Bravery Beyond the Battlefield

Special Forces Association Chapter 90, Fredericksburg and central Virginia Rappahannock region, recognize that bravery comes in many forms and is not limited to the battlefield. U.S. Army Special Forces - 'Green Berets' - have a hard won and legendary reputation for battlefield bravery.  However we recognize that bravery comes in many forms.  In order to recognize our neighbors and friends here in the central Rappahannock region who demonstrate exemplary courage and bravery we established an annual "Profiles in Courage - Bravery Beyond the Battlefield' award. This award recognizes individuals who through their actions have faced great challenge or danger and come out on top.  Their stories serve as an inspiration for all and represent the best in ourselves as citizens, our community, and our culture as Americans.



You may not nominate yourself for this award.  You must have firsthand knowledge of an action or were a witness to an act or event involving the candidate to nominate a person (or persons) for the Profile In Courage Award.


If you are nominating a spouse, child, parent or other close relation it is highly recommended to have a second nominator listed that has knowledge of the accomplishment but is not related to the nominee.

The nominee shall not have been previously recognized by another organization for the same act or deed unless that organization is the primary employer (e.g. a Stafford County firefighter being recognized by Stafford County Fire and Rescue for a heroic act).

Nominee must be a resident of, or employed in, the greater Fredericksburg area which includes the city of Fredericksburg, and the counties of King George, Fauquier, Orange, Spotsylvania, Caroline, and Stafford.


To be considered for the Profile In Courage Award, one or more of the following criteria shall have been met by the nominee:

  • Initiated, or was directly involved, in an act that saved, or attempted to save, a life or lives while putting themselves at great risk of injury or death

  • Defeated an extreme personal hardship (physical, financial, substance dependence, etc.) and elevated themselves to be a role model for others going through a like difficulty

  • Dedicated significant personal time and resources for the betterment of another person, whether it be family, friend, coworker, neighbor, etc., through education, physical assistance, counseling or motivation

  • Dedicated significant personal time and resources for the betterment of an organization or entity that supports the community such as hospitals, churches, shelters or food banks.

  • Volunteered as a caretaker for an individual suffering a terminal or debilitating illness to provide comfort and support, and improve quality of life


CPT James Ahn Memorial Scholarship

Captain James Ahn, a graduate of UC Riverside and the Claremont McKenna College Army ROTC program, died in 2015 during a parachute training operation while participating with his Special Forces unit in Washington State.

For all of us who knew and loved James, he will never be forgotten. He was the consummate person and professional who was respected by everyone he came in contact with.

In James’ honor, we are sponsoring an annual scholarship of $1,000 to a Special Forces Veteran who is working towards the completion of a higher education degree. 

“He had a big smile and would always grin ear to ear,” Master Sgt. Dan Linderman said. “He always found time to smile about something and made friends with our Asian counterparts. They latched onto him.”



Presented to Ms. Debbie Sparks

The Richard L. Ferguson Memorial Chapter (Chapter XC/90) initiated it’s 1st annual Bravery Beyond the Battlefield award in 2019.

We were proud to present the 2019 Courage Award to Ms. Debbie Sparks, who was honored and presented with a plaque at the annual Chapter Holiday Party in January 2020.  Ms. Sparks was chosen from multiple nominees due to her outstanding efforts to better the lives of children in our local community, as well as supporting nationwide veteran-related efforts. 


She chose to adopt a young boy with significant emotional issues and provide him with a safe, loving home and an opportunity for a real future that was not going to happen in his previous situation. 


Ms. Sparks was also the National Operations Manager for the Wreaths Across America project.


The MG Frederick Leadership Award

About MG Frederick

MG Frederick Leadership Award

MG Robert Tyrone Frederick (1907-1970)


Born in San Francisco Frederick attended Staunton (VA) Military Academy for one year before transferring to West Point where he graduated in 1928.  


Shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor Fredericks was given command of a new combined U.S.-Canadian commando unit known as the 1st Special Service Force (1SSF) aka 'The Force.' Their mission was to destroy German 'heavy water' production factories, a necessary element in producing an atomic bomb at the time, in Norway. The 'Force' was extensively trained in mountain and winter weather operations. 


The mission to Norway was eventually cancelled. After initial combat operations in the Aleutians in July 1943 'The Force' redeployed to Italy in November and soon entered the line.  1SSF attacked and captured the heavily defended Mount La Difensa and other strongholds in December and January '44.  The attack on Mount La Difensa is highlighted in the movie 'The Devils Brigade' starring William Holden and Cliff Robertson. Following the 'mountain top fights' the 1SSF deployed to Anzio from Jan - May '44 where they conducted aggressive combat patrols holding a section of line along the Mussolini Canal normally assigned to units 4-5X larger.  In May '44 the 1SSF led the breakout attack and was the first allied unit into Rome on 4 June '44.  


In late June '44 Frederick was promoted to BG and given command of a new unit, the 1st Allied Airborne Task Force (1AATF), for the invasion of southern France in August '44.  This was an ad hoc division sized airborne unit comprised of battalion and regimental sized elements from both the U.S. and British armies. With just over one month to prepare the 1AATF conducted a textbook airborne assault into southern France with minimal casualties. 


In early December '44 Frederick, now promoted to MG, was given command of the 45th Infantry Division. The 45th saw heavy combat in Alsace, the capture of Nuremberg in mid-April and finally the occupation of Munich at the end of the month where it finished the war.   


MG Frederick, along with MG James Gavin, 82nd Airborne, were the youngest division commanders in the U.S. Army in WW2. MG Gavin was eight days younger than MG Frederick. 


MG Fredericks medals include: 2 Distinguished Service Crosses (2nd highest award); 2 Army Distinguished Service medals; 2 Legion of Merits; Silver Star; Bronze Star w/oak leaf cluster; Air Medal; and Purple Heart w/ 7 oak leaf clusters. 


British Prime Minister Winston Churchill declared 'Robert Frederick the greatest fighting general of all time. If we had a dozen more like him we would have smashed Hilter in 1942.' 


The V-42 combat knife was partly designed while Frederick was commanding the 1st Special Service Force.  The V-42 was its trademark weapon and its members were trained extensively in its use. The profile of the V-42 knife appears in the crests of both the U.S. Army Special Forces and the Canadian Army Joint Task Force 2 (Special Forces). 

Award Criteria




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SFA Ch 90 MG Frederick Award



FALL 2021 (TBD)