Soldier-Citizen Award

The American College of Financial Services established the Soldier-Citizen Award in 2014 to recognize individuals in the financial services industry who have made significant contributions to the United States military, their community, or our society. We aim to celebrate sacrifice, success and service.

Sacrifice is illustrated by an individual defending a cause greater than oneself by honorably serving the Armed Forces of the United States.

Success is illustrated by an individual recognizing the powerful opportunity within this country’s free market system and finding personal rewards through hard work, dedication, and serving others. 

Service is illustrated by an individual giving back, improving the lot of those coming behind, whether it be volunteering in the local community or serving society at large, the result being an improved American condition.

The history of America’s democracy traces back to classical Athens. The Soldier-Citizen Award respects and honors this heritage and is reflected in the award being a bust of Pericles, who was the most prominent and influential citizen, orator, and military leader during the Golden Age of Athens. Pericles (c. 495 – 429 BC) has been lauded as "the ideal type of the perfect statesman in ancient Greece" and his funeral oration is considered synonymous with the celebration of participatory democracy and civic pride.

Pericles made his famous funeral oration at the end of the first year of the Peloponnesian War, which was documented by Thucydides. In that speech Pericles honored those that had sacrificed, he lifted up the citizens, and he celebrated the greatness of the society for which they were fighting. He declares:

"... I doubt if the world can produce a man, who where he has only himself to depend upon, is equal to so many emergencies, and graced by so happy a versatility as [our citizens]...for the [country] that I have celebrated is only what the heroism of these and their like have made her...none of these men allowed either wealth with its prospect of future enjoyment to unnerve his spirit, or poverty with its hope of a day of freedom and riches to tempt him to shrink from [risk taking].…Therefore, having judged that to be happy means to be free, and to be free means to be brave, do not shy away from the [service to this great society]."

2016 Soldier-Citizen Award: Answering a Higher Calling

JFK’s inauguration speech provides the powerful words with Pearl Harbor, Hawaii as the backdrop to honor The American College’s 2016 Soldier-Citizen Award recipient, Major General (Ret.) Joe Robles, USAA CEO (2007-2015). In order of appearance: Ted Digges, Captain, SC, USN (Ret.), The American College of Financial Services; Kurt Bock, COUNTRY Financial; Vickie Coleman, First Command Educational Foundation; Mike Hamilton, RBC Insurance; Al Lurty, Independent Consultant; Scott Perry, SP Capital, LLC; Pranav Pasricha, Intellect SEEC; Jeff Martinath, Prudential Financial Planning Services; Mark Heinrich, RADM, SC, USN (Ret.), Microsoft; Sanjay Mohan, nestCARE; Adam Kaufer, Kaufer Financial; Frederick J. Sievert, MSM, (Retired) New York Life Insurance Co.; Danielle Pfeifer, AXA Advisors; General Ralph “Ed” Eberhart (Ret.), Armed Forces Benefit Association, 2015 Soldier-Citizen Award Recipient; Linda S. Need, MSFS, FSA, CFP®, CLU®, CAP®, (Retired) Wells Fargo Insurance Services; Maury Stewart, Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company; Chuck Wright, Lone Star Wealth Strategies
 
 

Former USAA CEO Accepts The American College's 2016 Soldier-Citizen Award

In his award acceptance, Joe Robles, former USAA CEO and retired U.S. Army Major General, tells his story of humble beginnings, and discusses the importance of lifelong education and the value of supporting our military and veterans...and how the Penn Mutual Center for Veterans Affairs is doing such great work.
 
 

2015 soldier-citizen award: duty, honor, country

A tribute to the 2015 Soldier-Citizen Award Recipient, General Ralph E. "Ed" Eberhart, USAF (Ret.).
 
 

2014 Soldier-Citizen Award Recipient

Learn more about the 2014 Soldier-Citizen Award Recipient, Admiral Joseph Prueher.
 
 

2014 Soldier-Citizen Award: The Gettysburg Address

Executive Director, Ted Digges, describes the purpose and background of the award which is driven home by a powerful rendition of The Gettysburg Address delivered by leaders from The American College.