NFL Salute to Service | NFL.com

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Salute to Service Award

Harrison Bernstein

Harrison Bernstein (Club Staff Alumni)

Harrison Bernstein founded Soldiers To Sidelines and has served as Executive Director since May 2014. Soldiers To Sidelines (STS) began as a project to help Service Members, Veterans, and Military Spouses discover a renewed sense of purpose as character-based sports coaches in their communities. Harrison was able to attract advisors to help steward the mission, and since 2018 the board has grown to over 21 leaders across various industries. Additionally, STS has built a staff of 12 employees and certified over 550 Soldier Coaches nationwide. 88% of STS Coaches are currently coaching, and 91% report having a greater sense of well-being because they coach others. To date, STS Coaches have positively influenced 27,000 athletes. Much of the growth has been attributed to Harrison developing partners and sponsors such as USO, Wounded Warrior Project, the New York Jets, and others. Harrison recently authored a book called The Everyday Coach: Harnessing the Magic of Influence. Harrison also hosts a podcast called Harrison Bernstein's Everyday Coach, which highlights leadership lessons learned from military heroes, business executives, and coaches to steward the craft of coaching. Harrison has held several coaching roles in the NFL in addition to working as a coach and teacher at the collegiate and high school levels. From 2015 to 2019, STS was a functioning Non-Profit organization but operated on a smaller scale while Harrison continued coaching in the NFL. Jets Leadership learned about the STS mission and witnessed the impact it had on Veterans and the football community. The Jets funded the first in-person STS Football Coaching Certification Seminar during the NFL Salute To Service week in 2019. The seminar certified 40 Veterans as football Soldier Coaches and culminated with a Salute To Service gameday experience. In response to Covid-19, the Jets bolstered their commitment to Veterans by sponsoring the first Virtual STS Football Coaching Seminar. From the continued support of the Jets, STS has been able to inspire more Veterans through this new virtual platform and has served as a catalyst to accelerate growth and impact. This partnership between the Jets and STS paved the way in 2021 for an incredible Salute To Service week of football coaching for Service Members, Veterans, and Military Spouses.