Fort Worth, Texas, December 15, 2009 – The Executive Committee of the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl will present the 2009 Great American Patriot Award to the men and women of the U. S. Armed Forces.
Admiral Michael G. ‘Mike’ Mullen, U.S. Navy, the 17th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, will accept the award on behalf of the Armed Forces. The award will be presented by Armed Forces Insurance (www.afi.org), the sponsor of the award and the Official Insurance Partner of the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl.
“As Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Admiral Mullen is the principal military advisor to the President, the Secretary of Defense, the National Security Council, and the Homeland Security Council,” said Brant Ringler, executive director of the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl. “His acceptance of this award on behalf of the men and women of the U. S. Armed Forces honors his leadership and steadfast commitment to our troops and their families.”
Admiral Mullen will accept the award from Armed Forces Insurance Chairman Col. Tom Dials (U. S. Army, Ret.) during halftime of the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl game on December 31, which will feature the University of Houston from Conference USA and the United States Air Force Academy from the Mountain West Conference. Prior to the 11 a.m. (CST) kickoff at Amon G. Carter Stadium, Admiral Mullen will conduct the coin toss between the two teams, along with leading an induction ceremony for new recruits.
“We’re proud to play a part in recognizing the contributions of the members of the U. S. Armed Forces, who have dedicated their lives to serving our country. Our dedicated soldiers epitomize the professionalism and spirit of selfless service that AFI was founded to foster and protect more than 120 years ago,” Dials remarked.
A 1968 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, Admiral Mullen has commanded three ships during his Navy career: the gasoline tanker USS Noxubee (AOG-56), the guided missile destroyer USS Goldsborough (DDG-20), and the guided missile cruiser USS Yorktown (CG-48). As a flag officer, he also commanded Cruiser-Destroyer Group 2, the George Washington Battle Group, and the U.S. 2nd Fleet/NATO Striking Fleet Atlantic.
Admiral Mullen has served in leadership positions at the Naval Academy, in the Navy’s Bureau of Personnel, in the Office of the Secretary of Defense and on the Navy staff; he served as 32nd Vice Chief of Naval Operations from August 2003 to October 2004. His last operational assignment was as Commander, NATO Joint Force Command Naples and Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe. Prior to being sworn in as Chairman in October 2007, Admiral Mullen served as the 28th Chief of Naval Operations.