Top Athletes in the U.S. Military

Top American Professional Athletes to Serve in the United States Military

With July 4 on the horizon, we wanted to honor all of the great men and women who so valiantly fought and died for our country so that we could continue to enjoy all of the freedoms we are blessed with today. Here are a few of the best professional athletes to suit up in the Red, White and Blue uniform.

Roberto Clemente: Clemente was a Hall of Fame baseball player. Rather than play in winter ball leagues in the Caribbean, Clemente decided to join the Marine Corps Reserves where he spent 6 months on active duty at Parris Island, South Carolina. He served 6 years in the military as an infantryman.

Patty Berg: Berg was a member of the LPGA and holds the all-time record for most major wins by a female golfer. In 1940, she joined the Navy and served in the Marines until 1945.

Rocky Marciano: Marciano was a professional boxer who had a career record of 49-0. He was drafted into the Army in 1943 and represented them when he won the 1946 amateur armed forces boxing tournament.

Roger Staubach: Staubach was a two-time Super Bowl champion with the Dallas Cowboys. Before his NFL career started, he was required to fulfill his military service since he had been a Heisman trophy-winning quarterback at the U.S. Naval Academy. He served 6 years and spent one year in Vietnam.

Joe Louis: Heavyweight boxing champion Joe Louis served in the U.S. Army. After he was released from duty in 1945, he was awarded the Legion of Merit medal.

Ted Williams: Williams was one of the greatest hitters in MLB history. Who knows how many records he could’ve broken had he not served two tours as a Marine pilot in 1942 at the peak of his professional baseball career. In 1952, he was recalled to active duty for the Korean War which once again halted his baseball career. He flew 39 missions and earned the Presidential Medal of Freedom.


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