Each year, we present the following awards.

  • Soldier of the Year
  • Marine of the Year
  • Sailor of the Year
  • Airman of the Year
  • Coastguardsman of the Year
  • Guardian of the Year
  • Veteran of the Year


The award was established in 2001 by Army Times Publishing Company (renamed in 2015, Sightline Media Group). The initial program highlighted exemplary achievement by a service member beyond the call of duty.

Service Members of the Year is produced by the Military Times Foundation, a nonprofit corporation established to recognize, salute and highlight the exemplary service of active duty personnel serving in each branch of the U.S. Armed Services. Military Times Foundation additionally supports other veteran service organizations conducting activities within the meaning of Internal Revenue Code section 501(c)(3).

For the past 23 years, the annual Military Times Service Members of the Year Award has grown into a much-anticipated event. The awards ceremony has become one of Washington’s A-list events attended by congressional, military and community leaders.


Nominees must be U.S. residents (excluding Puerto Rico) who are 18 years or older, active U.S. military, a member of one of the military reserves, in the National Guard, or a veteran.

To be considered for this award the advisory board committee is looking for Nominees with exceptional service or achievements, including one or more of the following criteria:

  • Service members whose recent personal experience and achievements embodies the spirit of professional excellence, personal sacrifice and resilience that make the military great.
  • Service members whose recent actions in their military career have gone above and beyond the call of duty.
  • Service members whose recent personal experience highlights the changing needs and institutional agility that are essential to modern military readiness.
  • Service members with significant off-duty community service work that highlights the non-institutional aspects of commitment to public service.

In 2018 a new award had been added to recognize former service members for their outstanding accomplishments out of uniform. The Veteran of the Year Award recognizes and honors an exceptional veteran who, through his character, spirit, and exceptional public service sets an example, and makes an extraordinary difference in their community, for their comrade veterans and for awareness of essential military and veteran issue


Military Times Foundation, with its board and Military Times editors, will make the Service Members of the Year selections from the nominations received. Finalists will be contacted on or about November 1st of 2023.


The Overall Winner of each branch receives the following:

  • A feature in the Military Times websites, newspapers and on the Service Members of the Year website, including video profiles of honorees’ stories and accomplishments which can all be used by honorees for their personal career portfolios.
  • Recognition during an award event attended by military leadership, industry, and community leaders.
  • Each award recipient will be honored in Washington D.C. in July. Military Times Foundation hosts the award recipient and a guest for a week including a variety of activities around the city such as tours of the White House and Capitol Building, culminating in an award ceremony.


See official rules for details.


Military Times Foundation is a nonprofit corporation organized and operated exclusively for charitable purposes to recognize, salute and highlight the exemplary service of active duty personnel serving in each branch of the U.S. Armed Services and support other organizations conducting activities with similar goals who operate within Internal Revenue Code section 501(c)(3). Military Times Foundation has a flagship program entitled Service Members of the Year, which recognizes and awards outstanding service members and veterans each year.

In an effort to support other 501(c)(3) organizations with the same purposes of recognizing, saluting, and highlighting exemplary service of personnel in each branch of the U.S. armed forces, Military Times Foundation plans to share a majority of its net profits with similar organizations.

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