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Army Football Captures the 2023 CIC Trophy

by Warren Rosenberg - MetroSports Magazine, December 9 2023

On an uncharacteristically warm December afternoon at the NFL’s Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts, the Army West Point Black Knights football team won claim to the 2023 Commander-in-Chief Trophy.

In his welcome to letter to the 65,000 fans in attendance, President Joe Biden wrote, “As Commander in Chief, it is my honor to welcome all those attending the 124th Army-Navy football game in Foxborough, Massachusetts…As fans enjoy today’s game, may we honor our Service members for ensuring that our Nation forever stands as a citadel of liberty and a wellspring of possibilities. As these patriots courageously put their lives on the line to protect freedom around the world, they are bound by a common sense of duty, bravery and optimism.”

Above: Army intercepts Navy near the end zone setting up an Army drive that scored the first points of the game. Photo Credit - Warren Rosenberg, New York Sports Photo Group

In this 124th meeting of the Army-Navy football game, the Cadets of West Point avenged their loss to the Midshipmen of Navy in the first meeting back on November 29th, 1890, where Navy defeated Army in a 24-0 shutout at West Point.

As has become tradition at the annual Army-Navy football games, both teams dressed in new uniforms, debuted at this contest. The Army West Point uniform tells the story of the soldiers of the 3rd Infantry Division during the opening phase of Operation Iraqi Freedom on this, the 20th anniversary of the invasion of Iraq. The 3rd Infantry Division’s mascot, “Rocky the Bulldog” is displayed on the Army helmets. Displayed on the helmet are the words “Dogface Soldier” which is what members of the 3rd Infantry Division are known as. On the side of the pant leg are the letters ROTM standing for “Rock of the Marne” and paying homage to nickname the 3rd Infantry Division earned in the Battle of Marne, France, during the 1st World War.

Above: Some of the details on the game's special helmets.

The Navy uniform was created in partnership with the Naval Academic Athletic Association and the clothing company, Under Armour, and is called the “Silent Service Uniform”, honoring members of the U.S. Navy Submarine Force. The uniform carries the color called “Eclipse Navy”, which is Under Armour’s darkest shade of blue. On the back of the neck the uniform carries the words, “Silent Service” and features the silhouette of a U.S. submarine above a sonar screen.

Defeating Navy in this close, defensive game by the final score of 17-11 and, with the additional defeat of the U.S. Air Force Falcons football team on by a score of 23-3 in Denver, Colorado, the Army Black Knights captured the 2023 Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy which is awarded to the service academy ending the season with the best record in the inter-service contests.

Above: Army head coach, Jeff Monken, center, watching as his defender intercepts a Navy runner.

Although the Arm-Navy rivalry dates back more than a century, the Commander-in Chief’s Trophy was first presented in 1972, by President Richard Nixon, to the Army football team.


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