New England Patriots long snapper Joe Cardona became a Navy lieutenant on Thursday during a Gillette Stadium event on the 75th anniversary of D-Day.
The football player who graduated from the Naval Academy in 2015 previously held the rank of lieutenant junior grade, several news outlets reported.
"Congratulations to Lieutenant Joe Cardona on his promotion," said coach Bill Belichick, according to ESPN. "And obviously a day to remember our World War II veterans on D-Day. The 75th anniversary, that's kind of a big one for us. I want to recognize all the things that they did."
"[We're] happy to recognize Joe on this day," he said. "It just makes it a special day for all of us."
Belichick's father had coached at the Naval Academy.
"It's pretty emotional when you see someone take the oath like that and raise his hand," quarterback Tom Brady said, according to the sports news network. "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."
Cardona has played for four NFL seasons, all with the Patriots. He is one of just two Naval Academy graduates who has won multiple Super Bowls.