Texas Military Forces
Hall of Honor
General Allen D. Rooke was born in Victoria, Texas 11 July 1892. A
member of a family steeped in Texas history and a grandson of a former
superintendent of the United States Military Academy, he attended the
West Texas Military Academy, where he was a star athlete and Cadet
Officer. He graduated from the University of Texas and at the outbreak
of World War I; he began his military career when he attended the first
Officer's Training Camp at Leon Springs, Texas. Upon graduation, on 15
August 1917, he served with the 90th Division, the 86th Division, the
40th Division and the 803rd Pioneer Infantry. He was discharged as a
Captain on 13 August 1919.
General Rooke returned to ranching and the banking business in Refugio
County, but immediately prior to World War II upon the mobilization of
the Texas National Guard, he helped organize and commanded the "Royal
Irish Regiment of Refugio County", a forerunner of the Texas Defense
Guard. In January 1941, his regiment was incorporated into the Texas
Defense Guard as the 21st Regiment with Major Rooke as commander.
Throughout the war he was very active in State military affairs while
simultaneously attending his extensive banking and ranching businesses.
He was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel and continued to serve until the
State Guard was disbanded on 31 August 1947.
When the State Reserve Corps was organized in January 1948, he again
volunteered and was commissioned Colonel commanding the 9th Infantry
Regiment. He was promoted to Brigadier General on 19 August 1949 and was
assigned Deputy Commander of the Texas State Guard Reserve Corps on 12
December 1953. On 15 December 1959 he was promoted to Major General. He
was transferred to the Honorary Reserve 1 December 1961. He passed away
3 May 1964.
Throughout his life he was a strong advocate of military preparedness
and the results of his efforts are generally regarded nationwide as the
model for all state defense forces in being today.
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