My son was a master sergeant. He never gave a shit about officers playing football. Is that typical for enlisted men? What about officers?
I’m a retired Army officer. I didn’t give a shit about potential officers at the US Military Academy playing football for most of my career. I was also an ROTC commissionee who spent my entire career in the Army’s two reserve components. That did change some later as I worked closely for a [del] ring knocker[/del] USMA grad. I also started watching the game most years just because I enjoyed watching the offenses in a time where pass oriented spread offenses dominate. “American Soldier” is easily my strongest identity grouping so it’s not like I was going to root for Navy. It’s probably most accurate to say I care a little bit now.
The end of my career as in AC/RC (Active Component/Reserve Component) units. Even there the AC NCOs weren’t all that into it but it’s not a large sample size. I can’t think of any RC NCOs that gave a shit and many of them had some active duty time. Even most of the AC officers weren’t hugely concerned about the rivalry but cared a little more.
IME West Point officers care a lot about the game. It’s their alma mater playing in a major rivalry game, after all.
I never much cared. If it was on I would watch it. I would rather the Army win but I don’t care much if they lose. I did not watch today.
I did not serve, so I have no dog in this fight. But, anecdotally, I have two friends, who are also friends with one another: one was in the Navy, the other in the Army. Both of them were enlisted men (I think that the one who was in the Navy might have made it as far as NCO status before leaving the service).
The two of them have spent the afternoon on Facebook, giving each other good-natured grief about the game (and it’s clear that they are both watching the game).
this used to be watched by my relatives half of which was in the army and the other the navy so yjere was much playful rivalry
now the one both sides wanted to beat was the air force ……
bleh missed edit window
this used to be watched by my relatives half of which was in the army and the other the navy so there was much playful rivalry and
now the one both sides wanted to beat was the air force …… or as my nam vet uncle put it the “combat avoiding snobs”
Navy enlisted vet here. I watch and (somewhat*) care about the game.
That attitude is consistent for a lot of the vets I know - most of whom were enlisted men.
Somewhat in the sense that I know who won last year (and what the trend is for the series), what the team are doing this year, etc. But not so much that I’m upset when Navy is not having a great year.
Not a Vet, but its always one of the great games of the season. A ‘real’ football game, defensive struggle, not watching Alabama trounce Belle Vida Girls School 87-3.
Plus, its over in less than 3 hours.
It varies, I never cared but my Nephew-In-Law was 8 years army enlisted and seems to really get really wrapped up in the game. Even during the winning streak for Navy, I didn’t really care.
In my case it is also partially that I don’t really care about college football, only NFL.
I didn’t mean to denigrate the game - I always enjoy it. Before gargantuan players were the norm, the service academies were powerhouses.
I am enlisted active duty Air Force. Neither I nor any of my enlisted peers give a crap about the academy games, be it USNA, USMA, or USAFA. I work for a Zoomie, and he watches the USAFA games and is constitutionally unable to shut his mouth about them at work.
Enlisted Marine vet here, and I never cared for the annual game.
My brother went to the USAFA, and he never cared for any of their games.
This is all because Navy sucks.
My granddad was WW2 army, and my dad was Air Force during the Vietnam era. I remember watching the Army/Navy game with my granddad and remember him staunchly rooting for Army even though he had been drafted and not an officer.
I love tradition, and that entails a lot of tradition, so I still watch the game every year, including the one last weekend, and I still root for army like I did with my granddad when I was little.
I also like REAL student athletes playing football. I think it embodies what college athletics was originally about before the big money football and basketball factories came into existence.
I remember watching some of the game a year ago but I was running errands and doing chores during this last game. I kept an eye on the score at the end of the game so I knew Army won but I didn’t watch it. I don’t recall ever caring about the game when I was on active duty.
On an interesting note, I am Facebook friends with a sergeant who I knew back then (he was E-7 at the time and moved to a first sergeant role while still an E-7 but I don’t know what retired as, I presume E-8). And he would cheer for the Navy for the first two quarters, since he was Navy prior service, and then cheer for Army for the second half. I found that amusing when I saw him post about it.
It’s not literally “Army versus Navy”, it’s the US Military Academy (West Point) vs. the US Naval Academy (Annapolis).
Two service academies, in other words, who are NCAA football programs- West Point is independent, and Annapolis is AAC. (the Air Force Academy is Mountain West, not that it’s really germane).
So like others have said, it’s not probably too closely followed by the services themselves, but it will definitely be by the officers who attended those schools.
11 years Navy, 1 year Army reserve.
Army lost to playoff participant Oklahoma by 7! At Oklahoma! In overtime! Held Oklahoma to their lowest score of the season! Navy is not very good this year. I thought Army would destroy them. But Navy contested it very well. Despite serving in both services, I’m always for Navy.
If I may slip in an unrelated question, how do the cadets attend the game in such huge numbers? Are they given an allowance for travel/lodging, etc. or do they attend the game entirely on their own dime?
Also, given the strict nature of the academies, are there off-the-field punishments meted out for on-field behavior - i.e., might a Midshipman face disciplinary action from his Academy for a cheap shot or unsportsmanlike conduct against an Army player?
My understanding, which may be wrong, is that the Midshipmen & Cadets are required to attend and that the schools pay their expenses.