Michels receives Williamson Militiaman Award For his exceptional leadership and support, Mr. Matt Michels, a committed supporter of the National Guard and Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, and member of the House State Affairs Committee, received the prestigious 2009 Williamson Militiaman Award Thursday night, Feb. 12, during the South Dakota National Guard's Legislative Dining Out ceremony in Pierre. "Mr. Michels is very deserving of this award," said Maj. Gen. Steven Doohen, the Adjutant General. "He was instrumental in advancing revised armory legislation for our National Guard, which provided more than $2 million for Mobridge and Watertown armories." "He was the key advocate for advancing revised armory legislation in 2006," said Doohen, "which outlined, in law, a percentage of match funding for state armory construction." Speaker Michels also provided provisions for out-of-state and graduate students to use 50 percent reduction in tuition costs at state universities. This has proven to be an extremely valuable benefit to the Soldiers and Airmen, many of which would not be able to afford to attend those universities. In addition, Michels also introduced original legislation providing free tuition to any state educational institution for dependents of National Guard members who died or were permanently disabled resulting from duty as a member of the South Dakota National Guard. Former Adjutant General, Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Ronald F. Williamson, established the Williamson Militiaman Award in 1987. The award recognizes an individual who exemplifies the spirit of the Citizen-Soldier through community leadership, support of the National Guard and the defense of the nation. The award, presented by Maj. Gen. Steven Doohen, Governor Michael Rounds and Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Ronald F. Williamson, is a U.S. Army saber and scabbard. It is regulation in size and design with detailed embossed blade and chrome finish.