On April 30, 2022, Lt. Gen. Donna W. Martin, the 67th Inspector General of the Army, received the prestigious Courage Award at the 27th Annual White House Correspondents’ Garden Brunch.
This annual event – on hiatus since 2020 – honors America’s active-duty military members, veterans, their families and members of the media. It also serves as an unofficial precursor to the non-affiliated White House Correspondents’ Association dinner.
This year’s hosts, in conjunction with the non-profit organizations Blue Star Families and Dog Tag Bakery, selected Martin to receive the Courage Award to honor her exemplary service to the nation.
Prior to presenting the award, Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg talked about his own time in service as an intelligence officer with the U.S. Navy Reserve and the trust that is cultivated between service members who have fought and continue to fight this nation’s wars.
After receiving the award, Martin recognized the nation’s veterans, saying, “It is our moral and solemn obligation to demonstrate to them our continued gratitude, unwavering support and meaningful encouragement.”
She also thanked members of the media for their work and courage in accurately reporting the facts, stating, “Your courage to report the truth is vital to preserving this nation’s democracy and ties directly to the freedom of our nation.”
She concluded with a final recognition of those who supported her on her path to becoming a general officer, including her husband, retired Marine Col. Chris Martin, and one of her mentors, retired Lt. Gen. Gwen Bingham, the first female commander of the U.S. Army Tank-automotive and Armaments Command Life Cycle Management Command, and 2018 recipient of the Courage Award.
“My journey to general was not one I walked alone,” she said. “My successes are in large part due to the support of my family, mentors and Soldiers with whom I served.”
Other awardees included American journalist Bob Woodruff and his wife, Lee, who received the Innovation Award for their work in providing resources and support to injured service members, veterans and their families. Woodruff and his wife both extended their thanks to everyone who continues to support veterans and service members.
In addition to honoring Martin and other military personnel in attendance, guests were invited to write thank-you notes to service members and their families. These notes were then displayed on an 8-foot-tall “Honor Wall,” and will be sent to thank service members who are currently deployed around the world.