Gen. Goldfein earns Eisenhower Award


ARLINGTON, Va. – Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David L. Goldfein, received the prestigious Eisenhower Award June 9 from the Business Executives for National Security during a virtual award dinner.

The Eisenhower Award, which is awarded twice a year, recognizes military leaders, public servants and private citizens who have made considerable contributions toward former President Dwight Eisenhower’s holistic definition of national security, described as, “…the total product of our economic, intellectual, moral and military strength.”

“What an honor it is to accept this recognition on behalf of the almost 700K Airmen who stand watch here in the homeland and abroad,” Goldfein said. “As leaders, it is our honor and sacred duty to take care of them and their families so they can take care of the mission.”

According to their website, BENS is a nonprofit organization comprised of more than 400 senior business and industry executives who volunteer their time and expertise to address the national security community’s most pressing challenges.

“Gen. Goldfein was recognized for his outstanding service to our nation and all that he has contributed to strengthening our national security,”said James Whitaker, BENS spokesman.

Goldfein was recognized for his commitment to shaping the Air Force and joint force for the future, Whitaker explained. He has been the thought leader championing collaborative efforts to connect the joint force across warfighting domains, while inspiring joint, interagency and coalition teams. He has balanced and modernized air, space, and cyberspace inventories, organizations, and training.

Unlike previous years when the award from the influential group known as BENS is presented during a high-profile dinner, Goldfein received the honor from retired Army Gen. Joseph L. Votel, BENS president and CEO, during the virtual gathering made necessary by the COVID-19 pandemic.

In addition, Goldfein’s contributions were celebrated by two “appreciators” – the former Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James and retired Chief Master Sgt. Jeremy Hardy. James and Goldfein served together for three years while James led the service as the 23rd secretary of the Air Force. Hardy, a career pararescueman, was part of the rescue force that saved Goldfein after being shot down in May 1999.

During the online event, Goldfein was one of four honorees to receive the Eisenhower Award. The other recipients honored were; Thomas J. Campbell, managing partner, DC Capital Partners; to Eren and Fatih Ozmen, owners and leaders of Sierra Nevada Corporation.

Goldfein joins a list of previous winners including former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford, former Secretaries of Defense Leon Panetta and Ash Carter, former Sen. John McCain, and current Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo.

“On behalf of our Airmen and our families, I offer a heartfelt thank you for all you do,” Goldfein said to the honorees and BENS. “I am truly honored, on behalf of our Airmen, to join the list of recipients who are titans in this great experiment called democracy.”

Since 2016, Goldfein has served as the chief of staff of the Air Force. He is the senior uniformed Air Force officer responsible for the organization, training and equipping of 693,000 active-duty, Guard, Reserve and civilian forces serving in the United States and overseas. As a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Goldfein and other service chiefs function as military advisers to the secretary of defense, National Security Council and the president.

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