1-1-522. Montana award of valorous service to honor Montana's fallen heroes -- administration by department of military affairs. (1) There is a Montana award of valorous service. The award is to honor members of the United States armed forces who were legal residents of the state of Montana or were stationed in or deployed from Montana and who were, on or after December 7, 1941, killed in the line of duty or were classified as missing in action while:
(a) engaged in military operations against an enemy of the United States;
(b) serving with a friendly foreign military force engaged in an armed conflict in which the United States is not a belligerent party; or
(c) serving in a combat zone designated by presidential order.
(2) (a) The president of the senate shall request the drafting of and shall introduce during each regular legislative session a joint resolution naming each person to be a recipient of the Montana award of valorous service.
(b) If both houses of the legislature pass the joint resolution, the Montana award of valorous service must be presented by the governor, the president of the senate, and the speaker of the house of representatives to a surviving family member, as designated by the award recipient in the defense enrollment eligibility reporting system or by law, during a special joint floor session of the senate and the house of representatives. If the surviving family member of an award recipient cannot be present to accept the award, the award may be mailed to the surviving family member.
(3) (a) The department of military affairs shall administer the provisions of this section, determine award recipients, including the appropriate surviving family member, and coordinate with the surviving family members and representatives who will be accepting the awards on behalf of the recipients.
(b) Surviving family members or service organizations shall notify the department of military affairs if the surviving family member believes a deceased relative is eligible or if a service organization is aware of possible award recipients.
(4) For purposes of this section, "United States armed forces" means the regular and reserve components of the United States army, navy, air force, marine corps, coast guard, and the merchant marine.
History: En. Sec. 1, Ch. 290, L. 2013.