In 1917, the Army’s First Infantry Division was America’s first division to fight in World War I, defeating the Germans in the 45-minute Battle of Catigny in France. It’s the oldest continuously serving division in the Army, and its members are easily identifiable by a so-called “Big Red One” shoulder patch.
More than century later, the Army’s football team is honoring the First Infantry Division and marking the 100th anniversary of the end of the war with striking black uniforms that they’ll wear in this Saturday’s Army-Navy game. It’s the third year in a row that the Army is honoring a specific division during the Army-Navy game.
The uniforms feature the legend “Big Red One” on the chest and shoes, and the numeral 1 on the helmet and (appropriately) the shoulder. The uniforms were designed by Nike, who worked closely with historical documents to be sure colors and design elements were accurate.
“A hundred years ago, the First Infantry Division led the Allies to victory in World War I and then on Saturday, December 8, First Infantry Division Soldiers and families will be able to cheer on the Army team to achieve victory in this historic rivalry,” said Major General John S. Kolasheski, First Infantry Division Commanding General, quoted on the Army’s website. “Here in the division, our motto is no mission too difficult, no sacrifice too great, but duty first. We believe that the Army team’s mission on December 8 is to beat Navy. I know that the Army team will demonstrate the same readiness and devotion to duty as our Fighting First Division.”
Saturday’s game will be the 119th in the storied rivalry.