Army’s uniforms for the 120th rendition of one of college football’s most storied rivalries have arrived.
Just hours after Under Armour and Navy unveiled the Midshipmen’s uniforms for Dec. 14′s Army-Navy game, the Black Knights, in partnership with Nike, released a set designed to honor the historic 1st Cavalry Division and pay homage to the birth of airmobility during the Vietnam War.
“We honor the past by re-telling the story of the ‘first team!’” the official release read.
“A story of valor, courage, and sacrifice. Inspired, humbled, and motivated by the soldiers that came before us, we don their patches, adopt their mottos, and hold their deeds close to our hearts.”
This year’s matte green — or olive drab, depending on affiliation — helmet features the crossed sabers that adorn the famous Cavalry Stetson, or “Cav Hat.”
The sabers first appeared on an Army uniform in 1851 when they were adopted by the U.S. Army Dragoons.
On the chest, a “FIRST TEAM” name tape adorns each jersey opposite a second “ARMY” patch.
In another noteworthy nod to the past, the words “UNITED STATES” form a pant stripe in the exact font that was painted on Huey helicopters during the Vietnam War.
Additionally, the back of each helmet features unit insignia that honors one of the Division’s longstanding regiments — the 5th, 7th, 8th, 9th and 12th.
Last, but certainly not least, the iconic insignia of the 1st Cavalry Division is featured throughout.
“The big yellow patch does something to an individual that makes him a better soldier, a better team member, and a better American than he otherwise would have been,” Gen. Creighton Abrams said while serving as the commander of U.S. Forces in Vietnam.
The shoulder patch is most prominent, but fans will also notice the insignia on players’ cleats and gloves.
On the football field, meanwhile, Jeff Monken’s club will match up against a Navy team that currently sits at 9-2 and is ranked 23rd in the nation, according to the current AP Top 25 poll.
The Black Knights (5-7) have struggled to find success this season after finishing last year with an impressive 11 wins and a No. 19 ranking. Prior to this season, Monken had guided Army to three straight winning seasons after the program produced just one winning record between 1997 and 2015.
Despite the down year, Army still holds bragging rights over their rivals from Annapolis, having won the last three games.
Navy leads the overall series 60-52-7.
The Dec. 14 tilt, presented by USAA, kicks off at 3 p.m. ET. CBS will once again be the broadcast home.
Jon Simkins is a writer and editor for Military Times, and a USMC veteran.