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Storied Army-Navy rivalry plays out at ASU

ASU ROTC Army-Navy flag football faceoff
December 07, 2012

Since 1890, the United States Military Academy (USMA) and the United States Naval Academy (USNA) have squared off on a U.S. battlefield: the annual Army-Navy football game. What most people might not realize, however, is that this same inter-service rivalry between these two services in the United States Armed Forces also plays out on college campuses across the nation.

For the second year, as a lead up to the main Army-Navy event, ASU’s Sun Devil Battalion (Army ROTC), and Sea Devil Battalion (Naval ROTC), squared off in their own inter-service rivalry game on Dec. 5. In a very close and hard-fought flag-football game, the Sea Devil Battalion overturned the Sun Devil Battalion, 12 to 6, on the last play of the day.

Captain Dave Price, commanding officer of the Naval ROTC (NROTC) at ASU had this to say of their Army ROTC counterparts: “It was a great morning of service camaraderie and good sportsmanship. The cadets are truly reflective of what makes our Army great.”

More than a football game, the contest also represents an opportunity for future commissioned officers in the Army, Navy and Marine Corps to share the field of play before standing together on the field of battle. No other contest, epitomized by the West Point versus Annapolis game, represents such a storied rivalry between those who serve their country and defend the freedoms that all U.S. citizens enjoy.

Lieutenant Colonel Daniel Roberts, commanding officer of the Army ROTC, stated: “It was a win for us – but the midshipmen carried themselves with distinction and honor. As I told them – I am in awe of their spirit, and look forward to seeing them on the high-ground.”

The wager this year between the commanding officers Price and Roberts was that the defeated would sing the service song of the victor at a time of their choosing. This year it will be the Army ROTC singing “Anchors Aweigh” and the “Halls of Montezuma” at the NROTC’s physical training sports day on Dec. 10. 

As for the upcoming Army-Navy face-off, Captain Price, an Annapolis graduate, left little doubt about who he felt would win: “10 of the last 10 games were won by Navy, so it’s the clearly a tradition of the 21st century!”

Story by Midshipman Leonor Camarena