Tribute to Rear Admiral Joan Hunterby Senator Joe Donnelly
Posted on 2016-01-11
DONNELLY. Mr. President, today I wish to recognize the efforts of
RADM Joan Hunter during her tenure as the Assistant Joint Surgeon at
the National Guard Bureau, Joint Surgeon General's Office,
Psychological Health, NGB, JSG-PH.
In this capacity, RADM Hunter has served as principal staff and adviser to the Chief of the National Guard Bureau. As a member of the Joint Surgeon's Office, RADM Hunter partnered with the J1, Manpower and Personnel Directorate, and the J32, the Counterdrug Division, to direct services to address the psychological health needs of Guard members and their families. Her most significant contribution was building the National Guard's psychological health program, which meant placing a director of psychological health in every State, wing, and territory based on the Department [[Page S26]] of Defense's Mental Health Task Force Report recommendations. As a commissioned officer in the U.S. Public Health Service, RADM Hunter is a shining example of how the whole government can come together to address mental health issues in our military.
I have had the honor and pleasure of working closely with RADM Hunter during her time at NGB, and I am grateful for her leadership, energy, and innovation. Mental health is a critical readiness issue for all our servicemembers, and the Department of Defense has made important progress in improving the mental health and resilience of our force. Unfortunately, in the past, the unique needs and challenges faced by our Guard members and Reservists were often neglected by programs designed to serve the Active component. Under RADM Hunter's direction, that is changing. She has made a real, tangible impact on the lives of Guard members, and in doing so, she has done a tremendous service to our Nation and our communities.
RADM Hunter is a champion in the fight to combat military suicide, improve mental health and resiliency among our servicemembers, and field the strongest fighting force the world has ever known. She has been an especially valued partner in this undertaking, and while she will be sorely missed at NGB, I know she will continue to do great things for our country. I wish RADM Hunter the best of luck in her new assignment and thank her for her dedicated service to our men and women in the National Guard.