JINSA’s 36th Annual Awards Dinner

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo

Michael R. Pompeo was sworn in as Secretary of State on April 26, 2018. He previously served as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency from January 2017 to April 2018.

Prior to joining the Trump Administration, Mr. Pompeo was serving in his fourth term as congressman from Kansas’ 4th District. He served on the House Intelligence Committee, as well as the Energy and Commerce Committee and House Select Benghazi Committee.

Prior to his service in Congress, Mr. Pompeo founded Thayer Aerospace, where he served as CEO for more than a decade. He later became President of Sentry International, an oilfield equipment manufacturing, distribution, and service company.

Mr. Pompeo graduated first in his class at the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1986 and served as a cavalry officer patrolling the Iron Curtain before the fall of the Berlin Wall. He also served with the 2nd Squadron, 7th Cavalry in the US Army’s Fourth Infantry Division.

After leaving active duty, Mr. Pompeo graduated from Harvard Law School, having been an editor of the Harvard Law Review.

Fred Zeidman

Mr. Zeidman, a member of JINSA’s Board of Directors, is being honored for his strong commitment to advancing JINSA’s mission of promoting a strong U.S. national security and robust U.S.-Israel security relationship. Chairman of Gordian Group, Fred is the Chairman Emeritus of the United States Holocaust Memorial Council, Emeritus National Campaign Chairman of Israel Bonds, Chairman of Council for a Secure America, and a widely respected civil and business leader.

JINSA Grateful Nation Award

Each year, JINSA presents the Grateful Nation Award to six young warriors recognized for having distinguished themselves through superior conduct and exceptional service. 

2018 Recipients:

Master Sergeant Michael L. Settles
United States Army

Staff Sergeant Jason T. Pacheco
United States Marine Corps

Lieutenant Commander Jacob W. Romelhardt
United States Navy

Lieutenant Emily H. Brockway
United States Coast Guard

Master Sergeant Daniel P. McKnight
United States Air Force

Major Cade A. Reedy, USAF
United States Special Operations Command

Grand Hyatt
1000 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001

2018 Sponsors

as of September 24, 2018

Host Committee


Leon and Elaine Ellman & Family
Leno and Paul Sislin (Los Angeles)
Catherine and David P. Steinmann
Colleen A. Edwards, M.D. and Joel M. Zinberg, M.D., J.D.

Dr. Matthew and Susan Berger
Judith Ganz and Lawrence Gray
Leena and Erwin Groner
Bryna and Joshua Landes & Family
Lisa and Michael Leffell
Steven Wells

Special Thanks To
Diana and Michael David Epstein
Steve Gordon
Janice & Stephen Hefter
Franklin Paulson
Regina Rogers
Barbara & Richard Rosenberg
Phyllis and Jack Selber
Robert Zarnegin
Kay & Fred Zeidman

JINSA’s 2018 Grateful Nation Award Advisory Board

The Grateful Nation Award, established in 2003, is presented annually to six young heroes recognized for having distinguished themselves through superior conduct in the War on Terrorism. Honorees are nominated and selected by their respective service. The honorees come from the enlisted, noncommissioned officer and junior officer ranks. Honorees represent each of the five branches of the U.S. military and the U.S. Special Operations Command.

GEN. James D. Thurman, USA (ret.)
LTG. Mick Bednarek, USA (ret.)
LtGen Frederick McCorkle, USMC (ret.)
ADM Mark P. Fitzgerald, USN (ret.)
VADM Peter V. Neffenger, USCG (ret.)
RADM William F. Merlin, USCG (ret.)
Lt Gen Michael Gould, USAF (ret.)
MG. Sid Shachnow, USA (ret.)

We would like to thank Adm. Leon “Bud” Edney, USN (ret.), Lt. Gen. Charles A. May, Jr. USAF (ret.), R. Adm. William F. Merlin, USCG (ret.), and Gen. Louis C. Wagner, Jr., USA (ret.) for their many years of dedication and service to JINSA.