Chris Cassidy named 2022 Great American Patriot Award recipient

FORT WORTH, Texas – Chris Cassidy, the current President and CEO of the National Medal of Honor Museum Foundation, retired U.S. Navy SEAL captain and former Chief Astronaut at NASA, is the recipient of the 2022 Great American Patriot Award. Presented annually by Armed Forces Insurance at the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl, the Great American Patriot Award honors a candidate in recognition of their exemplary service to the United States.

Cassidy, who was named President and CEO of the National Medal of Honor Museum Foundation in August of 2021, leads the project of building the National Medal of Honor Museum in Arlington, Texas, the National Medal of Honor Monument in Washington, D.C., and the National Medal of Honor Institute. Through education, leadership and inspiring spaces for learning and reflection, the National Medal of Honor Museum Foundation preserves and expands the impact of the 3,511 award recipients and the more than 40 million Americans who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces since the Civil War.

During his service as a Navy SEAL, Cassidy was awarded the Bronze Star with combat 'V' and received a second Bronze Star for combat leadership service in Afghanistan. In 2004, the platoon he commanded was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation for a nine-day operation at the Zharwar Kili Cave on the Afghanistan/Pakistan border.

Cassidy was selected as an astronaut in 2004 and is a veteran of three space flights and 10 space walks. Cassidy has flown to the lnternational Space Station (ISS) aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavor and the Russian Soyuz spacecraft. In 2015, he became NASA's 14th Chief Astronaut and served in that capacity for two years. In all, he has accumulated 377 days in space, including his most recent six-month spaceflight in 2020.

Cassidy completed Naval Academy Prep School in Newport, R.I., in 1989 and received a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1993. He later received a Master of Science in Ocean Engineering from the Massachusetts lnstitute of Technology and has Honorary PhD's from Husson University and the University of Maine at Augusta.

“Every year, Armed Forces Insurance has the honor of recognizing one of our great Americans for their service and their contributions to making these United States more secure,” said Lt Gen Sid Clarke, US Air Force, Retired, Chairman, Armed Forces Insurance. “With its mission of promoting the belief that everyone is born with the potential to be extraordinary, the National Medal of Honor Foundation could not have picked a more deserving person to serve as its leader. Chris has certainly led an extraordinary life in the service of our nation, and Armed Forces Insurance is very proud to recognize him as our 2022 Great American Patriot Award recipient.”

Candidates for the Great American Patriot 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 must 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 award winner must have worked tirelessly to make the U.S. a better and safer place for all its citizens.

Cassidy joins a prestigious group of previous Great American Patriot Award recipients that includes General Mark Welsh, Admiral William McRaven, General Peter Pace, Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, Medal of Honor Recipient Salvatore Giunta, General Norton A. Schwartz, Congresswoman Kay Granger, Team Rubicon, Staff Sergeant David Bellavia, General Charles Q. Brown Jr. and Gary Sinise among others.

The Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl, played in honor of the Armed Forces of the United States, was the first collegiate football bowl game to host all three U.S. Military Academy football teams – Air Force (2007, 2008, 2009, 2012, 2015), Army (2010, 2017, 2018, 2021) 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.

The Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl is one of 17 bowl games owned and operated by ESPN Events. The 20th Anniversary Game is set for Thursday, Dec. 22 at 6:30 p.m. (CT) at TCU’s Amon G. Carter Stadium. For additional information about the bowl, please visit and follow on Facebook and Twitter.

Armed Forces Insurance

Armed Forces Insurance was founded in 1887 by military leaders with a single mission: to protect the property of those who protect our nation. The company provides premium quality, competitively priced property and casualty insurance to military professionals throughout the United States and overseas. Armed Forces Insurance understands that its members have unique circumstances and insurance needs, enabling the company to offer a level of personalized service that's unequalled in the industry. For more information, visit the website at or call 1-800-495-8234, and follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

ESPN Events

ESPN Events, a division of ESPN, owns and operates a portfolio of collegiate sporting events nationwide. In 2022, the 32-event schedule includes three early-season college football kickoff games, 17 college bowl games, 11 college basketball events, and a college softball event, which account for approximately 400 hours of live programming, while reaching nearly 64 million viewers and attracting over 800,000 annual attendees. With satellite offices in more than 10 cities across the country, ESPN Events builds relationships with conferences, schools and local communities, as well as providing unique experiences for teams and fans.

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