Admiral William McRaven to Receive 2013 Great American Patriot Award

 Admiral William H. McRaven has been named the 2013 Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl’s Great American Patriot Award recipient. The award will be presented by Armed Forces Insurance, the sponsor of the award, and official insurance partner of the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl.

The qualifications for the Great American Patriot Award recipient state that 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.

“I am honored to receive this prestigious award. We have a professional and moral obligation to take care of our warriors and their families,” Admiral McRaven said. “These young warriors and their families will be this century’s Greatest Generation for their unfailing sacrifice and unwavering sense of duty.”

Admiral McRaven will join an elite list of previous Great American Patriot Award recipients, including Medal of Honor Recipient Salvatore Giunta, Admiral Thad Allen, Admiral Michael G. Mullen, and 2012 award recipient General Norton A. Schwartz among others.

Admiral McRaven currently serves as Commander of the U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) at MacDill Air Force Base in Florida. From there he oversees the readiness of special operations forces worldwide.

al McRaven will formally accept the award during halftime of the 11th annual Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl in Fort Worth, Texas, on Monday, Dec. 30th, 2013.

"Armed Forces Insurance is truly honored to present the Great American Patriot Award to the commander of U.S. Special Operations Command, Admiral Bill McRaven," stated Lieutenant General Garry L. Parks, U.S. Marine Corps (Retired), Chairman of Armed Forces Insurance. “From graduation at his beloved University of Texas, through a distinguished special operations career, Admiral McRaven has played a critical role in our nation's fight against terrorism, truly exemplifying the Armed Forces Insurance Great American Patriot Award values by having 'gone beyond the call of duty to serve and protect this country.'"

Born in Pinehurst, North Carolina, Admiral McRaven attended the University of Texas on a track scholarship and graduated with a degree in journalism. Throughout his career he has commanded at every level within the special operations community. Prior to his current post he was the commander of Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) at Fort Bragg, North Carolina from 2008 to 2011. From 2006 to 2008 he was the commander of Special Operations Command Europe (SOCEUR). He also was the first graduate from the Special Operations/Low Intensity Conflict program at the Naval Postgraduate School, a program that he helped establish.

McRaven’s most high-profile accomplishment was the organization and execution of Operation Neptune Spear, the raid that led to the death of Osama Bin Laden in May of 2011.

This year’s 11th annual Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl will feature a school from the Mountain West versus the U.S. Naval Academy.  The game will be played on Dec. 30, 2013 in Fort Worth.  ESPN and ESPN Radio will air the game with a 10:45 a.m. (CT) kickoff from Amon G. Carter Stadium on the campus of TCU. Tickets are available now through

Through a generous corporate donation program, veterans, reservists and active duty armed forces members can receive up to four complimentary tickets by applying at
While the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl game is played in honor of the armed forces, the postseason contest has previously hosted MW member U.S. Air Force Academy (2007-2009, 2012) and the U.S. Military Academy (2010).  The U.S. Naval Academy is set to make their first appearance in 2013, pending eligibility, and return to Fort Worth in 2016.