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NEWS | May 26, 2024

From Team Army to Team New Orleans Saints & Pelicans… Capt. Nate Degen Scores!

By MaryTherese Griffin Army Recovery Care Program

Captain Nate Degen, a true embodiment of resilience and adaptability, is about to add another chapter to his illustrious career. He is preparing to compete as a Team Army athlete at the 2024 Department of Defense Warrior Games. However, amidst this busy schedule, he has just received news that will redefine his future.
“This is not just any news; it's a game-changer! I have been given the incredible opportunity to work with the prestigious New Orleans Saints and the New Orleans Pelicans. This is a testament to the power of the DOD Skillbridge program. It's the first time the owner's group from New Orleans has opened Skillbridge to collaborate with their team,” shared the Army helicopter Pilot, his excitement palpable.

After sustaining multiple injuries throughout his career, Captain Nate Degen found himself at the Fort Belvoir Soldier Recovery unit. There, he recovered physically and found the support he needed to plan for a career beyond the Army. With assistance in resume writing and career search, he set his sights on a new goal - sports management, a testament to his unwavering determination. “It’s definitely bittersweet to say goodbye to the Army and the passion of flying, moving from these great people to the world of sports, especially to be part of a team again. I get to continue being a part of something bigger than myself. I can't say enough about how great the people in the New Orleans organization are and how much of a family it already feels like even this early on.”

Sports management was his goal. “This is the greatest professional experience I’ve ever hoped for, and everyone in the organization has been nothing but great, so I’m excited to get to work with them,” said Degen, who will be working under the business operations division, working in the Fan Engagement Experience.

And if you are wondering, is Degen a Saints fan? “Of course, I’m a Saints fan! I admit I grew up a Rams fan, being from California, but ironically, the first NFL jersey I ever had was a Reggie Bush New Orleans Saints Jersey, so we are coming full circle. It's my first jersey and the first at the start of my professional sports career with the Saints!

Before he heads to New Orleans, he has a few other things on his plate. Degen also recovered from knee and shoulder surgeries with adaptive sports, which he learned at the Fort Belvoir SRU. Now, he will represent the Army from June 21 to June 30 at the Warrior Games. “I’m taking a lot of techniques I learned to the Warrior Games and I also learned to listen to my body so I can still meet success. My success at the games also includes the power of the people around me - the team, family, fans, and folks from ARCP. We athletes must make sure we listen to those voices too!”

When Warrior Games arrives, Degen will be listening to another voice. He and his wife are awaiting the birth of their second child. “Katlyn is ready to be done being pregnant,” he says with a laugh. “We will have our daughter Addison June 9th, maybe earlier, so I should have a week or two to be with her before I head off to the Warrior Games.”

The good Captain is competing in archery, air rifle, shotput, and discus, plus multiple team sports. “It's been great getting to be a part of something greater yet again. Doing it for The Army is just awesome and an honor.”

He has words of wisdom for his fellow service members he will compete against in Orlando. “Don't sleep on us. There are some phenomenal athletes on Team Army, and since I'm a West Point grad, I always have to say beat Navy!”