Washington Football Team head coach Ron Rivera has earned the squad’s annual nomination for the NFL’s ‘Salute to Service’ Award.
The award is presented annually by USAA and the NFL to commend one league member who demonstrates a vigorous commitment to honoring and supporting the U.S. military. This year’s award winner will be the 11th annual winner, with previous winners including Steve Cannon (2020), John Harbaugh (2013) and Charles Tillman (2012).
Now that each of the NFL’s 32 teams (minus Cincinnati) have nominated one person from their franchise, the finalists for the award will be announced in January. The recipient will be announced at the NFL Honors awards show during the week of the Super Bowl.
Rivera, now in his second season as Washington’s head coach, had a military upbringing, which he credits for his success both in football and with his battle with cancer. His father, Eugenio, had a 32-year career as a Commissioned Officer of the U.S. Army.
Per a WFT press release via the NFL, “Rivera has spent the entirety of his 10-year career as a Head Coach giving back to a military community that has defined his success as a leader in the league. This year, however, was especially important to him in being advocate and supporting local families, as many of his new team captains were also children of Commissioned Officers including the likes of Chase Young and Jonathan Allen.”
Since arriving in the nation’s capital, Rivera has connected with several military organizations, like participating in Q&A’s with Blue Star Families, Virtual Visits with Walter Reed National Military Medical Center Patients, and Surprising Local ROTC Students with Full Ride Scholarships. Rivera has raised tens of thousands of dollars for military groups within the D.C.-metro area, per the release.
"Now more than ever, it's essential that our nation come together to support and show appreciation for those Americans who are serving and have served our country, as well as their families," John Bird, the USAA Senior Vice President of Military Affairs, said via the NFL press release on the award. "This year's nominees for the Salute to Service Award presented by USAA all deserve special recognition for stepping up to support our military community, and we are encouraged to see this list of diverse nominees coming from all areas of the NFL organization."