On Monday, February 26th, 2024, at the Washington, D.C., Ritz Carlton Soldier To Sidelines hosted their annual Legacy of Leadership dinner honoring NFL NY Giants Head Coach Tom Coughlin, Medal of Honor Recipient and Soldier Coach Pat Payne, and RR Donnelley CEO Tom Quinlan. Each of these tremendous leaders received the STS Legacy of Leadership Champion Ring as a trophy for their lifetime of leadership success, signifying the ripple effect they created among the people they led, who consequently paid it forward.

Each of their stories inspired the packed audience of over 380 attendees to create their own ripple effect and support 500 more Soldier Coaches. The dinner raised enough money to certify, over 500 more Soldier Coaches who will positively develop approximately 25,000 more athletes this year to become future leaders of character.

Soldiers To Sidelines was humbled to host influential military leaders at the dinner who understand how Soldiers To Sidelines improves four essential issues:

    1. Improve the well-being of the military community by establishing a strong sense of purpose through coaching development.
    2. Improving the quantity and quality of coaching leaders in communities throughout our country.
    3. Bridging the civilian-military divide at the community level nationwide by creating an understanding of the value of military service.
    4. Ensuring the future viability of the all-volunteer military force by directly addressing the military’s current recruiting challenges.

Legacy of Leadership dinner photo

The following notable dignitaries dined with our Soldier Coaches, friends, and family in support of solving these challenges:

Mrs. Sheila Casey
Spouse, 36th Chief of Staff US Army, General (Retired) George Casey. And our 2023 Military Honoree.

Vice Admiral John Fuller
42nd Naval Inspector General, US Naval Forces

Lieutenant General Kevin Vereen
Deputy Chief of Staff, G9, US Army

Lieutenant General (Retired) Bob Caslen
59th Superintendent, United States Military Academy

Mrs. Beth Stitt
Spouse of Lieutenant General Doug Stitt, Deputy Chief of Staff, G1, US Army

Ms. Anita Dixon
Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army (CASA), District of Columbia

Ms. Angie Ritz
Director, Civilian Aides to Secretary of Army (CASA)

Lieutenant General Haibatullah Alizai
Chief of Afghan National Army

Thomas E. Matthews
Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence & Security

Senior Executive Service 2 Bruce Hollywood
US Space Force

Chief Warrant Officer 5, Phyllis Wilson
Army Reserve Ambassador for the State of Maryland

Major General John Rafferty
Chief of Public Affairs, US Army

Major General Deb Kotulich
Deputy Chief of US Army Reserve

Major General (Retired) Tim McGuire
Last served as Deputy Commanding General, US Army Installation Management Command

Major General (Retired) John Uberti
Last served as Deputy Commanding General, US Army Third Corps

Major General (Retired) Malcolm Frost
Last served as Director of Operations, US Army-Pacific Command

Brigadier General Mike Shapland
New Zealand Defense Forces, Defense Attache

Patricia S. Collins
Acting Director, U.S. Government Bureau of Engraving and Printing

Brigadier General (Retired) Burt Thompson
Last served as Deputy Director of Strategic Plans & Policy, US Pacific Command

Brigadier General (Retired) Mike Meese

Command Sergeant Major, Michael Weimer
17th Sergeant Major of the Army

Command Sergeant Major, Greg Seymour
Fort Liberty, North Carolina

Command Sergeant Major (Retired) Tom Beyard
Last served as Senior Enlisted Leader, Maryland National Guard

Command Sergeant Major (Retired) Mike Quinn
US Army

Steve Miska
Executive Director, PACT Act, Office of Veterans Affairs

Eryn Wagnon
Director Joining Forces- Office of the First Lady, White House

Meg O’Grady represented National University as the Legacy of Leadership Reception Host Sponsor. She highlighted the many NU programs and opportunities to earn educational degrees to advance careers, which is essential for improving earning potential as a Soldier Coach. Additionally, we were honored to have her reveal the first National University mascot, The Navigators, to our military audience.

Thanks to all of our partners, sponsors, and donors, Soldiers To Sidelines set a fundraising record at this year’s Legacy of Leadership Dinner. Our Legacy of Leadership Committee stepped up to help achieve this record with the special efforts of Rob Lively, Rob Dickerson, Vince McBeth, Chad Hennings, Tom Beyard, Cedric King, Martha Macphee, Jim Beamesderfer, Ed McGuire, Adam Rocke, and Marty Moore.

The collective efforts of Soldiers To Sidelines Staff, the STS Board of Directors, the Leadership Committee, sponsors, donors, and honorees empowered hundreds of new Soldier Coaches in 2024 to realize their new purpose to serve our country as a coach. They will become exemplary role models for today’s impressionable youth, leading to a stronger national community.

We hope all who attended this year will join us again next year at the 4th Annual Legacy of Leadership Dinner and welcome all newcomers to join us to cast a stone in the water, creating a greater ripple effect of coaching leadership.