National Guard Association Awards Tester with Highest Honor
Senator Receives Harry S. Truman Award for Distinguished Service in Support of National Defense
(U.S. Senate) - The National Guard Association of the United States honored U.S. Senator Jon Tester with its highest honor for contributions to the defense and security of the United States.
National Guard Association President Brigadier General Roy Robinson presented Tester with the Harry S. Truman Award for Distinguished Service in Support of National Defense for his legislative efforts and work to secure the National Guard with the equipment, health care, and benefits they need.
"The Harry S. Truman Award is our association's highest honor," said retired Brig. Gen. J. Roy Robinson, the President of the National Guard Association of the United States. "Previous recipients have been U.S. presidents, members of Congress and senior military leaders. Each made sustained, significant contributions to the security of our nation. Senator Jon Tester is worthy of inclusion in this distinguished group of patriots."
"I am deeply honored and truly humbled to receive this award," said Tester. "The United States relies on the National Guard more than ever to keep our nation safe and to assist in natural disasters at home. I will never stop fighting to honor those who bravely serve our nation, especially our citizen soldiers and airmen of the National Guard."
As Ranking Member of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee, Tester authored the Harry W. Colmery Veterans Education Assistance Act with Republican Chairman Johnny Isakson. Their bipartisan bill was signed into law August 16, 2017 and makes more Guardsmen eligible for the education benefits they earned.
Tester also secured seven new firefighting buckets for the Montana Army National Guard in time for the 2018 fire season. Specifically, Tester secured two firefighting bucket kits for CH-47 helicopters and five firefighting bucket kits for UH-60 helicopters.
Recently Tester successfully pushed the Air Force to commit to build a new aircraft apron to park the Montana Air National Guard's C-130 fleet. He then secured the full funding for the new aircraft apron in the 2019 Military Construction and Veterans' Affairs Appropriations Bill.
Tester also introduced the Care and Readiness Enhancement (CARE) for Reservists Act to allow Guardsmen and Reservists to access readjustment counseling and outpatient mental health care at VA Vet Centers. His bill also improves the collaboration between the VA and the Defense Department to provide comprehensive mental health services to Guardsmen and Reservists.
The National Guard Association has awarded the Harry S. Truman Award for Distinguished Service to civilian and military leaders since 1968. Recipients have made sustained contributions of exceptional and far-reaching magnitude to the defense and security of the United States in a manner worthy of recognition at the national level and include American Generals, Presidents, Senators and Representatives. Tester shares the 2018 award with Republican Chairman Johnny Isakson.