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Army Salutes ‘Dogface Soldiers’ With New Uni for Army/Navy Game

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…

The Helmet

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):

The Jersey

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.

The Pants

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:



Comments (31)

    With no context it is an awful mono match up. With context that these are supposed to mimic military designs, I think they both look pretty good and it makes for a nice match up with the mono dark vs mono light uniforms.

    Hi Paul. Possible typo in the first paragraph – 2oth anniversary. Looks like a lower case letter O rather than the number 0.

    Well, I think the players and the fans of both schools will really like these uniforms. Too much mono for my taste but they do mimic actual military uniforms I guess. There are some creative details like the chevron and the dog on the Army helmet and the submarine stacked numbering on the Navy uniform.

    Since they’re actually military people, I don’t mind them looking like actual military uniforms.
    Not a fan of mono y mono, but it could have been a lot worse (at least I don’t have to worry about mono-white in a potential snow game). I’m so glad clear, legible numbers were a priority for both schools!
    And I agree with Paul… love the chevron under the number.

    The 3ID patch with the 2 in the middle refers to the 2ND Brigade, 3ID. The other is the Division Unit Insignia (DUI).

    They’re the insignia of subordinate units. The insignia on the right is the 3rd ID headquarters. The insignia on the left is for the maneuver brigades (2nd Brigade in the picture). I believe that the brigade insignia may change from player to player to represent all 3rd ID elements in the battle.

    Here is a novice question.

    The letters from the Disney Company in 1980 (and 1974) states, “The foregoing is, however, conditioned upon the requirement that the following copyright notice accompany each and every reproduction of the aforementioned emblem:

    © 1965 Walt Disney Productions”

    I don’t see that don’t the helmet sticker. Is this normal not to include it because it’s not for resale?

    Not a big fan of the American flag not being rendered in the colors of the American flag, but perhaps someone can enlighten me if there’s an military precedent for that on uniforms or gear, in which case it would be easier to accept/understand.

    It’s called “subdued” rendering of the flag:

    “While the red, white, and blue colors are a crucial aspect of the American flag, you may have noticed that not all U.S. flag military patches display them. These are known as “subdued” flags and are used for good reason.

    Various versions of the subdued flags can replace the red, white, and blue colors with combinations of black, light gray, dark gray, and brown. These flag versions are designed to reduce visibility to protect the soldier wearing them.

    A bright red, white, and blue flag would stick out significantly in many environments, posing a potential risk to a soldier’s life.”

    See: link

    I actually don’t mind these. Nice visual contrast with the (imo sillier) Navy uniform, too. The mono-e-mono matchup is a little boring, but that’s what everybody seems to be doing now.

    These custom uniforms for this game always leave me a little disappointed. I like the idea of it, and it’s cool to see the new designs, but I think I’d prefer the uniforms to be a little less gimmicky for a matchup so rooted in history. But again, that’s not the time we live in.

    I would hope no one would think these uniforms are controversial, thats the difference between politics and principles … the Army’s efforts are what’s being celebrated here, what the soldiers sacrificed in order to accomplish their mission… anything else in my opinion is politics and unnecessary…
    Irs very cool the way the socks/shoes combo mimic combat boots… I hope the Army players understand this and don’t screw it up…

    Just to clarify: I didn’t say the uniforms are controversial. But the war that inspired them was (and still is), so I’m simply observing that I find it surprising that they’d base a uniform on a controversial war, instead of something more uncontroversial, because an uncontroversial storyline will usually have broader appeal.

    That’s all.

    Even if that were true (which I don’t think it is), there’s no reason for the uniform to be based on *any* war. Navy’s uniform for this same game, e.g., is simply a tribute to the Submarine Force. If Army wanted to tribute the 3rd Infantry Division, they could easily do that without specifically invoking Operation Iraqi Freedom.

    Again: I find it surprising. That’s all.

    3rd ID has a pretty awesome order of battle in its history. From the Marne in WWI to Italy in WWII to Iraq and Afghanistan, Dogfaces fought with honor. As an Army veteran I’ll read it as a salute to the soldiers and officers of the division. Nothing more.

    You’re making my point. If they wanted to salute the 3rd ID, there are so many uncontroversial things to choose from without getting into Operation Iraqi Freedom.

    Army has made it a recent tradition of honoring divisions and their history (1st CAV and Vietnam, 10th MTN, 509th Airborne Regt, and 1AD in WW2). I feel like 3d ID’s Thunder Run to Baghdad was a historic operation in the Division’s history, but since ROTM is featured prominently, they could have thrown it back to WW1. Either way this is a pretty sweet uni.

    Right On, Phil, Paul, DAVID, Timo, Rogers, Kiddin, great exchange of ideas, all around…
    Hope the game is a close fun one…..Dad was in Navy, Kids Grandpas in Navy, Army, myself Army…..never know who to root for LOL

    Very few military campaigns are, or should be, uncontroversial in a general public context. Combat: Not a happy fun activity! But in a military operations perspective, the Army’s initial ground campaign in 2003 was remarkably successful. To professional military people, the justice or wisdom of the war don’t necessarily detract from the skill and professional quality of the on-the-ground military operation.

    Though I’d have gone with uniforms honoring the 75th Rangers or 82nd Airborne for the 40th anniversary of the Grenada invasion, Operation Urgent Fury.

    That “controversy” was always political, not based on principles…
    The Abraham Lincoln, the aircraft carrier upon which the banner was placed, along with its group of numerous other support vessels, had just returned from a successful deployment…
    The banner was meant for the returning sailors, thousands of them, men and women sailors, not for the media, not for politics…..Those sailors literally (correct usage, here) accomplished their respective missions (fulfilled orders)….not controversial at all

    This is what I was thinking as well. They are not celebrating the political decisions behind going into war, but the effectiveness of the Army in that campaign.

    Excited to show this to my dad. He was in the 3rd Infantry Division in Korea. The uniform was unveiled on 21 November, the 73 anniversary of the day he was wounded in battle.

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