Gen. Mark Welsh Named 2015 Great American Patriot Award Recipient


FORT WORTH, Texas – General Mark A. Welsh III has been announced as the 2015 Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl Great American Patriot Award recipient. Presented by Armed Forces Insurance, the Great American Patriot Award honors a candidate in recognition of their exemplary service to the United States.

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“General Welsh is exactly the type of individual, we envisioned when we created the Great American Patriot Award ten years ago,” said Brant Ringler, Executive Director of the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl. “We couldn’t be more proud to add his name alongside our previous recipients as he has proven his leadership and dedication to our country countless times throughout his career.”

Welsh currently serves as the Chief of Staff of the U.S Air Force in Washington D.C. where he is responsible for the organizing, training, and equipping a team of over 660,000 Airmen serving around the globe. The senior uniformed officer of America’s Air Force, General Welsh is also a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, where he and other service chiefs serve as military advisers to the Secretary of Defense, National Security Council, and the President.

“This award is not about me, but honors the more than 660,000 Airmen who make the United States Air Force the greatest in the world,” said Welsh. “Each one of them is a patriot in their own right and I couldn’t be more proud to serve alongside such dedicated Americans.”

“Armed Forces Insurance is truly honored to present the Great American Patriot Award to General Welsh,“ stated Lieutenant General Garry L. Parks, U.S. Marine Corps (Retired), Chairman of Armed Forces Insurance. “Following graduation from the U.S. Air Force Academy, he has held a plethora of diverse billets in ever-increasing positions of responsibility that prepared him well for his current role as Chief of Staff of the U.S. Air Force. Throughout this distinguished career, he has demonstrated a leadership style balanced between exhibiting a ‘genuine compassion for airmen of all ranks’ while concurrently being known as a ‘brilliant strategist’.  It will be my honor, says Parks, to present the Great American Patriot Award to General Welsh, a superb leader who inspires others to follow.” 

“He has demonstrated a leadership style balanced between exhibiting a ‘genuine compassion for airmen of all ranks’ while concurrently being known as a ‘brilliant strategist’. ”

Candidates for the award must be of high moral fiber and good character, having spent their lives and/or careers serving the common good of the United States. They should 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 should have worked tirelessly to make the U.S. a better and safer place for all its citizens.

The Great American Patriot Award will be presented to General Welsh during the halftime of the 13th annual Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl in Fort Worth, Texas, on Tuesday, December 29, 2015. General Welsh will join a selective group of previous Great American Patriot Award recipients, including General Peter Pace, Medal of Honor Recipient Salvatore Giunta, Admiral William McRaven and General Norton A. Schwartz, among others.

Prior to his current position, General Welsh served as the commander of the U.S. Air Forces in Europe and the commander of NATO’s Allied Air Command, stationed at Ramstein Air Base, Germany. He has also served as the Associate Director of Military Affairs and the Associate Director of Military Support for the CIA.

Welsh entered the U.S. Air Force after receiving a Bachelor in Science from the United States Air Force Academy in 1976, and is a graduate of multiple other military and professional education programs, including the National War College and security studies and management programs from Harvard, MIT, and Syracuse.


Click any image below to learn about other recipients.