BOSTON (CBS) — Patriots long snapper and Navy Lieutenant Joe Cardona has been named one of three finalists for the NFL’s and USAA’s Salute To Service Award.
The award honors people involved in the NFL who make “exceptional efforts to honor and support members of the military community.”
49ers GM John Lynch and AMB Sports and Entertainment CEO Steve Cannon are the other finalists.
The 28-year-old Cardona attended the U.S. Naval Academy prior to being drafted by Bill Belichick in the fifth-round of the 2015 NFL Draft. He has since played in all 96 regular-season games and 12 postseason games, winning two Super Bowls with the team.
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, before transferring to the Navy Reserves in 2016. Cardona was promoted to Lieutenant Junior Grade and served as a junior commissioned officer in the United States Navy in 2017. He was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant in the Navy in 2019.
Each of the NFL’s 32 teams put forth a nominee for the award back in November, 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 will be announced the night of the NFL Honors on the night before the Super Bowl.