Over the course of his seven-year NFL career, Cardona has balanced both his football and Naval service time.
Head coach Bill Belichick, a noted Naval Academy supporter dating back to his father’s time there as a coach, has often incorporated Cardona’s other job into a learning experience for the team.
Back in June 2019, head coach Bill Belichick hosted Cardona’s promotion to lieutenant in a special ceremony alongside his teammates at Gillette Stadium.
Below is a full statement from the NFL addressing Cardona’s nomination.
“Joe Cardona attended the Naval Academy for four years prior to his 2015 rookie season where he was an Ensign in the Navy and worked as a staff officer at the Naval Academy Preparatory School in Rhode Island. That season, he was working his second job four days a week, which included a 24-hour shift during the team’s “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. He proudly wears his Naval uniform as the team boards the plane for away games. Joe has facilitated more than a dozen re-enlistment and retirement ceremonies at Gillette Stadium for fellow 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.
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.”
Before the 2018 season, Cardona’s work was recognized by the Patriots as its Ron Burton Community Service Award winner.
Each November, the NFL in partnership with USAA asks all 32 NFL teams to nominate a player, coach, staff, or alumni who show a demonstrable commitment to honoring and supporting military and veteran communities.
Finalists are for the award are scheduled to be announced in January, and the recipient will be recognized at NFL Honors, a primetime awards special to air nationally the week of Super Bowl LVI.
Posted Under: Patriots News
Tags: Bill Belichick Joe Cardona