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An American hero. Major Dan “Noonan” Rooney is a fighter pilot with 3 combat tours in Iraq, a PGA Golf Professional, and the founder of the Folds of Honor. He has served as the motivational speaker for two U.S Ryder Cup teams and is a frequent guest with FOX News. A decorated military aviator, Major Rooney is currently stationed at Tyndall AFB Florida as a member of 301st Fighter Squadron.
Shortly after returning from his second tour as an F-16 fighter pilot in Iraq, fate would change Major Dan Rooney’s life forever. He will tell you it was synchronicity…chance with a purpose that placed him as a passenger on United Flight 664. On a cold spring night he witnessed the other side of war as Corporal Brad Bucklin escorted his twin brother Corporal Brock Bucklin home from Iraq. Rooney watched Brock’s four-year-old son standing helpless on the tarmac as his father’s flag-draped casket inched down the cargo ramp. At that moment, Rooney was called on a mission to ensure that the sacrifices of America’s heroes—our fallen military personnel—would never go unappreciated or unrewarded. Rooney founded Folds of Honor and has raised over $100 million and has awarded over 13,000 educational scholarships to the family members of soldiers killed or disabled in combat. Rooney is the author of A Patriot’s Calling: Living Life Between Fear and Faith. He has been awarded with numerous honors for his philanthropy and patriotism and named People magazine’s “Hero of the Year” and ABC World News’ “Person of the Year.” He will tell you his proudest accomplishment is being father of five daughters.
2013 NRA Annual Meetings: Dan Rooney
Dan Rooney - Folds of Honor: The Mission 2018
Behind the Scenes with Major Dan Rooney
A Patriot’s Calling: Leadership, Teamwork and Sacrifice
Speaking with conviction and as a man who has also found success in the military, philanthropy and professional golf, Rooney’s life experiences demonstrate lessons of faith, teamwork, trust, compassion and triumph.
From the outside, flying an F-16 jet looks like a very independent act, as it’s one pilot maneuvering one plane. But when you go into combat, fighter pilots in a squadron must form one unit that has a common mission working toward a common objective. As a pilot who served three tours of combat in Iraq, Major Dan Rooney knows the importance of working as a team when the stakes could not be higher. In his powerful presentations, Rooney highlights the importance of personal accountability, working together and ultimately having the backs of your team when you are on the line. Having dedicated his life’s mission to founding and running Folds of Honor—a non-profit organization that provides scholarships to the spouses and children of military service members disabled or killed in action—Rooney speaks with authority as someone who lives his life in service of those who have served.
God and Country…Without Apology
Growing up in Stillwater Oklahoma, Major Dan Rooney dreamed of becoming a USAF Fighter Pilot and a PGA Golf Professional; he had no idea how these dreams would manifest into a life changing mission.
Major Rooney’s life of purpose exemplifies a man committed to serving his God, family, and country. His stories demonstrate the power of providence in our lives. He describes in captivating detail the signposts placed by God guiding his journey. He teaches and empowers his audience with the skills and perspective to recognize the intervention of God in their own lives, and inspires them to have the faith to take action when God calls.
Major Rooney’s passion and faith are palpable. The authenticity and humility of his story evoke laughter, tears and reflection. But most importantly, he motivates his audience to be their personal best. In the final analysis of life, God gives us all unique talents. We are accountable for how we used those gifts to have a positive impact on the world around us.
Doing Good, Doing Well: Entrepreneurship and Building a Mission-Oriented Organization
CAVU: Ceiling and Visibility Unrestricted – Your Ascent to Greatness
The motivational and inspiring speech from Major Rooney last Friday was a memory our employees will never forget. He ran the spectrum from tears to laughter and we were all sitting listening to him and not wanting him to leave. He was an absolutely perfect speaker for our team and I can’t thank you enough for your recommendation and for making it a flawless event.PepsiCo
Everything was outstanding. Dan Rooney was great – and his speech fit perfectly with my theme. hat a great guy!Nebraska Bankers Association
The time that Major Rooney spent with the team was both emotional and incredibly motivational. I’ve never seen a speaker capture the attention of a Ryder Cup team quite like I witnessed with Dan. I know this will help our team compete at the highest level.Jim Remy, President of the PGA of America
Major Dan Rooney was THE BEST SPEAKER EVER!!!! Our crowd loved him, and many of our members commented that it was the best speaker they’ve ever heard at an industry event. He was a perfect fit for our folks! Thanks again for being so great to work with and for making our meeting such a success!National Rural Telecommunications Cooperative
The stories Rooney told left the room the quietest that I had ever seen an audience.Phil Mickelson, PGA Tour
Wanted you to know that Major Dan Rooney was fantastic today! He was extremely personable and did a great job! So many great comments about him. Our audience LOVED him!Second Baptist School
Major Dan "Noonan" Rooney is not only a husband, father, and friend, but someone that I personally look up to. I hope he motivates you half as much as Major Rooney has motivated me.Rickie Fowler, PGA Tour
As a broadcaster, I have witnessed my share of “amazing stories” in living color. The drama of sport, competition and life. The defining moments that make it all so compelling and give us hope. Major Dan’s story is one of the best I have ever been blessed to witness. The stories that Major Dan shares remind us that we are called to use our time and talents to positively impact the world. He allows us to climb into his cockpit and takes us on a journey. A journey marked by success, failure, laughter and tears. He shares the stories of many remarkable people and the ways they have prepared him for the mission of living. We can all learn from the lessons of Major Dan’s life. Major Dan will tell you he has been blessed, but we are the ones who have been blessed to know him. He is a uniter of people, a difference-maker and one of the greatest patriots I have ever met. You will feel in the end as I do now, he is an American treasure and someone we should be proud to call our friend.CBS Sports commentator Jim Nantz
Major Dan's remarks made a huge impact on the group. His story is so meaningful and inspirational. He was very well received and so many of our group got a chance to speak with him and thank him for his service. He made us all so proud to be Americans! I believe there are several interested in becoming involved with Folds of Honor as well. He is the best speaker we have had in some time !We are honored to have met him and heard his story.Columbia Pipeline Group
In a word, OUTSTANDING! Seriously, the room was completely moved and inspired. The panel that followed had a little trouble getting through their opening because Major Rooney’s remarks were so stirring.Deutsche Bank
Dan Rooney was a huge hit! He’s such a nice guy and gave such a wonderful and uplifting speech – he was enjoyed by all and I heard many wonderful comments. He also came out in the main foyer and visited with everyone after the program. What a great guy! Thanks to everyone at WSB for a great job!The Builders Association
Major Dan Rooney riveted the 2010 United States Ryder Cup Team room with his words, his emotions, and his presence. Major Rooney spoke about the true definition of team work, never leaving one man behind, and most importantly, the honor of representing our great country. One of the finest moments of my week.Ryder Cup Captain Corey Pavin