Sinise will receive the award in October, according to a news release from the group. A veteran of multiple USO tours, fundraising efforts, recruitment projects and other military-themed productions, his best-known outreach may come in the form of the Lt. Dan Band, which he started in 2004. The group, named for his iconic "Forrest Gump" character, performs about 50 shows a year at military installations and in support of military charity events, according to the release.

"To be recognized with such a distinguished honor is truly a privilege," Sinise said in the release, "and I hope that this recognition only helps to further shine a light on the continuing mission of supporting those who serve and defend our great country."

The award dates back to 1958. Current guidelines rule out West Point graduates from consideration, although President Eisenhower and Gen. Douglas MacArthur earned the award in 1961 and 1962, respectively, with MacArthur making an oft-quoted acceptance speech.

Bob Hope received the award in 1968. Other recipients include Presidents Reagan and George H.W. Bush, newsmen Tom Brokaw and Walter Cronkite, and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who was honored last year.

Sinise received the Presidential Citizens Medal in 2008, according to the release — second only to the Presidential Medal of Freedom as an award honoring civilian service to the nation. He also was named an honorary chief petty officer of the Navy in 2012.

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