The Major Frank Tejeda Award is presented each year to a member of Congress that demonstrates exception leadership. The award is named after Congressman Frank Tejeda, who 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.