December 5, 2012
By Sgt. 1st Class Christopher Fincham
The U.S. Military Academy football team will pay tribute to Army football teams of the past, while also honoring the force’s units, Soldiers and veterans, when they take on the U.S. Naval Academy in the 113th meeting between the two academies, Dec. 8, at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia.
Commemorating the Battle of the Bulge, the Black Knights’ uniforms will feature a map of the region in which the German offensive and Allied counteroffensive took place.
“From far away, it may look like just scribbled lines, but when you get up close you see the detail typography and unit identification and movements on the map, which makes this really unique,” explained Nick Determan, the head equipment manager.
The map, emblazoned through the numbers on the jersey, will also be featured in the black stripe on the helmet, the detail on the gloves and on the sleeves of the uniform base layer, according to Determan.
There are also several other unique elements included in the uniform. The gold color featured on the helmets and uniform stripes is a throwback to the Army national championship teams of the 1940s. Also, the back of each helmet will feature a black spade, a symbol used by the Soldiers of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) during World War II and the Battle of the Bulge.
“I would say we’re more traditional — we want to have an identity and we want people to recognize us. But it doesn’t hurt to do something a little outside of the lines, as long as there’s some meaning behind it,” said Determan. “If this was just a map of somewhere it would be kind of ridiculous, but it means something. The color means something. The map means something. Each detail is significant.”