History Of The Army Vs. Navy Game

Each year, the U.S. Military Academy (Army) and the U.S. Naval Academy (Navy) face off in a highly anticipated college football game. Referred to as the Army vs. Navy game, this rivalry dates back to 1890 and is one of the oldest in college football history. The game is not just a sporting event, but a beloved tradition for both academies, with players and fans eagerly awaiting the annual clash between the two teams.


The Army vs. Navy game has been a fixture in college football for more than a century, with the first match between the two academies occurring on November 29, 1890. On that day, the Navy defeated Army 24-0, setting the stage for what would become a century-long yearly tradition.

There have been a few exceptions to this, with the game being cancelled during World War I and World War II, but for the most part, the Army and Navy have faced off every year.

This rivalry game has gained a reputation for being a highly anticipated event, as both teams are known for their competitive football programs. It’s also recognized for its elaborate pageantry, including pre-game ceremonies and halftime performances by each academy’s marching band.

The Most Notable Army-Navy Games

Throughout the years, the Army vs. Navy game has produced a number of memorable moments and notable games. Some of the most noteworthy include:

  • 1963 – Navy quarterback Roger Staubach, who would later be inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame, led his team to a 21-15 victory over Army in a game that was famously referred to as the “Game of the Century.”
  • 1993 – Dubbed the “Snow Bowl,” Navy and Army braved harsh weather conditions, including sub-zero temperatures and a snow-covered field, in a 0-0 tie. Both teams demonstrated incredible determination and resilience till the very end of the game.
  • 2018 – In a closely contested matchup, Army secured a 17-10 win over Navy, ending Navy’s three-game winning streak in the rivalry and marking Army’s first victory in 15 years. This game was considered one of the most exciting in recent years.

Notable Players In The History Of The Army-Navy Game

Over the years, many phenominal players have played in the U.S. Army vs. Navy game. Some of the most memorable include:

  • Roger Staubach – Staubach played for Navy team in the early 1960s and is widely considered one of the best quarterbacks in football history. Staubach led Navy to a 21-15 victory over Army in the 1963 “Game of the Century” and proceeded to have a successful career in the NFL, winning four Super Bowl titles with the Dallas Cowboys.
  • Joe Bellino – played for Navy in the late 1950s and early 1960s. He won the 1960 Heisman Trophy and was a key contributor to Navy’s success in the two decades he played.
  • Pete Dawkins – was a player in the Army in the late 1950s and remains one of the best players in the history of the Army vs. Navy game. He won the 1958 Heisman Trophy and led Army to wins over Navy in 1957 and 1958.
  • Napoleon McCallum – played for Navy in the early 1980s and set numerous records in the rivalry.
  • Malcolm Perry – Perry played for Navy in the late 2010s and is considered one of the best players in the recent years of the Army vs. Navy game. He played a major role in Navy’s victories over Army in 2017 and 2018.


The Army vs. Navy game is known for its many traditions, which have been a part of the rivalry for over a century. Some of these beloved traditions include:

  • The Army-Navy Game Trophy – The winner of each year’s game is awarded the Army-Navy Game Trophy, which is a wooden sculpture with a football player on each side. The trophy is presented to the winning team’s captain by the President of the United States.
  • The March On – Before the game, both teams participate in a pre-game ceremony in which they march onto the field in formation.
  • The Halftime Show – The halftime show of the Army vs. Navy game is a highly anticipated event, featuring performances by both academies’ marching bands.
  • Spirit Missions – In the lead-up to the game, both academies engage in “spirit missions,” which are activities designed to gain support for their team. These missions often involve current students and alumni.

Venues And Timing

The U.S. Army vs. Navy game is usually played at a neutral site, with the location rotating between various stadiums around the country. In recent years, the game has been played at a variety of venues, including M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, Maryland; Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and FedExField in Landover, Maryland.

The game is typically held on the second Saturday in December, with the location for each year’s game being announced in advance, sometimes up to five years ahead. In some years, the game has been held at the home stadium of one of the participating academies, but this is quite rare.

Frequently Asked Questions About The Army-Navy Game

When was the first Army-Navy Game Played?

The first U.S. Army vs. Navy game was played on November 29, 1890. The two academies have played annually since then, with the exception of a few years during World War I and World War II when the games were canceled due to the wars.

How Many Times Has The Army-Navy Game Been Played?

The Army vs. Navy game has been played continuously since 1890. Over the years, the two academies have faced off a total of 120 times.

It continues to be a big part of American football culture, so grab yourself a jersey or a flag from an Allegiance Flag Supply and attend a game sometime.

How Many Times Has The Army Won The Army-Navy Game?

In terms of wins, Army has won the Army vs. Navy game a total of 60 times, while Navy has won the game a total of 60 times. There have also been six tie games between the two academies.