Indiana University presents Benton Medallion to Maj. Gen. R. Martin Umbarger

  • Dec. 2, 2014


BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Maj. Gen. R. Martin Umbarger, adjutant general of the Indiana National Guard, has been awarded Indiana University's Thomas Hart Benton Medallion. IU President Michael A. McRobbie presented the medallion to Umbarger before the Hoosiers' win Saturday in the 90th IU-Purdue University football game for the Old Oaken Bucket.

The Benton Medallion is given to individuals who have achieved a level of distinction in public office or service and have exemplified the values of IU. It symbolizes the aspirations and ideals that are the foundation of the search for knowledge.

"On behalf of Indiana University and, I am sure, on behalf of Purdue University, let me express my thanks to you for your service and leadership, for your tireless support for the men and women -- including many students, alumni and staff of IU and Purdue -- who serve with valor in the Indiana National Guard, and for all that you have done to build a productive partnership between the Guard and the state’s flagship public universities," McRobbie said during the presentation.

Umbarger was first appointed as Indiana's adjutant general by Gov. Joe Kernan in 2004, and he was reappointed by governors Mitch Daniels and Mike Pence. He leads the Indiana Army and Air National Guard, Indiana Guard Reserve and state employees -- all totaling more than 15,800 personnel.

Having served in the Indiana National Guard for more than four decades and in nearly every possible combat arms leadership position, Umbarger has announced his intention to retire in May. Before his current assignment, he served as deputy commanding general for the reserve component of the U.S. Forces Command.

He previously served as a member of the secretary of the Army’s Reserve Forces Policy Committee and currently serves on the secretary of defense’s Reserve Forces Policy Board.

During the past decade, Umbarger has directed the pre-mobilization training, deployment and redeployment of all units of the Indiana Army and Air National Guard.

In 2009, Umbarger and McRobbie signed the first Memorandum of Agreement between IU and the National Guard, which resulted in a number of cooperative programs in language and culture training, regional studies, cybersecurity and international law.

The Indiana National Guard also sponsors the Governor’s Cup, which Umbarger announced at last year’s Oaken Bucket game. The Governor’s Cup extends the friendly rivalry between IU and Purdue beyond football to the 20 sports in which the two schools compete head-to-head.

Umbarger holds a bachelor’s degree in business from the University of Evansville, which presented him a Distinguished Alumnus Award in 2007, and an honorary doctorate from Vincennes University. He is a graduate of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College and U.S. Army War College.

He currently serves as a member of the Board of Trustees of Franklin College. As a civilian, he also is president of Roy Umbarger & Sons Show Feeds Inc. in Bargersville, Ind.

The bronze Benton Medallion features a representation of a portion of one of the Indiana Murals painted by Thomas Hart Benton. The reverse side has the seal of the university and space for the name of the recipient and date of presentation. A list of recipients is available online.

R. Martin Umbarger, left, receives the Benton Medallion from IU President Michael A. McRobbie.

R. Martin Umbarger, left, receives the Benton Medallion from IU President Michael A. McRobbie.

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Media Contacts

Mark Land

Associate vice president, IU Communications