“If you make the most of what you are doing,
there is NO way to regret what you are doing”
As a Navy Midshipman, Brendan wrote these words in his reef points and reminded himself of this mantra daily. No matter how mundane or great the task, Brendan believed that giving your all to everything you do is where one discovers their best self and ultimately, their purpose in life.
Brendan Looney spent his life leading: he led his siblings, his classmates, his teammates, and in times of war, his Navy SEALs Team.
John Brendan Aloysius Looney was born to Kevin and Maureen Looney on February 24, 1981 in Southern Maryland. The oldest of six, Brendan was named after his Grandfather John Aloysius Looney.
Throughout grade school, Brendan played football, basketball and baseball. From the very beginning, Brendan knew what it meant to work hard both on and off the field. He expected 100% from himself and encouraged others to give the same. For Brendan, laziness was not an option. There were always goals to reach and missions to accomplish. It was this approach to life that inspired others and became the guiding principles of his life.
Brendan’s love of athletics followed him from childhood to his father’s alma mater DeMatha Catholic High School in Hyattsville, MD. Brendan was part of a DeMatha family legacy that included eight of his uncles. Brendan’s two brothers and numerous cousins have since followed suit. At DeMatha, Brendan was a decorated athlete in football and baseball. He also played DeMatha basketball and ran track. As captain and team MVP, Brendan led the 1998 DeMatha Football team to national rankings and was recruited by the USNA his senior year.
Due to Brendan’s color blindness, he was required to attend the Naval Academy Prep School in Newport RI. Brendan arrived in Annapolis in July 2000 as one of only eight color blind applicants to be admitted. During his youngster year (sophomore) Brendan decided to make a switch from football to lacrosse. Although he had no experience in organized lacrosse, Brendan tried out that spring and made Navy’s nationally ranked team. Two seasons later, Brendan along side his two brothers Billy (’07) and Stephen (‘06), led Navy to a shot at the NCAA National Championship. Although Navy fell to Syracuse, the importance of family, teamwork, and maximum effort reached its pinnacle that year and was evident in the success of Navy’s 2004 season.
In May 2004, Brendan graduated from the Naval Academy and was commissioned as an Ensign. He began his naval career as an Intelligence officer, and was deployed first to Korea and then Iraq. Upon completion of those tours, Brendan requested and was given a lateral transfer to Naval Special Warfare community in 2006, where he earned the right to attend Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL training, known as BUDS. BUDS training is considered the most grueling and demanding military training in the world. Each BUD/S class starts with approximately 290 men and an average 10 men make it through to graduation. This is reflected by SEALs motto, which is “The only Easy Day was Yesterday.” Brendan joined his fellow BUD/S selectees in Coronado, CA as part of Class 265 in 2007. Brendan graduated from BUD/S in June 2008 and was bestowed with the highest honor a BUD/S graduate can receive, being named “Honor Man.” This distinction is given to the best graduate in each class. Upon graduation from BUDS Brendan was assigned to SEAL Team THREE.
A little less than two weeks after earning his SEAL Trident, Brendan married the former Amy Hastings, the love of his life. A short 48 hours after his wedding Brendan was deployed to Iraq. Upon completion of this tour, Brendan returned back to the States and began his work-ups almost immediately for his next deployment.
Brendan’s next deployment was to Afghanistan March 9, 2010, his wife Amy’s birthday. This was to be Brendan’s last deployment, and he and his brothers of Team 3 completed 59 missions in less than 7 months. Brendan’s Commanding Officer wrote that “his great qualities as a man and a diplomat ensured the delivery of humanitarian assistance and medical treatment for children and a representative governance to an embattled society.”
On September 21, 2010, 10 days prior to his expected return to the States, Brendan’s SEALs team helicopter went down in the mountains of Afghanistan.
On that day, Brendan gave his best self to our country. He was 29.
His legacy was his life. His life was his gift.
A few of Brendan’s military awards and commendations include a Bronze Star with Valor, Navy Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal with Valor, Navy and Marine Corp Achievement Medal. Brendan was given full military honors and is interred with his fellow brothers-in-arms at Arlington National Cemetary. His grave is alongside his fellow fallen hero and USNA roommate Travis Manion. He truly lived a life of service before self and as SEALs say “Ready to lead, Ready to follow, Never Quit!”
~ loving son of Maureen and Kevin, sibling captain of Stephen, Billy, Bridget, Erin and Kellie,
devoted husband to Amy, friend to many, role model forever ~
BRENDAN’S CORE VALUES:
Be Strong, Be Accountable, Never Complain
• Make good choices
• Create goals
• Give 110%
• Work hard in school, on the field and in the workplace
• Help & encourage others
• Give back to community and country
Working always to better yourself, means giving your best self to others. No Regrets.