The History of Navy vs Army Football Game

One the most ardent rivalries in college football is the Army Black Knights vs Navy Midshipmen. Every year, the game draws more viewers as it’s seen as one of the greatest game of the season. As an alumni of the Naval Academy, Navy football holds a significant place in my heart. The big game is something that I look forward to watching every fall.  In 2015, the game played in Philadelphia, PA at the Lincoln Financial Field on December 12th with Navy winning 21 to 17. As a result of this win, Navy has been on a 14 year winning streak, the longest they have ever had.

The first game between the two great military rivals took place in 1890. Except for four years, the game has been held at various locations throughout the country. Considered neutral territory, New York City, Baltimore, and Philadelphia are often the host cities for the game due to their location between the two campuses. They haven’t been the only cities to hold the big game over the years. Chicago, Pasadena, and East Rutherford have all been hosts as well.

Only six games over the 125 years have taken place on the school’s campuses. While there are various reasons for this, the major reason is due to the stadium’s capacity. Due to the demand of the current students, alumni, civilians, and other military personnel to see such a historic game, it was logical to move to a bigger venue. Army’s Michie Stadium holds 38,000 people while Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium holds 34,000 people. It was in 1899, the first neutral territory game occurred. Since then, the only two games to play at one of the school’s stadium occurred in 1942 and 1943 due to World War II’s travel ban.

At first the games played the Saturday after Thanksgiving, the day the rest of the college teams ended their season. In recent years, it is now played the second Saturday of December as the last game of the season for both teams. One reason the date moved to the second weekend in December is due to the conference championship games for the other teams, which are always held on the first weekend of the month.

Besides winning the game this year, the Navy won the Commander in Chief trophy for the 15th time – a competition between the three branches of the military’s football teams. As of 2016, Navy leads against Army with a record of 60-49-7.

Go Navy, beat Army!

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THE BIG GREEN GIANT – THE NAVY LAUNCHES THE FIRST GREEN FLEET

In mid January, the Navy launched the “Great Green Fleet” out of San Diego. The Fleet represents the Navy and Marine Corps’ first strides into adopting alternative energy sources to enhance military operations. The energy-saving capability will help to combat the over usage of the Earth’s natural resources and protect the economic welfare of rural America. The launch of the fleet is a milestone in the military not relying on foreign sources for their energy.

Tom Vilsack, the Navy’s Agriculture Secretary, was joined by Navy Secretary, Ray Mabus, at the launch of the Navy’s latest achievement. Mabus was appointed the Secretary of the Navy back in 2009, and set an aggressive goal in his first years in office. He stated that by 2020 the Navy would be using over 50 percent of alternative sources to fuel their energy. During his speech in San Diego, he spoke about how America plans to lower the risk of American’s lives when it comes to obtaining fossil fuels.

“At the height of the fighting in Afghanistan we were losing one Marine, killed or wounded, for every 50 convoys of fuels brought in. That’s way too high of a price to pay.”

recycle-24023_960_720As the world’s greatest consumer of energy, the Defense Department has been pursing ways to cut their carbon footprint down. The Navy, who uses more than a third of the energy, have been forerunners in ending their ties with foreign oils as part of a national security plan.

Early plans to switch to biofuels were met with outrage when the Pentagon bought biofuels at $26 per gallon back in 2012. As a result of the high price tag, lawmakers passed a law that would restrict the purchase of biofuels, unless the price was on par with the price of petroleum. Now, the purchase of 77 million gallons of a 10 percent biofuel mix cost $2.05 a gallon. At 13 times less than 2012 only three and half years later, it’s a victory for Mabus. As a result of the price drop, other contracts are in the works to fuel ships in other places.

The biofuel is a mix made from waste beef fat that was provided by Midwestern farmers and ranchers. By purchasing from rural America, it will help create a sustainable economy for the 15% of Americans who reside there. Besides providing new energy sources for the fleet, the small towns of the Midwest provide around 40% of the military. Mabus stressed that land used for farming will not used in the creation of biofuel. Besides working towards eliminating the carbon footprint made by the Navy, the usage of biofuel should add thousands of jobs in a hard pressed area.

Using the biofuel will not change how the ships operate either. With rigid Navy stipulations in place, there will be no modifications to the ship transports, equipment, procedures or engines. In the next four years, the Navy is aiming to move from a 90-10 mix to a 50-50 mix.