U.S. Military Prepares for Annual Army-Navy Football Game

U.S. Naval Academy Color Guard presents colors during march-on ceremonies during 106th playing of Army vs.Navy football game, Dec. 3, 2005 / Getty
• December 8, 2017 5:09 pm


Enthusiasm for the annual Army-Navy football game is spilling over from the football field to the Pentagon.

Cheerleaders from both the U.S. Military Academy and the Naval Academy walked the halls of the Pentagon on Friday to cheer and taunt before Saturday's game in Philadelphia. The rivalry between the two service academies dates back to 1890.

Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of Defense James Mattis were waiting for the Navy crew outside of Mattis' office. Pence, whose son is in the Marines, allowed his bias to show.

"Thank you for stepping up to serve your country," Pence said. "We're incredibly proud of all of you, and go Navy, beat Army!"

The Navy crew then went to the office of Secretary of the Army Mark Esper, who greeted the mob.

"We beat you last year, we'll beat you this year. While you guys were winning football games, we were winning wars," Esper said before taking a more conciliatory tone with the midshipmen.

It was not just the Naval Academy, located in Annapolis, Maryland, that invaded the Pentagon. Cadets from the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, New York also stopped by.

The cadets went to Mattis' office, making the retired four-star Marine general laugh.

The cadets also swung by Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson's office, where they cheered loudly and were greeted by Richardson. Army Chief of Staff Mark Milley took care of the cymbals himself.

Richardson and Milley also got into it while waiting for their respective sides' mascots, Bill the Goat and Black Jack, to respond to a phone call. The two exchanged some books on losing while waiting to hear from the mascots who had some "phone trouble."