History of the Zachary and Elizabeth Fisher Distinguished Civilian Humanitarian Service Award

In 1996, the Secretaries of the Army, Navy, and the Air Force approved the establishment of the Zachary and Elizabeth Award for Distinguished Civilian Humanitarian Service.

The award was named in honor of Zachary and Elizabeth Fisher, both of whom had contributed extensively to the support and welfare of members of the U. S. Armed Forces and their families. The inaugural Zachary and Elizabeth Fisher Distinguished Civilian Humanitarian Award was presented to the Fishers at the Army-Navy football game in December 1996.

The Army, acting as executive agent, published a joint service regulation in 1998, establishing the award as a multi-service recognition to be given to an individual or organization demonstrating exceptional patriotism and humanitarian concern for members of the Armed Forces or their families. The recipient must exemplify Zachary and Elizabeth Fisher’s personal qualities of patriotism, generosity, and selfless dedication to improving the quality of life of members of the Armed Forces of the United States.

The Zachary and Elizabeth Fisher Distinguished Humanitarian Award consists of a large commemorative trophy with the annual recipient’s name engraved on brass plates. This trophy remains on display in the Pentagon and is removed only for the annual presentation ceremony. Medallions and lapel pins are presented to each annual recipient.

Previous recipients of the Zachary and Elizabeth Fisher Distinguished Humanitarian Service Award have been as follows:

Johnny Mac Soldiers Fund | 2017

USO Guam | 2016

Carlene Joseph | 2015

Karen Guenther, Founder of Semper Fi Fund  | 2014

Bonnie Carroll, Founder of TAPS | 2013

LEEK Hunting and Mountain Preserve | 2012

Chris Sehman | 2011

John Gonsalves, Founder of Homes For Our Troops | 2010

Dr. John Schupp | 2009

Iraq Afghanistan Deployment Impact Fund (Nancy Berg lass) | 2008

Julie DeMaria | 2007

GySgt. Mario Monaco, Jr., USMC Reserves, Retired | 2006

Harry and Sharon Rideout | 2005

Blanche Glymph | 2004

Mrs. Dorothy Hunt Finley | 2003

Frank J. Uddo | 2002

Military Affairs Committee, Great Falls (MT) Chamber of Commerce | 2001

Harold U. Littrell | 2000

Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen | Special

Janet Langhart Cohen | Special

David W. Hearn, Jr. | 1999

Christina McCall | 1998

Zachary and Elizabeth M. Fisher | 1996