The Association of the United States Army (AUSA) today announced the awarding of its prestigious National Service Award to Bass Pro Shops and its founder, noted conservationist Johnny Morris. Presented in recognition of exemplary service and demonstrated enduring support to the American Soldier and the United States Army community, the National Service Award honors Johnny and Bass Pro Shops’ decades-long commitment to supporting veterans.
“We are honored to give one of our most prestigious awards – The National Service Award – to Bass Pro Shops and Johnny Morris. We recognize their incredible support to the U.S. Army,” said General Bob Brown (retired), President and CEO of the Association of the U.S. Army. “Johnny’s selfless efforts have supported soldiers and their families and our great veterans. We thank him for the generosity and dedication to our Nation.”
Recognized as “the Voice for the Army,” the Association of the United States Army presented the honor to Morris and Bass Pro Shops “in grateful appreciation for their dedicated service to the men and women in uniform and their families.” Morris accepted the award during a special presentation at the Association’s 2022 annual conference in Washington, D.C. attended by more than 40,000 soldiers from across the United States and around the world, representing allied armies from 22 nations. The conference was not only the AUSA’s largest annual gathering, but celebrated the grand opening of the new National Museum of the U.S. Army.
“On behalf of the entire team at Bass Pro Shops, we are humbled to receive this National Service Award. It is a privilege and honor to serve those whose sacrifice lies at the foundation of our way of life in this great nation,” Morris said. “We thank the Association of the United States Army. It truly is a remarkable group that does great work for the U.S. Army community and veterans across the country. This is a true, heartfelt honor that I am proud to accept on behalf of my Father and our 2,600 veteran Outfitters.”
Bass Pro Shops’ Commitment to Veterans and
to the U.S. Army Community
Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s have a long history of support for America’s veterans. This commitment stems from the passion of Johnny Morris, whose father, John A. Morris, served in World War II and fought in the Battle of the Bulge.
For decades, Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s have been committed to hiring those who have served our nation. Currently more than 2,600 of Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s Outfitters are veterans or active-duty military personnel. Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s also actively support veterans’ causes and the United States Army community in a variety of ways.
Partnering with the organization Helping a Hero, Bass Pro Shops is improving the lives of disabled American veterans and their families across the country. Through this partnership, Bass Pro Shops paid the mortgage on 10 specially adapted homes for disabled veterans and issued a challenge grant to fund 25% of the construction cost on the next 100 homes built by the organization.
Johnny Morris, Bass Pro Shops and Helping a Hero presenting two American heroes with keys to specially adapted homes.
Last year, with the support of customers across the country, Bass Pro Shops donated $300,000 to Folds of Honor, an organization that provides educational scholarships to the families of fallen U.S. soldiers. Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s also host a diversity of programs and events, including annual Fishing Dreams outings, being primary sponsor for the Shadow Warrior Project’s golf tournaments, and the 2021 Missouri Veterans Fishin’ Contest, that connect veterans with outdoor experiences. Earlier this year, Morris offered a free day away to more than 500 soldiers at Missouri’s Fort Leonard Wood, providing a visit to the Wonders of Wildlife National Museum and Aquarium for soldiers unable to be with their families during holiday block leave in December.
“My personal respect and gratitude for veterans is deeply rooted. It has been shared by my entire family, especially my dad, John A. Morris,” Morris said. “Growing up as a kid in Missouri, where I learned to hunt and fish, I always knew my father had served in the armed services. It wasn’t until much later in life that he shared with me that he fought in the Battle of the Bulge – one of the most intense conflicts of World War II. I am proud of my dad. His memory serves as an enduring reminder of the selfless courage shared by all who serve our country.”
Morris and Bass Pro Shops have donated more than $1.5 million to establish a series of veterans memorials at the College of the Ozarks in Missouri. The company has also been active in its support of the George W. Bush Presidential Center’s military service initiative that focuses on helping post-9/11 veterans and their families. In 2011, Morris was awarded the prestigious Order of Saint Maurice by the National Infantry Association in support of his outstanding contributions to the Army Infantry.
Morris and Bass Pro Shops have a long and proud history of showcasing support for veterans through the donation of space on NASCAR cars during nationally televised races with millions of viewers. Morris, Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s also support a variety of veteran-owned businesses, including Black Rifle Coffee Company and many others. With the support of the Bass Pro Shops Outdoor Fund and retail stores across the country, Morris and Bass Pro Shops donate to more than 200 veterans’ organizations, including AmVets, the USO and many local veterans’ organizations in communities that host Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s retail locations across the U.S. and Canada.
In 2022, Morris and Bass Pro Shops entered into a partnership with the US Chamber of Commerce’s Hiring Our Heroes Program. This initiative aims to not only increase the number of veterans the company hires, but to showcase the numerous workplace and cultural benefits of working with those who have served our nation. Through it all, Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s continue to offer its standing “Legendary Salute” military discount in all Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s stores and online, with more than a million discounted transactions in the past year alone.
About the Association of the United States Army
The Association of the United States Army is a nonprofit educational and professional development association serving America’s Army and supporters of a strong national defense. AUSA’s mission involves supporting soldiers, their families and Army civilians, providing a voice for the Army, and honoring those who have served. As the Army’s premier, nonprofit, educational and professional association, the AUSA:
• Educates those it serves (soldiers and their families, Army civilians, retired soldiers and veterans, and the businesses and industries that support the Army) with programs, products, resources and events…
• Informs its members, Congress and the American public about issues affecting America’s Army – Regular Army, Army National Guard and Army Reserve, and…
• Connects America’s Total Army, its industry partners, like-minded associations and other supporters at the national, regional and chapter levels.
For more information, or to support the Association of the United States Army, please visit: ausa.org
About Bass Pro Shops
Bass Pro Shops is North America’s premier outdoor and conservation company. Founded in 1972 when avid young angler Johnny Morris began selling tackle out of his father’s liquor store in Springfield, Missouri, today the company provides customers with unmatched offerings spanning premier destination retail, outdoor equipment manufacturing, world-class resort destinations and more. In 2017 Bass Pro Shops acquired Cabela’s to create a “best-of-the-best” experience with superior products, dynamic locations and outstanding customer service. Bass Pro Shops also operates White River Marine Group, offering an unsurpassed collection of industry-leading boat brands, and Big Cedar Lodge, America’s Premier Wilderness Resort. Under the visionary conservation leadership of Johnny Morris, Bass Pro Shops is a national leader in protecting habitat and introducing families to the outdoors and has been named by Forbes as “one of America’s Best Employers.”