Cardona, a graduate of the Naval Academy, was promoted during an event at Gillette Stadium on Thursday.
Patriots long-snapper Joe Cardona, who graduated from the Naval Academy in 2015, was promoted to the lieutenant rank in the U.S. Navy on Thursday at Gillette Stadium during an event honoring the 75th anniversary of D-Day.
Cardona, 27, was promoted from lieutenant junior grade. The four-season NFL veteran has spent his time in New England balancing his football career with his active-duty commitments to the Navy.
"Congratulations to Lieutenant Joe Cardona on his promotion," Patriots coach Bill Belichick said, 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."
Belichick's father coached for 33 years at the Naval Academy. Cardona's father also served in the Navy.
"We see the work he does here for us, but also the work he does for our country. I've talked to Joe a lot over the years about what his roles and responsibility are and I think everyone is proud of his accomplishments," quarterback Tom Brady said. "As proud as you are of winning a Super Bowl ring, to advance in that part of his career is pretty amazing," Brady said. "To do both is really a great thing for him personally. It was nice to be able to celebrate and congratulate with him."
Cardona was selected by New England in the fifth round of the 2015 draft and has won two Super Bowls with the Patriots since.