FORT WORTH, Texas (Nov. 13, 2018) – Team Rubicon, an international disaster response nonprofit organization, is the recipient of the 2018 Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl Great American Patriot Award. Presented by Armed Forces Insurance, the Great American Patriot Award honors a candidate in recognition of their exemplary service to the United States.
Team Rubicon unites the skills and experiences of military veterans to rapidly provide relief, free of charge, to communities in need following disaster. Since its founding in 2010, Team Rubicon has been involved in more than 300 disaster operations in 19 countries, including Hurricanes Harvey, Sandy, Michael, Florence, Irma and Maria, and the 2013 Moore tornado.
During the operations, more than 14,000 volunteers, known as Greyshirts, have generated the equivalent of more than $22 million in volunteer labor for communities in need. Team Rubicon currently maintains a roster of more than 92,000 volunteers who are able to deploy throughout the United States and world whenever or wherever disaster strikes. From 2017 to 2018, its membership grew by 67.8 percent.
“Armed Forces Insurance is very proud to present the Great American Patriot Award to Team Rubicon,” said Lt Gen Sid Clarke, US Air Force, Retired, Chairman, Armed Forces Insurance. “Team Rubicon Greyshirts consistently demonstrate exemplary service through their passion and volunteerism. What motivates them is the idea that serving those in need, particularly during their darkest hour, is a core value known as service before self.”
U.S. Marine Corps veterans William McNulty and Jake Wood cofounded Team Rubicon, an international non-government organization (NGO), following the 2010 earthquake in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. McNulty and Wood were part of an initial team of eight that treated thousands of patients. The group ventured outside the traditional scale of disaster response, focusing on those who would be overlooked and untreated.
Over 70 percent of Team Rubicon’s volunteers are military veterans who desire to continue to serve their country, regain their sense of mission-focus, and find purpose, community and identity in their civilian lives. The training, skills and experience gained during their time in the military makes veterans extremely effective in disaster response situations.
“The Greyshirts of Team Rubicon are servants and patriots in every way, and very deserving recipients of the 2018 Great American Patriot Award,” said Brant Ringler, executive director of the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl. “Team Rubicon is built to serve, just like our armed forces, and we are proud to honor them at our game this year!”
Team Rubicon focuses on serving vulnerable and at-risk populations affected by disaster. While the initial damage and trauma of natural disasters will impact any population regardless of socio-economic factors, the financial burden of recovery and rebuilding has dramatic and long-lasting repercussions on many rural and urban populations lacking proper insurance and public and private resources.
Team Rubicon joins a prestigious group of previous Great American Patriot Award recipients that includes Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, General Mark Welsh, General Peter Pace, Medal of Honor Recipient Salvatore Giunta, Admiral William McRaven, General Norton A. Schwartz, Congresswoman Kay Granger, among others.
“On behalf of the selfless and committed volunteers at Team Rubicon, we are all honored to receive the Great American Patriot Award,” said Jake Wood, CEO and Cofounder of Team Rubicon. “The majority of Team Rubicon’s members served our country, and it is their spirit of service that drives them to continue serving and leading in their communities even after they’ve taken off the uniforms of our armed forces.”
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 Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl, played in honor of the Armed Forces of the United States, is the only collegiate football bowl game that has hosted all three U.S. Military Academy football teams –Air Force (2007-2009, 2012, 2015), Army (2010, 2017) and Navy (2013, 2016).
The bowl has featured the “armed forces” theme since 2006. Patriotic overtones recognizing all five branches of the service are prevalent throughout the game. Past Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowls have included fan-fest adventure areas showcasing armed forces hardware; flyovers; demonstrations by several of the military's top skydiving teams; custom homes awarded to wounded warriors; on-field induction ceremonies; armed forces bands and honor guards; and the annual Great American Patriot Award presented by Armed Forces Insurance.
Last year’s game saw the Army West Point Black Knights score 14 points in the final 18 seconds to defeat the San Diego State Aztecs, 42-35. CBSSports.com has voted the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl the No. 3 bowl game each of the past two years.
The bowl game also created and operates the Armed Forces Merit Award presented by the Football Writers Association of America. For additional information about the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl, please visit ArmedForcesBowl.com, Facebook.com/ArmedForcesBowl or Twitter.com/ArmedForcesBowl.
The Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl is one of 14 bowl games owned and operated by ESPN Events, a subsidiary of ESPN.
ESPN Events, a division of ESPN, owns and operates a large portfolio of 31 collegiate sporting events worldwide. The roster includes three Labor Day weekend college football games; FCS opening-weekend game; 14 college bowl games, 10 college basketball events, a college softball event and two college award shows, which accounts for approximately 375-plus hours of live programming, reaches almost 64 million viewers and attracts over 800,000 attendees each year. With satellite offices in Albuquerque, Birmingham, Boca Raton, Boise, Dallas-Fort Worth, Honolulu, Las Vegas, Montgomery and St. Petersburg, ESPN Events builds relationships with conferences, schools and local communities, as well as providing unique experiences for teams and fans. ESPN Events also manages the Big 12 Corporate Partner Program.