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Major Dan Rooney, USAF      

Fighter Pilot, PGA Professional, Patriotic Philanthropist & Author of "A Patriot's Calling: Living Life Between Fear and Faith"

An American hero. An inspirational patriot. Major Rooney is a philanthropist and professional golfer whose dedication to his military brethren led him to found an organization in their honor. He exemplifies the very best of the American spirit. Rooney was the only motivational team speaker for the U.S. Ryder Cup team in Wales, an amazing opportunity that has been historically reserved for presidents.

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, a non-profit organization that has raised over $70 million and has awarded more than 10,000 educational scholarships to the family members of soldiers killed or disabled in combat. In his keynote presentations, Rooney tells his inspiring story of combat and serving others while highlighting the importance of faith, teamwork, accountability and finding your life's mission. Rooney’s captivating stories empower his audiences with the skills to identify the moments of synchronicity guiding their lives and leave them with a road map to become a positive force for change. Regardless of the audience, his speeches push the envelope of human emotion. He touches our hearts and souls with laughter and tears and challenges us to use our time and talents to positively impact the world and the people around us. Rooney is the author of the moving life story 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”.

Speech Topics

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.

Doing Good, Doing Well: Entrepreneurship and Building a Mission-Oriented Organization

When Major Dan Rooney started the Folds of Honor foundation above his garage in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma in 2007, little did he know that what started as a way to never forget the sacrifices of those who serve would turn into a movement that has caught the attention of millions across the country. With no experience in philanthropy but with a driving determination to do right by the families of the injured or fallen from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Rooney has embarked on growing Folds of Honor into a nationally-recognized charity that has raised over $70 million and awarded nearly 8000 educational scholarships. Using the lessons he has learned in building a vibrant organization, Rooney shares his journey as a social entrepreneur and how partnerships have helped his organization grow by leaps and bounds—including his own multi-platform partnership with Budweiser that has expanded Folds of Honors reach both in extending their brand and raising money. An inspiring and innovative leader, Rooney shows how any organization can do well by supporting the common good.

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.


Major Rooney, Air Force Pilot and PGA Golf professional, to serve as ...

The Salvation Army of Greater Houston has announced that United States Air Force Pilot and PGA Golf Professional Major Dan "Noonan" Rooney will serve as  ...

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