The 122nd annual football matchup between the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis is this Saturday and both academies released epic videos revealing their unique uniforms.
In keeping with an annual tradition for the military rivalry game, both academies unveiled special uniforms for the game, which pay tribute to unique aspects of each branch’s service.
For their uniforms, West Point chose to commemorate the 20-year anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and the U.S. Army Special Forces units that formed America’s first military response to the attacks.
In a video unveiling of the Army team uniforms, West Point showcased the locations of the terrorist attacks, before revealing the uniforms, which pay tribute to Task Force Dagger. The task force was comprised of Operational Detachment Alphas (ODAs) of the 5th Special Forces Group, known as ODAs 534, 555, 574 and 595. These four Special Forces teams worked with U.S. Army’s 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (160th SOAR), the U.S. Air Force’s Special Operations Command and the CIA’s Special Activities Division (SAD) to infiltrate Afghanistan, coordinate airstrikes and fight alongside Afghan allies against Taliban forces.
The new uniform features a camouflage pattern reminiscent of the Desert Combat Uniforms (DCU) worn by the Army in the later 1990s and early 2000s, during the start of the war in Afghanistan. The uniform also features a pair of twin stripes on the front and back, representing the twin towers of the World Trade Center, which were toppled in the 9/11 attacks.
On the back of the uniform is the phrase “United We Stand,” a common post-9/11 rallying cry for the U.S. On the front of the uniforms is the Special Forces motto “De Oppresso Liber,” Latin for “To Free the Oppressed.”
On Monday, UNISWAG tweeted “A closer look at the special ‘United We Stand’ helmet for @ArmyWP_Football.
For its 2021 rivalry game uniforms, the Naval Academy paid tribute to naval aviation with special “Fly Navy” uniforms.
In their reveal video, set aboard the aircraft carrier USS George HW Bush (CVN-77), the Navy showcased the new uniforms alongside footage of flight deck operations as two-seat F/A-18F Super Hornet’s launched from the carrier deck.
The Navy uniforms feature hand-painted helmets, featuring the F/A-18F Super Hornet on one side and a U.S. aviation roundel on the other side. The backs of the helmets also feature naval aviator, naval flight officer and aircrew wings.
UNISWAG also tweeted a close up look at the process that went into hand-painting the Navy helmets. “A look at the creation of the hand painted helmets for the ‘Fly Navy’ uniform that @NavyFB will wear for the Army-Navy Game.”
On the left upper chest of the Navy uniform is the Strike Fighter Wing, U.S. Atlantic Fleet patch. The wing, based out of Naval Air Station Oceana, provides strike fighter capabilities to the U.S. Atlantic Fleet. The wing includes 16 operational fighter squadrons, with each squadron consisting of an average of 10-12 aircraft, 22 officers and 190 enlisted personnel.
On the left hip of the Navy uniform is the iconic eagle, globe and anchor of the U.S. Marine Corps, which falls under the Department of the Navy.
The roundel-style stripes also continue down the middle of the helmet and along the sides of the legs.