Gen. Charles Krulak

Retired U.S. Marine Corps Gen. Charles “Chuck” C. Krulak earned the United States Sport Academy’s Theodore Roosevelt Meritorious Achievement Award for his longtime contributions to sport from his wrestling days at the U.S. Naval Academy to his military service as the commandant of the U.S. Marines Corps.

Now the president of Birmingham-Southern College where he is leading an effort to restore the private university’s financial health, Krulak has distinguished himself as an athlete, Marine and businessman.

Krulak was a standout wrestler at the U.S. Naval Academy and at Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire. He earned induction into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in 1996.

A 35-year veteran of the Marines, Krulak was appointed in July 1995 as the 31st commandant of U.S. Marines Corps and was a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He retired from the post in June 1999 and is credited during his tenure for annually increasing the USMC share of the Department of Defense budget by $1.5 billion to initiate a modernization effort that continues to benefit troops today.

Krulak’s military career included two tours of duty in Vietnam, serving in the Persian Gulf War and being the commanding general of the 2nd Force Service Support Group at Camp LeJeune, N.C., during the Gulf War. His military honors include the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, the Navy Distinguished Service Medal, the Silver Star Medal, three Bronze Star medals, two Purple Heart Medals, the Meritorious Service Medal, and the French Legion of Honor, among many others.

After his retirement from the military, Krulak was named chairman and chief executive officer of MBNA Europe Bank in Chester, England in 2001. There he spearheaded a financial turnaround for the third largest credit card provider in the United Kingdom and the largest credit card provider in the Republic of Ireland. In 2004, he joined MBNA America Bank N.A. in Wilmington, Del., as vice chairman and chief administrative officer, where he was responsible for corporate development and acquisitions, personnel and education for the Fortune 500 company.

The Academy’s Theodore Roosevelt Meritorious Achievement Award is presented annually to an individual in any amateur or professional sport, past or present, who has excelled as a contributor to both sport and society over at least a decade.