Head Coach John Harbaugh is the Ravens' nominee for the 2017 Salute to Service Award, which was announced by the league Friday morning.
Harbaugh won the award in 2013, and has only continued to create a culture throughout the Ravens organization that stresses reverence and gratitude for the military.
Throughout his 10-year tenure in Baltimore, Harbaugh has shown an unwavering commitment to the military. He consistently honors those who have fought to defend our freedom, and has established unique displays of appreciation for those who serve today.
"In our journeys with the military, I've taken notes and have enjoyed moments of deep reflection. We've spoken with leaders and soldiers alike, searching for a common bond that resonates with our football team," Harbaugh said.
"Here is what I know: It's about teamwork. It's about working together, putting the mission above yourself, putting the team before yourself. It's about doing everything you can to make the team its very best. This is what the military is all about, and that's why football and the military are so closely tied and relate so well to each other."
Near the end of this year's training camp, Harbaugh surprised the entire team by cancelling practices and bussing them to visit The Pentagon and Arlington National Cemetery. Players got a behind-the-scenes tour of the historic locations and learned what each represents.
Two former Ravens players and former servicemen, wide receiver Keenan Reynolds (Navy) and defensive back Otha Foster (Marines) participated in a powerful wreath-laying ceremony.
Harbaugh also took the team to the battlefields at Gettysburg, where Ravens players learned about the Civil War's impact and the sacrifices made by thousands of soldiers. In the spring of 2017, Harbaugh donated $1,500 worth of hats to soldiers in Afghanistan.
He was part of the inaugural NFL USO Coaches Tour to the Persian Gulf in 2009, and visited undisclosed locations in Turkey and Afghanistan with Army Chief of Staff General Raymond Odierno in 2014. Harbaugh and Gen. Odierno have become good friends, and the General has spoken to the team on multiple occasions. In his first year in Baltimore, Harbaugh helped institute Military Appreciation Day, an annual event during Ravens training camp that has welcomed more than 9,000 servicemembers and their families to special treatment during practices. He also reaches out to soldiers via e-mails, phone calls and personal letters on a daily basis.