The United States Naval Academy’s year-long celebration of its 175th anniversary will culminate with the Midshipmen wearing alternate uniforms in the annual rivalry game with Army on Dec. 12.
The Naval Academy opened its doors on Oct. 10, 1845. It has since produced 74 Medal of Honor recipients, 54 astronauts, 24 members of Congress, 16 ambassadors, five state governors, five secretaries of the Navy, two Nobel Prize winners, one secretary of the Air Force and a President of the United States.
Since introducing football in 1879, the Midshipmen have also won a national title (1926) and produced a pair of Heisman Trophy winners, with halfback Joe Bellino and quarterback Roger Staubach taking home the award in 1960 and 1963, respectively.
Navy’s alternate uniforms pay homage to that rich history and the academy’s historic architecture.
The hand-painted helmets, shoulders of the white jersey and cleats include a blue marble pattern that can be seen in the crypt of John Paul Jones at the Naval Academy Chapel and at Bancroft Hall, the largest dormitory in the country. The high contrast of the white veins is supposed to mimic the whitecaps on the rough open seas and has been named “Ocean Camo” by the Under Armour design team.
The six navy stripes inside a gold stipe down the center of the helmet and white pants pay homage to the original six frigates (or warships) of the Navy. The gold is supposed to symbolize the metallics found across The Yard, another name for the Naval Academy’s campus.
The Naval Academy Seal can be seen on the sleeves of the jersey and on the gloves. The seal is featured throughout The Yard on buildings, flags and uniforms to represent the academy’s mission, which is “to develop midshipmen morally, mentally and physically.” The look is complete with the Marine Corps emblem on the left hip of the pants.
Usually held at Philadelphia’s Lincoln Financial Field, the 121st Army-Navy Game will take place at Michie Stadium in West Point, New York, where the Midshipmen are 3-0 all-time. Kickoff is set for 3 p.m. ET on CBS.
Check out more photos of Navy’s 175th anniversary uniforms below:
Photos courtesy of @NavyFB on Twitter.