WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Roger Wicker, R-Miss., received the Harry S. Truman Award for Distinguished Service in Support of National Defense from the National Guard Association of the United States (NGAUS). The award, which recognizes individuals who have made “sustained contributions of exceptional and far-reaching magnitude to the defense and security of the United States,” is the top honor an individual can receive from the Association.
“America’s National Guard is an integral part of our Armed Forces, allowing soldiers to serve their state and nation in uniform while they remain active in their communities,” Wicker said. “I have been proud to work alongside these service members and lend a listening ear as they fight for the benefits that they deserve. It is an honor to accept the Harry S. Truman Award from the National Guard Association of the United States in recognition of this work. ”
The NGAUS recognized Wicker in part for his work on the National Guard and Reserve Forces Benefit Parity Act of 2018, which was signed into law as part of the Fiscal Year 2019 and 2020 National Defense Authorization Act. The legislation represented the final piece of a years-long effort to ensure National Guard and Reserve members were entitled to the same benefits as their active-duty counterparts while deployed.
Past recipients of the Truman Award include Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush and Mississippi statesmen Senator Trent Lott, Senator John C. Stennis, Rep. G.V. “Sonny” Montgomery, and Rep. Gene Taylor.
Wicker has been a longtime supporter of the National Guard and U.S. Armed Forces, serving now as the second-highest ranking Republican member of the Senate Armed Services Committee.
Wicker served on active duty in the U.S. Air Force for four years and then joined the Air Force Reserve. He retired from the Reserve in 2004 with the rank of lieutenant colonel.