HELENA — On Thursday the U.S. Senate unanimously voted to confirm Montana Major General Matthew T. Quinn to be Under Secretary of Veterans Affairs for Memorial Affairs.
Quinn’s new position as the Under Secretary for Memorial Affairs will be to direct the National Cemetery Administration. The organization 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.
The agency website provides this overview:
VA operates 155 national cemeteries and 34 soldiers' lots and monument sites in 42 states and Puerto Rico. More than 4 million Americans, including Veterans of every war and conflict, are buried in VA's national cemeteries. VA also provides funding to establish, expand, improve and maintain 118 Veterans cemeteries in 48 states and territories including tribal trust lands, Guam, and Saipan. For Veterans not buried in a VA national cemetery, VA provides headstones, markers or medallions to commemorate their service. In 2017, VA honored more than 361,892 Veterans and their loved ones with memorial benefits in national, state, tribal and private cemeteries.
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. He holds an MSS in Strategic Studies from United States Army War College, an MS in Business Administration from the University of Montana and a BS in Electrical Engineering from Montana State University.
Most recently Quinn served as director of the Montana COVID-19 Task Force for governors Greg Gianforte and Steve Bullock.
U.S. Senator Jon Tester (D-MT), chairman of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, said in a statement. “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.”