The National Guard Association of the United States extends its highest honor – the Harry S. Truman Award – to Governor John Bel Edwards

BATON ROUGE, La. — On Wednesday, the National Guard Association of the United States named Governor John Bel Edwards the recipient of the 2022 Harry S. Truman Award for Distinguished Service in Support of National Defense, which is the highest distinction from the group.

Governor Edwards was selected for his ongoing leadership and support of LANG as well as his many accomplishments, including leading Louisiana’s efforts to develop groundbreaking methods for its cybersecurity response plans and methods. These plans significantly included the Louisiana National Guard as part of a combined approach that applied all available state assets to the response. In 2017, Governor Edwards took executive action and created the Louisiana Cybersecurity Commission.

In 2019, Governor Edwards declared a state of emergency in response to ransomware attacks on state assets. This was the first-ever declared emergency for a cyber response in Louisiana. Governor Edwards was named by President Biden as one of ten governors to serve on the bipartisan Board of Governors. In 2022, Governor Edwards along with the director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), the secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, White House executives, and other federal and state officials met with the council and its working groups to identify priority initiatives.

Governor Edwards has demonstrated through his leadership and initiative that he understands the threat that malicious cyber activity poses to our national defense and the overall security of the United States. He has made far-reaching and enduring contributions to the fight against this threat, as evidenced by his leadership and direct actions at the state and national levels.

“One of the greatest honors of my life is to be the Commander-in-Chief of the Louisiana National Guard, which never wavers when asked to work through floods, hurricanes, freezing weather, cyberattacks and even a pandemic to protect what matters in Louisiana – our people. And they do all of this while conducting their traditional military training and global operations. At home and abroad, the National Guard protects and serves our homeland in a way that the public often overlooks or takes for granted. Regardless, the National Guard always shows up and be recognized by the National Guard Association of the United States with its highest honor, the Harry S. Truman Award , is truly humbling,” Governor Edwards said. “I believe we can all learn a lesson from the National Guard’s selfless commitment to the greater good, to our communities, and to our safety n national. I will continue to work day after day to be worthy of such an honor.

“Governor Edwards is a deserving selection for this prestigious award because of his lifelong dedication and distinguished service to the security and defense of Louisiana and our great nation,” Maj. General Keith Waddell, Adjutant General of the Louisiana National Guard.

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 on an individual by the Association. Past honorees have included President Ronald Reagan, President George Bush, US Senator Joe Manchin, members of Congress, other governors and entertainer Bob Hope. The award honors individuals who have made outstanding and far-reaching sustained contributions to the defense and security of the United States in a manner worthy of national recognition.

The governor is honored alongside General James McConville, who is the U.S. Army Chief of Staff. Prizes will be awarded at the 144e NGAUS General Conference and Expo in August in Columbus, Ohio.

To view the list of this year’s winners, click here.

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