New England Patriots long snapper Joe Cardona, a graduate of the United States Naval Academy, was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant in the United States Navy on Thursday morning in an event that took at place at Gillette Stadium.
The event took place on what is the 75th anniversary of D-Day. Cardona was promoted from a Lieutenant Junior Grade.
It was a special moment for Cardona, who has spent the entirety of his NFL career balancing his football and active duty commitments, including time in nearby Rhode Island at the Naval Preparatory Academy.
The 27-year-old Cardona, who the Patriots selected in the 2015 NFL draft, has never missed a game in his career, joining Roger Staubach as the only two graduates from the Naval Academy to ever win multiple Super Bowls.
Cardona, whose father also served in the Navy, has been a reliable player for the Patriots and someone admired by coach Bill Belichick, whose father coached for 33 years old at the Naval Academy.