Harry S. Truman Award


The Harry S. Truman Award for Distinguished Service in Support of National Defense, authorized by the NGAUS Board of Directors in 1968, is the highest recognition conferred upon an individual by the Association.  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.


For over four decades, the Truman has been a very distinctive award.  It comprises 13 pewter sculpted minutemen, representing the 13 original colonies.

To learn more about the history of the handcrafted minutemen figurines, click here.


The individual to be selected should 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.

The Truman Award is intended for the civilian and military leaders of America at the national level. Although a single deed or action may be considered as qualification for this award if it is sufficient magnitude and significance, weight should be give to sustained contributions. Past recipients have been Presidents, Senators, Congressmen, Governors and senior general officers.

Nomination and Selection Procedures

Any member of the Awards Committee, the Board of Directors or an elected officer of NGAUS, state association President or Adjutants General may nominate an individual to receive this award.

The letter should contain clear and detailed statement of the nature and magnitude of the nominated individual’s contributions to an improved defense posture.  The Truman Award is usually presented not more than once annually (co-recipients have been named twice).  However, if in the view of the Awards Committee or the Board of Directors, no individual has met the requirements of the award, no award will be given.  An individual may not receive the Award more than once.
Information Packet

Sample Nomination Submission

Truman Award Sample

Past Recipients

1969: General William C. Westmoreland
1970: President Richard Nixon
1971: None
1972: Bob Hope
1973: None
1974: None
1975: Senator John C. Stennis, Mississippi
1976: Senator John L. McClellan, Arkansas
1977: None
1978: General Lyman L. Lemnitzer
1979: None
1980: None
1981: None
1982: Senator J. Strom Thurmond, South Carolina
1983: U.S. Rep. G.V. “Sonny” Montgomery, Mississippi
1984: President Ronald Reagan
1985: Mr. Melvin R. Laird
1986: Secretary of the Army, John O. Marsh, Jr.
1987: U.S. Rep. Bill Chappell, Jr., Florida
1988: Secretary Edward C. “Pete” Aldridge
1989: President George Bush
1990: General John W. Vessey, Jr.
1991: Senator Daniel K. Inouye, Hawaii
1992: Senator Jake Garn, Utah
1993: U.S. Rep. John Murtha, Pennsylvania
1994: Senator Robert Dole, Kansas
1995: Senators Kit Bond, Missouri & Wendell H. Ford, Kentucky
1996: None
1997: Senator Ted Stevens, Alaska
1998: Senator Trent Lott, Mississippi
1999: None
2000: Senator John Warner, Virginia
2001: None
2002: Gov. Tom Ridge, Pennsylvania
2003: Senator Patrick J. Leahy, Vermont
2004: Senator Carl M. Levin, Michigan
2005: Senator Lindsey O. Graham, South Carolina
2006: U.S. Rep. Ike Skelton, Missouri
2007: U.S. Reps. Tom Davis, Virginia & Gene Taylor, Mississippi
2008: Senator Saxby Chambliss, Georgia
2009: U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie, Hawaii
2010: Senator Ben Nelson, Nebraska
2011: Senator Daniel K. Akaka, Hawaii
2012: U.S. Reps. Candice Miller, Michigan & Nick Rahall, West Virginia
2013: U.S. Rep. C.W. Bill Young, Florida
2014: U.S. Rep. Harold Rogers, Kentucky
2015: Gov. Terry E. Branstad, Iowa 
          U.S. Rep. Steve Womack, Arkansas 
2016: Gen. Mark A. Welsh III (Ret), Texas