the USAF Fighter Weapons School. Strawther received a Bachelor of Science from the United States Air Force Academy, a Master of Arts in Strategic Studies from Air University, and a Master of Arts in Public Administration from Valdosta State University.
These appointments are subject to Senate Confirmation.