NEWS | March 29, 2023

Utah National Guard and the Honorary Colonels Corps hosts 61st Annual Bronze Minuteman Awards Dinner

By Lt. Col. Chris Kroeber

The Utah National Guard and the Honorary Colonels Corps will host the 61st Annual Bronze Minuteman Awards Dinner Thursday, March 30, 2023, at Salt Lake City’s Little America Hotel.

At the event, Maj. Gen. Michael Turley, adjutant general of the Utah National Guard and Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Jeff Burton, deuputy commander of the Honorary Colonels Corps, will present Bronze Minuteman Awards to Elder Larry Echo Hawk, Pastor Robert Guiller, Mrs. Karen Mayne, Ms. Esther Chelsea-McCarty, Mr. Jason Perry, Rep. Candice Pierucci, and Brig. Gen. (Ret.) Tyler Smith for their individual, devoted service to and leadership among the citizens of Utah.

Maj. Gen. Turley and the Honorary Colonels Corps of Utah anticipate a heartwarming celebration of seven community leaders, in appreciation of outstanding service rendered to the state and nation.

The Honorary Colonels Corps of Utah is the sponsor of the event. The Corps is an organization that promotes goodwill and positive relations between the National Guard and local Utah communities. Members provide annual support for Utah Army and Air National Guard activities such as Freedom Academy and the Veterans Day Concert.

Below is a short summary of each recipient’s accomplishments (listed alphabetically):

Robert Guiller has served for 24 years as a pastor since arriving in the USA and for the last 13 years as lead pastor at Crossroads Christian Fellowship in Uintah, Utah. Robert has spent his life traveling around the world (50+ mission trips). Robert continues to help others as a certified life coach for more than 16 years. Robert has been serving on City of Uintah’s Planning Commission for eight years, five of those years as the Planning Commission chair.

Elder Larry Echo Hawk obtained a Juris Doctor Degree from the University of Utah in 1977, serving in diverse capacities including senior attorney for the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes, Fort Hall Indian Reservation. The Idaho House of Representatives, prosecuting attorney for Bannock County, attorney general for the state of Idaho, professor of law at Brigham Young University, assistant secretary for Indian Affairs United States Department of the Interior, General Authority Seventy. He presently serves as special counsel and advisor to the Gov. Spencer Cox and the attorney general of the stae of Utah for Indian affairs.

Mrs. Karen Mayne former State Senator was appointed in 2007 to fill the last two years of the seat of her late husband Senator Ed Mayne who spent nearly 14 years in Utah’s State Senate. She was re-elected in 2008 and 2010, continuing a legacy of support for Salt Lake’s West side communities. She has served in many positions in the Utah State Senate including Assistant Minority Whip and Senate Minority Whip. Karen was a senior member of the Utah Legislatures Veterans and Military Commission since it was implemented in 2010. Senator Mayne supported or sponsored multiple pieces of legislation that tied directly to military affairs, most notably she created the Veterans Services Registry. During her time in the senate, she was a tireless advocate for her constituents, the military, and veterans and their families.

Ms. Esther Chelsea-McCarty graduated law school in 1982, joined the 99th Army Judge Advocate Basic Class Charlottesville, Virginia. Esther spent three years on active duty at the National Training Center, Fort Irwin, California. In 1990, she began in the Office of Legislative Research and General Counsel, working many military and veteran related issues. Esther paved the way for the first veteran’s nursing home to the recent recodification of the titles dealing with the National Guard and veterans. Esther has supported veterans and service members through legislative efforts for the past 32 year.

Mr. Jason Perry graduated law school at the University of Utah, then working for Attorney General Jan Graham. Jason launched the Internet Crimes Against Children Taskforce and has served as special assistant U.S. attorney, administrative judge in Utah’s Department of Commerce, executive director of the governor’s Office of Economic Development, chief of staff for Governor Gary Herbert before becoming vice president for government relations at the University of Utah in 2011 and director of the Hinckley Institute in 2016.

Rep. Candice B. Pierucci serves as the House of Representative for District 49. She is the youngest female legislator in Utah’s history and was elected in a special election at age 27. Rep. Pierucci is the chair of the Standing Education Committee, vice chair of the Conservative Caucus and chair of the Republican Women Lead PAC. Rep. Pierucci also serves on the Government Operations Committee and Public Education Appropriations.

Brig. Gen. (Ret.) Tyler B. Smith enlisted in the Army in 1986. He deployed to Saudi Arabia and Kuwait in support of Operation Desert Storm following he joined the Utah Army National Guard and attended Officer Candidate School. His various assignments include assistant operations officer, Range Control officer, assistant professor of Military Science Utah Valley University, deputy Inspector General, commanded the 85th Weapons of Mass Destruction-Civil Support Team, deputy commander of Utah Training Center-Camp Williams, garrison commander, Construction and Facilities Management officer, assistant adjutant general Army retiring in 2022. His second deployment was to Afghanistan in 2008, in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. He currently works for The Conservation Fund continuing his work in protecting military installations from encroachment through conservation.

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