ARLINGTON, Va. - The National Guard Bureau was awarded its first Joint Meritorious Unit Award by Secretary of Defense Mark Esper for outstanding service from June 1, 2017, to Dec. 1, 2018.During that time, the NGB helped coordinate response efforts for 13 named hurricanes or tropical storms, 42 wildfires, 39 floods, 23 winter storms, two tornadoes, an earthquake, and a volcanic eruption.“The NGB’s extraordinary planning and support of disaster response over this extended period were truly exceptional,” said Army Gen. Daniel Hokanson, chief of the NGB.While the NGB’s planning efforts contributed to more rapid and unified responses, Hokanson stressed it was Guard Soldiers and Airmen who made it possible.“The efforts of our National Guard team across the 50 states, three territories and the District of Columbia helped save lives, mitigate damage to communities, and prevent unnecessary suffering,” he said. “Everyone involved in these response missions should be deeply proud of their service.”Hokanson also said families of Guard members played an important role.“Their support makes our service possible,” he insisted.This year has been historically busy for Guard members, who have supported COVID-19, civil disturbance, wildfire, and hurricane response efforts. In early June, more than 120,000 Guard members were on duty across the globe.“As the National Guard continues to respond in support of our communities, states and nation, I hope this award is a reminder of what we as a Guard and we as a nation can overcome with determination, dedication, teamwork, and resolve,” said Hokanson.For more National Guard newsNational Guard FacebookNational Guard Twitter