University of Montana President Named Major in Army National Guard

Seth Bodnar, president of the University of Montana was recently sworn into the Montana Army National Guard and now holds the title of major.

Bodnar, the 19th president of the university, is an U.S. Army Reserves member, former U.S. Army Green Beret and a graduate and valedictorian of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. Bodnar first met Maj. Gen. Matthew Quinn, who swore him in as “Maj. Seth Bodnar”, in 2018 to discuss the possibility of Bodnar joining the Montana National Guard.

Maj. Seth BodnarMaj. Seth Bodnar

“Over the course of several meetings, we discussed the possibility of him transferring to the Montana National Guard,” Quinn told the Great Falls Tribune.

During the swearing in ceremony, Alex Butler, president of the Associated Students of the University of Montana, said it’s “absolutely incredible” that a university president with a distinguished military career continues to serve his country.

“It’s really admirable that he is willing to do something like that,” Butler added.

According to data from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Montana has one of the highest veteran populations per-capita in the nation.

Bodnar’s service includes serving in the 101st Airborne Division and the U.S. Army’s 1st Special Forces Group. In addition, Bodnar was an instructor at West Point and taught in the school’s department of social sciences as an assistant professor.

“Since I left active duty in the U.S. Army, I’ve been a member of the U.S. Army Reserve, and I’m honored today to continue my service by transferring into the Montana National Guard and joining the long line of Montanans who have so bravely and selflessly served both our great state and this nation,” Bodnar said in a news release.

The national Military Friendly organization named the University of Montana to its list of Military Schools in 2016, commemorating the university’s efforts to support student veterans and their families through several academic and financial services.

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