Baltimore Ravens Salute Nominee: John Harbaugh

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John Harbaugh (Head Coach)

Throughout his 12-year tenure as head coach of the Baltimore Ravens, John Harbaugh has displayed an unwavering commitment to the military. By consistently honoring those who have fought valiantly defending freedom, to establishing unique displays of appreciation for those who serve today, Harbaugh's support for America's service members is unparalleled in the NFL community. Even after winning the 2013 Salute to Service Award, Harbaugh has continued to create a culture throughout the Ravens organization that stresses reverence and gratitude for the military. Last season, Harbaugh assisted in launching a long-term relationship between the Ravens and the USS Maryland (SSBN 738)– a United States Navy Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine stationed in Kings Bay, GA.

Another example of his commitment to the military occurred near the end of the 2017 training camp, when Harbaugh surprised the entire team by cancelling practice and loading everyone on busses to visit The Pentagon and Arlington National Cemetery. The trip was an opportunity for players, coaches and staff to receive a behind-the-scenes tour of the historic locations and show appreciation for what each represents. Earlier that summer, Harbaugh once again arranged for a trip to the battlefields of Gettysburg, where many Ravens learned about the Civil War's impact on America and the sacrifices made by thousands of soldiers. Harbaugh has also visited numerous military installations, including bases in the Persian Gulf as part of the inaugural NFL USO Coaches Tour (2009), the Naval Special Warfare Center in Coronado, California, (2011), Andrews Air Force Base – and locations in Turkey and Afghanistan with Army Chief of Staff General Raymond Odierno (2014). In 2012, General Odierno -- who has spoken to the Ravens on multiple occasions, presented Harbaugh with the Outstanding Civilian Service Award.

Harbaugh is well-known for regularly having service members attend practice and inviting wounded warriors as his guests to each Ravens home game. He has spent significant time and funds to send holiday care packages to service members overseas, and he has purchased school supplies for children whose parents serve in the military. Not only do military members frequently come to practice or visit the field during pre-game warm-ups at M&T Bank Stadium, but on a daily basis, Harbaugh connects with service members through e-mails, phone calls and personal letters. In 2008, Harbaugh also helped institute Military Appreciation Day, an annual event that has taken place for 12-consecutive years during Ravens training camp. Since its establishment, over 10,000 service members have enjoyed opportunities to meet players and coaches, including during practices held at the Naval Academy's Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium. Day after day, year after year, John Harbaugh exemplifies military appreciation with genuine passion and consistency.

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