Discover the tremendous and unique traditions that reside at West Point as the Cadets prepare to defeat their opponents on the football field and battlefields!
United States Military Academy (USMA)
Location: West Point, N.Y.
Fight Song: “On Brave Old Army Team”
USMA Sports Nickname: Black Knights
The original nickname for the Academy’s football team was the “Black Knights of the Hudson” due to the
black color of its uniforms. The name was later shortened to “Black Knights.”
MASCOTS: THE Army Mules and Black Jack
The mule has served the Academy and its Corps of
Cadets since 1899. The mule mascot selection was a
natural considering it’s long-standing service in U.S.
military operations. This strong animal was a critical
component of the Army’s ability to transport guns,
supplies and ammunition through tough terrain.
This USMA mascot has been a fixture on the team’s
sidelines since the 1899 Army-Navy game when
Academy officials selected the animal to in an effort to
counter the Naval Academy’s Goat. To further relate
the Mule to the Academy’s football team, the animal
USMA Colors: Black, Gray and Gold…Sure to create a charge!
Many university’s school colors reflect either Ivy League traditions or colors from a flower that may be native
that provide quite a bang. The explosive elements that form gunpowder when mixed are charcoal, saltpeter
Army’s Home Fortress: Michie Stadium
Ever since Army’s Michie Stadium was dedicated near the end of the 1924 season, the Black Knights have
waged many winning battles. Following the dedication game, Army won 39 straight games over a six year
period and have posted a total of30 undefeated home campaigns.
Michie Stadium has a seating capacity of 39,929 and is named after Dennis Mahan Michie who was
instrumental in bringing football to the academy in 1890. He also served as the academy’s first football
PLAYING FOR THE COMMANDER IN CHIEF
While some school’s play for trophies that honor anything from a pig to a
beer barrel, the three service academies compete annually for the
Commander in Chief’s Trophy. The round robin competition for the trophy
that is named in honor of the President of the United States, first began
between Army, Navy and Air Force in 1972.
After defeating Air Force and Navy that first season, the Black Knights
captured the three-sided structure which weighs 170 pounds and is 2
1’2 feet tall. Each school has its seal and a reproduction of its mascot on
the side of the trophy that also features the year that each academy has
won the award. Army has won the trophy six times since its inception.
Even though Air Force has dominated possession of the trophy in recent
years, there’s no question about which game stirs the most passion.
The Army-Navy game continues to gain the national spotlight, despite
Army’s Top Field Commanders
Throughout the college football landscape there is traditionally a
long list of programs that have produced waves of great teams
and All-Americans. While many might hesitate to put Army in that
category, only three schools, Notre Dame, Ohio State and USC
and Oklahoma have produced more Heisman winners than the
The lethal rushing combination of Felix “Doc” Blanchard and
Glenn Davis first brought Heisman glory to West Point following
the 1945 and 1946 seasons. Blanchard was known as “Mr.
Inside” because of his punishing running style delivered by his
six-foot 200-pound plus frame.
The perfect compliment to Blanchard was Glenn Davis who was
dubbed “Mr. Outside” because of his blazing speed. When the
dust had settled after their final year at Army in 1946, both players
had combined to score 97 touchdowns while leading the Black
Knights to a 27-0-1 record.
Even though Army immediately returned to its winning ways under its new coach, it wasn’t until Davis and
Blanchard filled the Cadet’s backfield in 1944 that true glory would be achieved. That season Army posted a
9-0 record that included an 83-0 smashing of Villanova,a long awaited 59-0 defeat of Notre Dame and a 23-7 victory over Navy that snapped a five-game losing
streak against the Midshipmen.
The Associated Press named Army as its 1944 national champion and would echo the same sentiments
one year later. The Black Knights delivered an incredible encore performance in 19~. Army marched to a 9-0
record that included another shutout of Notre Dame included in its five. Only a 0-0 tie with Notre Dame
spoiled Army’s bid for its third consecutive perfect season in 1946. Army was denied its third straight national
title by the AP when the wire service voted the Fighting Irish as No. 1. However, two other polls honored the
Cadets as their national champ.
Before Blaik’s Army coaching career ended after his 18th season, he had posted 121 wins and was named
national coach of the year two times. Blaik would also coach Army’s third Heisman Trophy his final year in
West Point when Pete Dawkins won the honor in 1958. Dawkins scored 12 touchdowns while assaulting
opponents with his rushing, receiving and kick returning skills that helped army earn its last undefeated
Two of America’s greatest military leaders, including one that would become President, once played for the
Cadets. Army’s 1906 squad included a player named George S. Patton. The future general learned first
hand about battle casualties when his season was ended after suffering two broken arms.
Long before he held the positions of America’s top World War II General and the President of the United
States, Dwight D. Eisenhower lettered for Army’s football team in 1912.