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Army assistant coach, and former Army FB, wins Armed Forces Merit Award

Mike Viti continues to set the example on and off the field.

NCAA FOOTBALL: SEP 02 Army at Temple Photo by Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

First presented in 2012, the Armed Forces Merit Award is awarded annually by a panel comprised of members from the Football Writers Association of America and the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl. The awardees are individuals or a group with military background or involvement that has an impact on the realm of college football. Mike Viti, Army’s fullbacks coach, definitely fits that bill.

West Point Class of 2008, Viti played fullback for the Black Knights, compiling 519 yards on 121 touches (4.3 yards average) and three touchdowns. Upon graduation, Viti would go on to deploy to the Middle East with his classmates, earning a Bronze Star for his actions. Retiring from military service as a captain, Viti continued his dedication to others. He currently directs a non-profit which supports Gold Star families.

Army v Wake Forest Photo by Brian A. Westerholt/Getty Images

In 2014, prior to joining the Army coaching staff, Viti conducted “Mike’s Hike For Heroes” in honor of every servicemember who’d perished in the Global War on Terror. Starting in Washington, D.C. Viti marched 7,100km or 4,400mi and concluded his hike at the Army/Navy game in Baltimore, MD.

Viti was brought on shortly after head coach Jeff Monken took over the reins at West Point, and he has become a familiar, fired-up presence on the Army sideline. His influence has helped former players such as Andy Davidson and Darnell Woolfolk set Academy records, and he continues to develop a quality “stable” of fullbacks for Army’s rushing attack such as Connor Slomka and Sandon McCoy.

A leader on and off the field, it’s no surprise that Mike Viti has been selected for this award.

Congrats Coach Viti, and Go Army!