19 professional athletes who have served in the military

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You know them from their careers on the field, but you may not have known that they also served in the nation's military.

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We've gathered a list of athletes who you're surely familiar with on their respective playing fields, but also served their country in various branches of the military. Click through below to find some names you may not have expected.

Athletes who served in the military
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Athletes who served in the military

Bob Feller (C), Cleveland Indians' star pitcher, is sworn into the Navy by Lieutenant Commander Gene Tunney (R), as Chicago recruiting officer Lieutenant David N. Goldenson looks on. Feller got a rating of Chief Boatswain Mate and will assist in the Navy's athletic program.

(Photo via Getty Images)

American baseball player Ted Williams (1918 - 2002) of the Boston Red Sox serves in the United States Marine Corps during the Korean War, circa 1952.

(Photo by FPG/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Red Sox outfielder Capt. Ted Williams (left) and Cleveland Indians outfielder Capt. Bob Kennedy, two former opponents in the baseball world, smile together as they team up in the same Marine Corps flying squadron. The two had just returned (above) from Maneuvers in Puerto Rico, where they flew their F-9F Panther Jets in close ground support exercises.

(Photo by Sporting News via Getty Images)

Yogi Berra served in the U.S. Navy during World War II before joining the New York Yankees. 

(Photo via Getty Images)

in this handout provided by U.S. Army Air Force, S/Sgt. Joseph P. DiMaggio (left) of San Francisco, California, former New York Yankees' star slugger, gets some help from Brig. Gen. William J. Flood, sponsor of the 7th Army Air Force overall sports program, in sewing on his shoulder patch on June 9, 1944. DiMaggio reported for duty with the 7th AAF in the Central Pacific.

(AP Photo/U.S. Army Air Force)

Whitey Ford, who helped the Yankees win the pennant and World Series in 1950, holds the ball he threw out to start the new season at Yankee Stadium. With Whitey, now a soldier and a brand-new bridegroom, is Mrs. Ford. Vic Raschi, another fair chucker, blanked the Red Sox, 5-0.

(Photo via Getty Images)

Heavyweight champion Joe Louis, known in Army circles as private Joseph Louis Barrow, is pictured here as he prepared to start training workouts at Fort Dix, N.J. Joe meets big Abe Simon at Madison Square Garden March 27th in defense of his title for benefit of the Army emergency fund.

(Photo via Getty Images)

Roger Staubach, Navy football quarterback, gets his new officer shoulder boards pinned on by his sweetheart Marianne Hoobler of Cincinnati, Ohio, following graduation at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., June 9, 1965.

(AP Photo/William Smith)

San Francisco Giants player Willie Mays being sworn in for the military.

(Photo by Rogers Photo Archive/Getty images.)

Although the military services were segregated during the World War II, many black young men, including future Brooklyn Dodger Jackie Robinson, shown in uniform in this undated photograph taken at Camp Hood, Tex., served their country, through black-only units, squadrons, and battalions, such as the 761st Tank Battalion nicknamed "Black Panthers." Robinson was kicked out of the "Black Panthers" unit because he sat next to a white officer's wife on a segregated bus.

(AP Photo/E.G. McConnell Personal Collection)

Cpl. Pat Tillman of the Arizona Cardinals is seen in a this 2003 file photo provided by Photography Plus. Tillman was killed in action on April 22, 2004. 

(AP Photo/Photography Plus via Williamson Stealth Media Solutions, FILE)

Ahmard Hall #45 of the Tennessee Titans, a former Marine Corps veteran, runs onto the field carrying an American flag before the NFL game against the Baltimore Ravens on November 12, 2006 at LP Field in Nashville, Tennessee.

(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Two-time NBA champion David Robinson attended the Naval Academy and was commissioned in the Naval Reserves for two years. 

(Photo via REUTERS/Brian Snyder)

Tom Seaver spent six months in the US Marine Corps Reserves before enrolling in college. 

(AP Photo)

Nolan Ryan put service in with the Army Reserve in 1967.

(Photo by Rich Pilling/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

Outfielder Roberto Clemente of the Pittsburg Pirates gets a combat helmet from Maj. Luther Reedy in place of his baseball cap after being sworn into the Marine Corps, September 13, 1958 for six months of reserve training.

(AP Photo)

 1917 photo shows Ty Cobb as a Captain in the U.S. Army.

(Photo via Getty Images)

Mike Anderson, who was named Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2000 with the Denver Broncos, spent four years in the Marine Corps after high school. 

(Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images)

Four-time NBA champion Bill Sharman served in the US Navy during World War II before joining the Washington Capitals and later, the Boston Celtics. 

(AP Photo)


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