'She's well worth it' — Third-generation sailor pinned by Navy vet father and grandfather

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Hospital Corpsman, 3rd Class, Jennifer Rooney, who was immediately promoted after selection through the Meritorious Promotion Program, was pinned in a ceremony Sept. 20, 2019, by her father, Robert Rooney, and grandfather, John Rooney. (U.S. Marine Corps/Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael Molina)

A U.S.S. Manchester, CL-83, hat firmly tucked on his head, John Ronney, pierced the collar of his granddaughter, Jennifer Rooney's new rank during a special pinning ceremony at Naval Medical Center Camp Lejeune on Sept. 25.

By Rooney's side was his son and Jennifer's father Robert, a Navy veteran. Together, three Navy veterans brought together for military tradition.

"They are the two people who taught me everything I needed to know about the Navy," said Jennifer.


A Corpsman, at the Wayne Caron Clinic aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, Rooney was selected for immediate promotion through the Meritorious Advancement Program (MAP), earning the rank of Hospital Corpsman, Third Class.

To MAP requires extensive tests on Navy knowledge and overall selection based on commitment to service by the sailor's peers.

"The fact that I was selected for the MAP program at my first command makes me thankful for my chain of command for believing in me and nominating me as an HM3," said Jennifer. "It also makes me thankful for my family because I learned everything about having a hard work ethic and becoming a Sailor from them."

Being pinned by her father, and grandfather, was something Jennifer had anticipated from the moment she began preparing for the advancement exams.

John, retired Radioman, Second Class, served four years during the Korean War.

Robert, retired Sonar Tech, First Class, served 20 years in the Navy.

Being a part of Jennifer's promotion was something neither would have missed.

"She's well worth it," said John.

Hospital Corpsman, 3rd Class, Jennifer Rooney, is pinned by her grandfather, John Rooney, United States Navy Korean War veteran, in a ceremony Sept. 20, 2019, after she was immediately promoted through the Meritorious Promotion Program. (U.S. Marine Corps/Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael Molina)

Jennifer started her Navy career in June 2017, coming to NMCCL in January 2018.

The Navy was not the original plan for Jennifer, who attended college earning a degree in journalism and mass communications.

"I went to college and decided half way it that I wasn't happy and that I wanted to do something more enjoyable. I wanted to help people in the world. I wanted to become a nurse," said Jennifer.

With a little encouragement from her dad, Jennifer joined the Navy as a Corpsman.

Her MAP promotion was no surprise to her father and grandfather.

"We're both very happy for her," said Robert. "We knew she would be very successful."

"It makes me very proud to know we have a third generation in the Navy," said John.

Jennifer hopes to complete the Medical Enlisted Commissioning Program (MECP) to become a nurse within the Nurse Corps.

"Both of my father and grandfather spent a great deal of their enlistments overseas and deployed on ships and that's exactly what I want to do and that's what I plan to do," said Jennifer. "I always feel like I am taken care of and watched out for (in the Navy) and I try to do the same for the other Sailors who work with me."

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©2019 The Daily News (Jacksonville, N.C.). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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