Marine Corps Reserve Association

The Major Frank Tejeda Award

Frank Tejeda was born 2 October 1945 in San Antonio, Texas. Growing up poor and in the slums of San Antonio, he was an indifferent student, skipping school and becoming involved with gangs and heading nowhere. In 1963 he dropped out of high school at the age of 17 and joined the United States Marine Corps. This is where he began to turn the direction of his life around.

As a Sergeant in Vietnam, he was awarded the Silver Star (posthumously), the Bronze Star for gallantry, and the Purple Heart. He received a battlefield commission and attended the Officer Candidate School where he maintained one of the highest grade-point averages ever recorded. Additionally, while on active duty he earned a high school equivalency diploma.

He remained on active duty till 1967. Following his service in the Marine Corps, he attended Saint Mary's University in San Antonio graduating in 1970. In 1974, he received his juris doctor degree from the University of California and was admitted to the bar. He was elected to the Texas House of Representatives in 1976 and served there till 1987 when he was elected to the Texas Senate serving there till 1993. While working in the Texas House and Senate, Frank earned an advanced degree in Public Administration from the Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government and a Master of Laws (LM.M.) degree from Yale University School of Law.

In 1992, Frank ran and was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from the 28th District in Texas receiving 87% of the vote!!! During his first term in congress, Congressman Tejeda was assigned to the Armed Services and the Veterans Affairs Committee. While in Congress, he continued to champion support of Reserve and Veterans issues as he had during his days in the Texas Legislature. Elected to three terms, he was ever mindful of his Marine Corps experience and his district's role as a center for military installations and defense industries. During his tenure, he championed a strong national defense as well as the protection and expansion of veteran's benefits.

Frank Tejeda died of brain cancer on 30 January 1997. At the time of his death, he reached the rank of Major, United States Marine Corps Reserve. For his initiative, leadership, and total devotion to duty, the Marine Corps and the United States, the MCRA unanimously elected to honor him by establishing the Frank M. Tejeda Leadership Award. This award is presented each year by the MCRA to a member of the United States Congress who demonstrates an unwavering commitment to a strong nation defense, leadership, self-sacrifice, and service to one's country so exemplified by Frank Tejeda.


The recipent of the MAJ FRANK TEJEDA award for 2014 is the

 Honorable Senator Richard Blumenthal

Sworn in on January 5, 2011, Richard Blumenthal is serving his first term as a United States Senator from the State of Connecticut.
Blumenthal Headshot For Bio
Senator Blumenthal served an unprecedented five terms as Connecticut’s Attorney General, fighting for people against large and powerful special interests. His aggressive law enforcement for consumer protection, environmental stewardship, labor rights, and personal privacy has helped reshape the role of state attorneys general nationwide, and resulted in the recovery of hundreds of millions of dollars for Connecticut taxpayers and consumers each year.

A key player in the national fight against Big Tobacco, he helped bring an end to deceptive marketing aimed at children – a victory significantly lowering youth smoking rates, and compelling a multi-billion dollar settlement for Connecticut taxpayers. He also helped lead a coalition of all 50 states that culminated in historic agreements with social networking sites to better protect children from Internet predators.

As Attorney General, he advocated for reforms in the health insurance industry to assure critical health care coverage and lower pharmaceutical drug prices.  He has worked relentlessly to eradicate corruption in state government and make state contracting accountable, fair, honest, and transparent.
His vigorous investigation and legal action against insurance industry abuses has successfully forced financial restitution and reform, compelled greater disclosure by insurers and brokers to consumers, and recovered millions of dollars for the state, municipalities, and individuals. He has successfully fought unfair utility rate charges, air pollution causing acid rain, general environmental wrongdoing, as well as a wide array of consumer scams and frauds.

Senator Blumenthal has personally argued several major cases in court, including his successful effort to uphold the Connecticut sex offender registry in the Supreme Court. He has fought and sued the federal government for failing to follow or enforce environmental laws and energy statutes, as well as imposing multimillion dollar unfunded mandates on local taxpayers under the No Child Left Behind Act.
From 1977 to 1981, Senator Blumenthal served as a U.S. Attorney for Connecticut, prosecuting drug trafficking, organized and white collar crime, civil rights violations, consumer fraud, and environmental pollution. He served in the Connecticut House of Representatives from 1984 to 1987, and the Connecticut State Senate from 1987 to 1990.  As a volunteer attorney for the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, Senator Blumenthal saved the life of an innocent, wrongly convicted death row inmate who came within hours of execution.

Prior to his position as U.S. Attorney, Senator Blumenthal also served as Administrative Assistant to U.S. Senator Abraham A. Ribicoff, aide to former U.S. Senator Daniel  P.  Moynihan when Moynihan was Assistant to the President of the United States, and law clerk to Supreme Court Justice Harry A. Blackmun.

Senator Blumenthal graduated from Harvard College (Phi Beta Kappa, Magna Cum Laude), and Yale Law School, where he was Editor-in-Chief of the Yale Law Journal.  Senator Blumenthal lives in Greenwich, Connecticut with his wife, Cynthia, and their four children.

Military Service

Senator Blumenthal served in the United States Marine Corps Reserve from 1970 to 1976.  He served in reserve units in Washington, DC and Connecticut.  Before being honorably discharged, he attained the rank of sergeant. 

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