Army will honor the “Iron Soldiers” of the 1st Armored Division of World War II by wearing tank-inspired alternate uniforms during its annual rivalry game against Navy, which kicks off at 3 p.m. ET on CBS on Dec. 10.
This year marks the 80th anniversary of Operation Torch and the commencement of ground operations against Axis forces in North Africa. It was the largest amphibious assault in history to that point, involving more than 125,000 Allied soldiers.
The landings were initially met by stiff resistance by Vichy French forces in Algeria and Morocco, but after days of fighting, the Allies secured critical airfields and ports. They then converged upon Axis forces in Tunisia and entered combat with German and Italian forces for the first time.
The olive green jerseys and helmets feature “mud splatter” on the helmet and jersey to show the harsh conditions that tanks and armored vehicles dealt with in Operation Torch and the North Africa Campaign. There’s also a gradient effect at the bottom of the jersey that transitions into tan pants.
The 1st Armored Division unit patch – which incorporates calvary yellow, infantry blue and field artillery red – can be seen on both sides of the helmet. There’s also a campaign streamer on the front helmet bumper and a World War II-era flag with 48 stars on the back.
Each player’s jersey has his cadet regiment number inside of a yellow star and a nameplate with one of 36 different company mascots on his right chest. The star and design that wraps around the left shoulder, sleeves and across the back and the number font were pulled from the iconic M3 tanks.
Smaller details include the aforementioned streamer on the back collar and the 1st Armored Division insignia on the right hip of the pants. This “bumper number” helps soldiers identify a specific organization, vehicle or leader during training or combat operations.
Photos courtesy of @ArmyWP_Football on Twitter.