Yesterday we saw Navy’s uniform for this year’s Army/Navy game. Now Army has unveiled its own uniform for the annual service academy showdown. This year’s design is inspired by the 20th anniversary of the 3rd Infantry Division’s advance during the invasion of Iraq in 2003 — an odd choice, since we now know that the Iraq War was premised on false assertions of WMDs and is now viewed by many observers as a major error in U.S. military policy.
Just to be clear: I am not looking to debate the merits of the Iraq War, so let’s not do that here. I am simply observing that the war has a problematic history at best and is therefore a surprising choice for the basis of a football uniform.
In any case, let’s take a closer look at the uniform, beginning with…
Members of the 3rd Infantry Division are known as “Dogface Soldiers,” which is the title of the division’s official song. The term appears on the helmet’s visor tabs. The nose bumper logo, which also appears on the pants, is a tank marking.
The division’s canine mascot, named Rocky, was designed in 1965 by Walt Disney, who gave his permission for the division to use the design. Rocky appears on the sides of the helmet:
The neck bumper features the phrase “Rock of the Marne” (here’s the backstory on that):
I really love that chevron on the belly. The “ROTM” chest patch once again refers to “Rock of the Marne.” There’s also an American flag patch on one sleeve and a 3rd Infantry Division patch on the other sleeve:
The patch on the rear collar is the Iraq Campaign streamer. Per the school:
The ribbon reflects the colors of the Iraqi flag. Green and black are traditionally significant colors for Islam and these stripes highlight the predominant religion of the Iraqi people. Red honors the fighting courage required for the pursuit of freedom. White denotes generosity. This stream flies on the Division Colors, among the many campaign streamers earned by the 3rd Infantry Division throughout its prestigious history. Lastly, the bronze Campaign Star on the Iraq Campaign streamer denotes participation in a named campaign.
Again, “ROTM” for “Rock of the Marne.”
And there you have it. Additional photos and info can be found here.
So with the Army/Navy game set for Dec. 9, the uni matchup will look like this: