Patriots’ Joe Cardona promoted to lieutenant in the Navy

New England Patriots long-snapper Joe Cardona was promoted to a lieutenant rank in the U.S. Navy at Gillette Stadium on Thursday morning as part of the 75th anniversary of D-Day. 

Cardona, a graduate of the Naval Academy in 2015, was promoted from lieutenant junior grade. The 27-year-old has balanced his professional football career over the last four years with his active-duty commitments such as responsibilities at the Naval Preparatory Academy in Rhode Island. 

"It's pretty emotional when you see someone take the oath like that and raise his hand," quarterback Tom Brady said, via ESPN. "It's a big commitment Joe's made, and I think Joe has done it very proudly and does a great job educating a lot of us on what it means to him. I think we all appreciate that.

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Joe Cardona poses with the Vince Lombardi trophy in April. (Photo: Maddie Meyer, Getty Images)

Cardona has been in the NFL for four seasons — all with New England — after being drafted by the Patriots in the fifth round of the 2015 draft. The 6-foot-3 Cardona became only the fourth player designated as a long snapper to be drafted, and the second highest-drafted long snapper in NFL history. 

Cardona and former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Roger Staubach are the only Navy graduates to have won multiple Super Bowls. During Cardona's four years at Navy, the Midshipmen won every year against rival Army, and played in three bowl games.

Coach Bill Belichick's father coached for 33 years at the Naval Academy.

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