The Naval Academy fired first Monday in the annual battle of Army-Navy uniform designs, revealing a Blue Angels-inspired ensemble for the Dec. 9 game in Philadelphia.
The uniform features a hand-painted helmet boasting the Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron’s signature blue-and-yellow F/A-18s, a color scheme and stripe that matches the unit’s flight suits, and a number font similar to that used on the tails of the unit’s Hornets.
The design “reflects the enthusiastic pride and appreciation we have for the Navy's premier flying team and the motivation they convey to Navy football and the fleet at large," Navy athletics director Chet Gladchuk said in a Monday statement revealing the design. "The masterminds at Under Armour are always thinking of ways to inspire our troops while still reflecting a deep appreciation for a Naval history that is so ingrained in our game day traditions.”
The reveal also came with a short video that showcases some of the uniforms’ Blue Angels-specific patches and other details:
Last year’s Navy uniforms were inspired by those worn during the team’s 1963 season, during which quarterback Roger Staubach led the Mids past Army and into the Cotton Bowl. Army West Point countered with a dark-gray tribute to the 82nd Airborne Division; the Black Knights won, 21-17, to snap a 14-game losing streak.
Navy entered into a uniform deal with Baltimore-based Under Armour in 2014 after more than a decade with Nike. Army West Point remains a Nike-affiliated school; past Army-Navy uniform reveals were done in tandem under the Nike umbrella.