Cardona joins San Francisco 49ers GM John Lynch and AMB Sports and Entertainment CEO Steve Cannon as the three finalists for the award.
According to the NFL, the award honors people involved in the NFL who make “exceptional efforts to honor and support members of the military community.”
When not on the football field, Cardona is a Lieutenant in the United States Navy, graduating from the U.S. Naval Academy at West Point in 2015.
Prior to his time in the NFL, Cardona was an Ensign in the Navy and worked as a staff officer at the Naval Academy Preparatory School in Rhode Island during his rookie season in 2015.
During his rookie season, Cardona was working his second job four days a week, which also included a 24-hour shift during the Patriots “day off.” In 2017, Joe was promoted to Lieutenant Junior Grade and served as a junior commissioned officer in the United States Navy and in 2019, Joe was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant in the Navy.
Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick hosted his promotion ceremony before a mini-camp practice at Gillette Stadium in front of his teammates.
During his Patriots career, Cardona has facilitated more than a dozen re-enlistment and retirement ceremonies at Gillette Stadium for military members. He also led a handful of free football clinics for military children at military bases across New England and replaced military family toys that were burned in a fire three years ago at Joint Base Cape Cod.
Per the NFL, “In 2017, Joe rallied teammates and coaches to each donate a pair of tickets to their game against Atlanta and over 150 military members, who had recently returned from deployment, were invited to the game and participated in a special pregame ceremony. Each year during Memorial Day weekend, Joe helps plant more than 37,000 American flags in the Boston Common to honor the brave men and women from Massachusetts that have lost their lives defending our country. Joe also offers his support to the Travis Manion Foundation, a nonprofit that empowers veterans and families of fallen heroes to develop character in future generations.”
Back in November, each of the NFL’s 32 teams chose a nominee for the award and a panel of six judges voted for the finalists “based on the positive effect of the individual’s efforts on the military community, the type of service conducted, the thoroughness of the program and level of commitment.”
The winner of the 2020 Salute To Service Award will be announced during the NFL Honors event the night before Super Bowl LV in Tampa, FL.
USAA bank will contribute $25,000 in the winner’s name to “the official aid societies representing all five military branches.”
Through the end of the 2020 season, Cardona has played in every Patriots regular season (96) , and postseason games (12), contributing to two Super Bowl championships.
Posted Under: Patriots News
Tags: Bill Belichick Joe Cardona