Honoring Heroes of America.

The Great American Patriot Award presented by Armed Forces Insurance is presented annually to an individual or group in recognition of their service to the United States. The award is selected by the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl Military Affairs Committee. In selecting the recipient, the committee considers numerous criteria. Candidates 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 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. Award winners are formally presented with their award during the bowl’s half-time ceremony each year.

2016 Recipient: Chris Kyle

2017 GAPA Presentation

Chris Kyle was posthumously awarded the 2016 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. 

“Chris Kyle embodies every ideal of the Great American Patriot Award,” said Brant Ringler, Executive Director of the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl. “I truly encourage our community to make this award presentation one of the most memorable ever by being a part of this special moment honoring a true American hero.”

Kyle is considered the most decorated Navy SEAL sniper in history. He served four tours of duty in the Iraq War, and was awarded numerous commendations and personal awards. His best-selling autobiography, “American Sniper”, was made into the 2012 hit movie starring Bradley Cooper and directed by Clint Eastwood.

The award was accepted on his behalf by Kyle’s wife, Taya Kyle, during halftime of the 2016 Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl on December 23, 2016.

"Armed Forces Insurance is honored to recognize Chris Kyle as the 2016 recipient of the Great American Patriot Award," stated Lieutenant General Garry L. Parks, U.S. Marine Corps (Retired), Chairman of Armed Forces Insurance. “Chris Kyle is truly an American hero, a valiant warrior and a man who selflessly dedicated his life to serving our nation and our nation’s citizens. This amazing warrior continued to serve our country even after he left the Navy Seals; he worked with organizations dedicated to improving the lives of law enforcement, veterans with disabilities, those suffering from PTSD and Gold Star Families. Our nation owes Chris, and his dedicated wife, Taya, an enormous amount of gratitude."

Previous Great American Patriot Award Recipients




General Mark Welsh

Chief of Staff

U.S. Air Force 



Peter Pace


General Peter Pace

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

U.S. Marine Corps

William McRaven



Admiral William McRaven

U.S. Special Operations Command

U.S. Navy


Norton Schwartz


General Norton A. Schwartz

Former Chief of Staff,

U.S. Air Force

Salvatore Giunta



Savatore Giunta

Medal of Honor Recipient

U.S. Army


Thad Allen


Admiral Thad Allen

U.S. Coast Guard


Mike Mullen  


Admiral Michael G. Mullen

Former Chairman of the

U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff

U.S. Navy



General David H. Petraeus

Former Commander

U.S. Forces Afghanistan

U. S. Army

Preston Geren



Preston "Pete" Geren

Former U.S.

Secretary of the Army

U.S. Army

  Gordon England


Gordon England

Former U.S. Deputy

Secretary of Defense



Armed Forces Insurance

A special thank you to Armed Forces Insurance for their contributions in honoring America's finest heroes.