EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – For people who have served in the military or who have friends or family members who have served, the Army vs. Navy game is the rivalry in college football.
This year, the game will also have a tie to Fort Bliss. The Army team unveiled that it will be wearing special uniforms that honor Fort Bliss’ 1st Armored Division.
America’s Tank Division nicknamed “Old Ironsides,” played a crucial in Operation Torch, in which 80 years ago the Allies secured victory in North Africa during World War II. It is often seen as a key moment in the war and stopped the Nazis’ momentum.
The 1st Armored Division was moved from Europe to Fort Bliss in 2011 as part of the Base Realignment and Closure process that transformed El Paso’s beloved Army post from an air defense installation into the home of a division and one of the Army’s foremost force projection platforms.
Navy also unveiled special uniforms for game, dedicating them to the 54 Navy graduates who have gone on to become astronauts. Alan Shepard, a 1944 graduate of the Naval Academy, was the first American in space in 1961 and was one of NASA’s original astronauts.
Why is this rivalry special, especially those with ties to the military?
It’s the one rivalry where players on both teams will join together after the game to serve together on the same team in real life – the U.S. military. It’s also the only game where each and every player has sworn their life to protect the United States and its freedoms.
This year’s game is less than two weeks away on Dec. 10 in Philadelphia, the traditional site of the game. It will be the 123rd meeting in the series. Navy leads the series 62-53-7.