Senator Jon Tester received the Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service from Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James for fighting for new helicopters at Malmstrom, critical C-130 and ICBM modernization funding, and on behalf of men and women in uniform every day.
“It is truly humbling to receive this honor from the Department of Defense and Secretary James,” Tester said. “Our brave men and women put their lives on the line each and every day for our freedoms and by working together we have successfully fought to ensure Malmstrom and the Montana Air National Guard have the resources they need to keep our nation safe. ”
The Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service is the highest award a private citizen, politician, non-career Federal employee, or foreign national can receive. It is presented for exceptionally distinguished service of significance to the Department of Defense as a whole.
“Senator Tester has exhibited extraordinary leadership and vision that has ensured America’s Air Force remained the pre-eminent air, space, and cyberspace force in the world,” Secretary James wrote. “Senator Tester’s outstanding, career-long, contributions have ensured an enduring heritage and unlimited horizons for the United States Air Force.”
Secretary James also awarded the Distinguished Public Service Medal to Tester’s fellow Senate Air Force Caucus co-chairs, Sens. John Boozman (R-Ark.), John Hoeven (R-N.D.) and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio).
This week, Tester secured a pay raise for America’s troops, improved the security of Malmstrom Air Force Base, and passed legislation to protect National Guardsmen and women from repaying bonuses.
As the Ranking Member of the Milcon/VA Subcommittee, Tester has secured funding for military construction projects across Montana.