(U.S. Senate) – The Senate today unanimously voted to confirm Montana Major General Matthew T. Quinn to be Under Secretary of Veterans Affairs (VA) for Memorial Affairs with strong backing from U.S. Senator Jon Tester, Chairman of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, who released the following statement:
“General Quinn has a long history of serving our nation’s military, and has demonstrated a strong commitment to providing veterans with the quality services and respect they deserve. As head of the National Cemetery Administration, he is tasked with overseeing state cemeteries, addressing the special memorialization and burial needs of rural and tribal veterans, and ensuring all veterans have a final resting place that honors their service. General Quinn is well qualified to take on this role, and I look forward to working with him to ensure VA has the resources it needs to preserve the legacy of our nation’s heroes.”
The Under Secretary for Memorial Affairs directs the National Cemetery Administration, which maintains 158 national cemeteries and 34 other cemetery installations, preserving them as national shrines, in addition to providing burial services for all eligible veterans and family members.
Tester took to the Senate floor earlier this week, delivering an impassioned speech in defense of four nominees to critical top positions at VA—including General Quinn—following a partisan hold on their confirmations.
At a confirmation hearing last month, Tester questioned General Quinn on his qualifications to oversee the preservation of veterans cemeteries and implement new memorial programs at VA. They also discussed passage of Tester’s Veterans Cemetery Grants Improvement Act— bipartisan legislation increasing VA’s funding cap from $5 million to $10 million annually to better assist states, territories and tribal governments in covering the increasing costs of operating and maintaining state-run veteran cemeteries.
Major General Quinn served nearly 37 years in the U.S. Army and Army National Guard, culminating in his selection as the 27th Adjutant General for the State of Montana. He is a veteran of Operations Desert Storm and Iraqi Freedom, commanding Soldiers at the company and battalion level. Prior to selection as the Adjutant General, Quinn was the President of ELM Locating and Utility Services, while serving in the Montana National Guard.