(Left to right: Brig. Gen. John Walsh, vice chair (air) of the National Guard Association of the United States; Takai; and Col. Murray Hansen, chairman of the National Guard Association of the United States awards committee.) Photo by Ron Jensen
(Left to right: Brig. Gen. John Walsh, vice chair (air) of the National Guard Association of the United States; Takai; and Col. Murray Hansen, chairman of the National Guard Association of the United States awards committee.) Photo by Ron Jensen

MILWAUKEE -The National Guard Association of the United States (NGAUS) Distinguished Service Medal was presented to Maj. K. Mark Takai during the 133 NGAUS General Conference at the Frontier Airlines Center in Milwaukee on Monday.  More than 4,000 Guard officers, exhibitors, civic officials and top military leaders attend the conference.

Maj. K. Mark Takai is a 12-year member of the Hawaii Army National Guard, and a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He is the current vice president of the Hawaii National Guard Association. He coordinated Hawaii’s winning bid to host NGAUS 2013 in Honolulu.

Maj. Takai is also a 17-year elected Representative of the Hawaii State Legislature and is the Chairman of the National Network of Legislators in the Military. He has served as the NGAUS Congressional Action Contact Officer in Hawaii for six years.

“Through his hard work and inspired vision, Maj. Takai has been steadfast in his support for the military. Much of what he has done for the military and the community goes far beyond his role as an Army officer,” said retired Maj. Gen. Gus L. Hargett, the president of NGAUS.

In 1950, NGAUS established a decoration for distinguished service as its first major individual award. The Distinguished Service Medal was conceived to provide recognition for an individual who, as a member of the Armed Forces, performed exceptionally outstanding service to the United States Government, to the Armed Forces of the United States or to NGAUS.

“I am deeply touched and humbled by this award,” Takai said. “Citizen-soldiers throughout the country have assumed the call of duty. We proudly serve our nation in times of war, and serve our states during manmade and natural disasters. Being part of the Hawaii Army National Guard has been and continues to be rewarding.”

A list of the 2011 NGAUS award recipients can be found at www.ngaus.org/awards

About NGAUS: The association includes nearly 45,000 current or former Guard officers. It was created in 1878 to provide unified National Guard representation in Washington. In their first productive meeting after Reconstruction, militia officers from the North and South formed the association with the goal of obtaining better equipment and training by petitioning Congress for more resources. Today, 133 years later, NGAUS has the same mission.

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