General Norton A. Schwartz is the 2012 recipient of the Great American Patriot Award

General Norton A. Schwartz is the 2012 recipient of the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl’s Great American Patriot Award.  The award was presented by Armed Forces Insurance, the sponsor of the award and the official insurance partner of the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl, at halftime of today’s encounter.

In selecting a Great American Patriot Award recipient, the candidate must be of high moral fiber and good character, having spent his or her career serving the common good of the United States. He or she will have gone beyond the call of duty to serve and protect this country, with proven dedication and loyalty in upholding the Constitution and the laws of the nation. Finally, the Great American Patriot Award winner will have worked tirelessly to make the U.S. a better and safer place for all its citizens. General Schwartz will join an elite list of previous Great American Patriot Award recipients, including Medal of Honor Recipient Salvatore Giunta, Admiral Thad Allen and Admiral Michael G. Mullen, among others.

General Schwartz graduated from the United States Air Force Academy in 1973. He is an alumnus of the National War College, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and a 1994 Fellow of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Seminar XXI. He has served as Commander of the U.S. Special Operations Command-Pacific, as well as Alaskan Command, Alaskan North American Aerospace Defense Command Region, and the 11th Air Force. He retired from active service in 2012.

The 2012 honoree was humble and grateful in the acceptance of this prestigious award.

“Suzie (the General’s wife of 31 years) and I are grateful to the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl and Armed Forces Insurance for this award,” said Gen. Schwartz. “This honor is anot about us but about those tens of thousands of those who served the United States and their families with tenacity and distinction.

“Obviously, I am rooting for Air Force,” he added with a smile, “but these are two of the greatest institutions of learning in the country. There is great character among all the student-athletes playing today, and you are watching many of our world leaders of tomorrow.

“Again, many thanks to the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl, Armed Forces Insurance and the many members of our armed services they represent,” he concluded.