On Saturday, Army and Navy will face off on the football field for the 118th time.
As has become the norm in recent years, both academies will wear special uniforms for the game.
Nike (Army) and Under Armour (Navy) unveiled this year’s uniforms and they do not disappoint. Take a closer look below.
The uniforms for the West Point cadets are designed to honour the 10th Mountain Division, an elite group that fought the Nazis in the Alps of Northern Italy.
Bill Bowerman, one of Nike’s founders, worked with the 10th Mountain Division. He organised the troops’ supplies and maintained the mules.
The “Pando Commandos” were trained at Camp Hale, Colorado in 1943, near the Pando Rail Station. The panda bear is the mascot of Camp Hale and is featured prominently on the undershirts and shoes.
The font used for the numbers is modelled after the stencil used to mark the “Weasel,” a small tank-like snowmobile made by Studebaker, one of the first vehicles designed to move troops across snow.
This is an M29C Weasel.
The crossed skis on the front of the helmet is an unofficial insignia purchased by soldiers during World War II from local craftsmen in Italy. It was meant to reflect the group’s Alpine origins.
According to the Army, the soldiers during World War II would paint their helmets white during the winter months. That paint inevitably chipped and wore away, revealing the olive drab underneath. That detail is shown on the football helmets as well, especially around the raised portions of the helmets.
Here is a close-up view of the “chipped paint.”
On the back of the helmets, the gold bar is used to depict the “follow-me bars” officers would wear on the back of their helmets. These bars helped soldiers identify leadership during the confusion of battle.
Players will wear different patches honouring the 18 different units that were part of the 10th Mountain Division. The patch seen here is for the 87th Mountain Infantry Regiment.
And the patch on the sleeve is for the 10th Mountain Division.
The American flag on the other sleeve is era-appropriate. It has 48 stars and is depicted with the stars on the left. This was because earlier in the war the flag was worn on the left sleeve and later moved to the right sleeve to make room for the division insignia. It was not until after World War II that flags on the right sleeves were “reversed” to depict the soldier moving “forward.”
The uniforms that will be worn by the Navy’s midshipmen are in honour of the Blue Angels, the Navy’s premier flying team.
The helmets are meant to mimic the helmets worn by the pilots, including the chrome facemask, meant to look like the pilot’s visor.
The hand-painted helmets depict the Blue Angels flying in delta formation.
Here are the Blue Angels flying in the popular Delta Formation.
Here is the back of the helmet.
The number font was designed to mimic the numbers on the tail of the F/A-18 Hornet aircraft used by the Blue Angels.
The right sleeve includes a patch depicting the Blue Angels insignia.
That insignia is the same seen on the F/A-18 Hornets used by the team.
The blue colour on the uniform and the striping pattern are the same as the uniforms worn by the Blue Angels.
Here is the uniform worn by the Blue Angels pilots.
The uniform displayed by the Navy include the insignia of the World War II-era Marine Raiders, a special forces group that fought in the Pacific. It is unclear if all players will be wearing this patch or if there will be other patches.
Last year’s gloves spelled out “BEAT ARMY.” This year they say “NAVY.”
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