The Army chief of staff, Louisiana’s governor and a former co-chair of the House National Guard and Reserve Caucus headline the list of 2022 NGAUS individual award recipients.
Ultimately, the association board of directors approved 79 individuals for one of 12 different awards. Each honoree was nominated by an adjutant general, state/territory Guard association or a NGAUS board member.
The association will present many of the awards at the 144th General Conference & Exhibition, Aug. 26-29 in Columbus, Ohio.
Gen. James McConville, the Army chief of staff, and Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards, a Democrat, are co-recipients of the association’s highest honor, the Harry S. Truman Award.
Created by the NGAUS board in 1968 and named for the former president and Guard officer, recipients have made sustained contributions of exceptional and far-reaching magnitude to the defense and security of the U.S. in a manner worth national recognition.
There have been only 51 recipients. They include U.S. presidents, congressional members, cabinet-level secretaries, governors and senior general officers.
McConville is the first serving Army chief of staff to be conferred the award since Gen. William Westmoreland in 1969.
A U.S. Military Academy at West Point graduate, McConville has more than four decades in uniform, including three years as the Army’s senior officer.
His nomination paperwork lists multiple accomplishments, including that his use "of the Guard for the full range of Army mission ensured the National Guard remains the world premier combat reserve force."
Edwards is also a West Point grad. He served eight years in the Army before separating to return home and attend law school. Edwards has been Louisiana governor and commander in chief of the Louisiana National Guard since 2016.
His nomination mentions his leadership of “Louisiana’s effort to pioneer groundbreaking methods to its cybersecurity response plans and methods.”
Edwards is the third governor to receive the Truman Award.
Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, is the recipient of the association’s second-highest award this year.
The Montgomery Medal, first presented in 2004, recognizes an individual or organization who provides outstanding support in the pursuit of NGAUS objectives.
The award is named for Rep. G.V. "Sonny" Montgomery of Mississippi, a strong Guard advocate for more than 30 years in the House.
Ryan’s nomination notes his sponsorship of several bills to improve service opportunities and benefits for Guard soldiers and airmen.
Eight current or former federal lawmakers, two governors and one state lawmaker will receive the Charles Dick Medal of Merit, which recognizes contributions to the Guard by elected officials.
The medal is named for Maj. Gen. Charles Dick, the NGAUS president from 1902 to 1909, an Ohio National Guard officer and member of Congress.
Dick was instrumental in passing the Dick Acts of 1903 and 1908, establishing the foundation of the modern National Guard.
More than 50 current or retired Guard soldiers and airmen are additionally among this year’s honorees, including 33 company-grade or warrant officers.
The list includes a lieutenant colonel from New Jersey and a staff sergeant from Maryland being recognized for risking their lives to save other people.
To see the full list of 2022 NGAUS individual award recipients, visit ngaus.org/about-ngaus/awards/2022-award-recipients.
- By John Goheen