The NFL and USAA named Denver Broncos tight end Andrew Beck as the recipient of the 2021 Salute to Service Award. The award was created to acknowledge the exceptional efforts by members of the NFL community to honor and support members of the military community.

Beck will be recognized at NFL Honors, a two-hour primetime awards special that will air live Thursday, February 10 at 9 p.m. ET on ABC from YouTube Theater at Hollywood Park in Los Angeles. USAA will contribute $25,000 in Beck's honor to the official aid societies representing each of the military branches. The NFL Foundation will match USAA's donation of $25,000, which will be donated to Beck's military charity of choice. Beck will also receive a specially designed military challenge coin, recognizing his commitment to the military.

"Coming from a military family thanks to his father's service, Andrew Beck definitely knows that the military community needs our support, and he has admirably used his platform as an NFL player to give back to his fellow military families and those who choose to wear the uniform," said Vice Admiral (Ret.) John Bird, USAA senior vice president of military affairs. "We thank Andrew for continuing to serve all those who serve and are pleased to honor him as the recipient of this year's 'Salute to Service Award presented by USAA.'"

Beck knows firsthand some of the sacrifices made by our military community. While volunteering at a Salute to Service PLAY 60 Clinic in 2019, Beck learned that kids drove from Fort Carson Army Base in Colorado Springs. Beck's face immediately lit up, as he had played high school football in the area while his dad was stationed at the same base. 

Despite cancellations, protocols and restrictions, Beck refused to let the pandemic impact his commitment to support the military. In November of 2020, he assembled Salute to Service care packages for military bases across Colorado and helped host a virtual visit with Wounded Warrior Project veterans.

"To win this award means so much to me. Working with the military and giving back to them is something I'm passionate about. I grew up in a military family, so I know the things that they go through," said Beck. "My dad [who is in the military] is such a big role model to me. This will be a memory I cherish for the rest of my life."

This season, NFL clubs nominated coaches, active and retired players, and team executives and personnel, who best demonstrated support for the military community. The nominees were publicly announced in November and the submissions were evaluated by a panel of judges, including last year's award recipient, Atlanta Falcons/AMB Sports and Entertainment CEO Steve Cannon. Nominees' credentials are evaluated based on the positive effect of the individual's efforts on the military community, the type of service conducted, the thoroughness of the program and level of commitment.

The panel of judges, consisting of representatives from the U.S. military, the NFL and USAA, includes:

  • Vice Admiral John Bird (Ret.), U.S. Navy veteran, USAA Senior Vice President of Military Affairs
  • Lenny Bandy, U.S. Marine Corps Veteran and NFL Vice President of Security
  • Chad Hennings, Air Force Academy graduate, three-time Super Bowl champion
  • Donnie Edwards, Los Angeles Chargers Legend and 2019 Salute to Service Award recipient
  • Jim Mora, Sr., Marine Corps veteran, former NFL head coach
  • Steve Cannon, CEO, AMB Sports & Entertainment (Atlanta Falcons) and 2020 Salute to Service Award recipient

Below is the list of previous Salute to Service Award recipients:





Steve Cannon (CEO)

Atlanta Falcons


Donnie Edwards

Los Angeles Chargers


Ben Garland

Atlanta Falcons


Andre Roberts

Atlanta Falcons


Dan Quinn (Head Coach)

Atlanta Falcons


Vincent Jackson (Late Legend)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers


Jared Allen

Chicago Bears


John Harbaugh (Head Coach)

Baltimore Ravens


Charles Tillman

Chicago Bears


K.S. "Bud" Adams Jr. (Late Owner)

Tennessee Titans

The Salute to Service Award is part of the NFL and USAA's year-round commitment to recognize and honor the military community. Fans can join the NFL and USAA in honoring the military community by visiting