Commander-in-Chief's Trophy

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Commander-in-Chief's Trophy
The Commander-in-Chief's Trophy, showing the Navy Side
The Commander-in-Chief's Trophy,
showing the Navy Side
Air Force Falcons.svg USMA-BlackKnights-Logo.svg United State Naval Academy Logo-sports.png
Air Force Falcons Army Black Knights Navy Midshipmen
Originated: 1972
Current Holder: Navy

Air Force (18)
1982 1983
1985 1987
1989 1990
1991 1992
1994 1995
1997 1998
1999 2000
2001 2002
2010 2011
Army (6)
1972 1977
1984 1986
1988 1996
Navy (14)
1973 1975
1978 1979
1981 2003
2004 2005
2006 2007
2008 2009
2012 2013
Shared Awards (4)
1974 1976 1980 1993

The Commander-in-Chief's Trophy is awarded to each season's winner of the American college football triangular series among the teams of the United States Military Academy (Army Black Knights), the United States Naval Academy (Navy Midshipmen), and United States Air Force Academy (Air Force Falcons). The Navy–Air Force game is traditionally played on the first Saturday in October, the Army–Air Force game on the first Saturday in November, and the Army–Navy Game on the second Saturday in December. In the event of a tie, the award is shared, but the previous winner retains possession of the trophy. Along with the Florida Cup and the Michigan MAC Trophy, the Commander-in-Chief's Trophy is one of the few three way rivalries that awards a trophy to the winner.

History of the trophy[edit]

Prior to 1972, Air Force did not play an annual series with Army and Navy. The Commander-in-Chief's trophy was the brainchild of Air Force General George B. Simler, former Air Force Academy athletic director who felt the need for such a trophy as a means to ensure the Air Force games played against traditional rivals Army and Navy were given some meaning at least slightly more significant than all other normal collegiate opponents that those two storied programs were to play on any given Saturday. .[1][2] It was first awarded in 1972, when President Richard M. Nixon was Commander-in-Chief. The trophy itself is jointly sponsored by the alumni associations of the three academies.

The trophy is named for the U.S. President, who is the Commander-in-Chief of all U.S. military services under the U.S. Constitution. The President has personally awarded the trophy on a number of occasions. During the 1980s, for instance, President Ronald Reagan presented the award in an annual White House ceremony. After years of Air Force dominance, in 1996, President Bill Clinton presented the trophy at Veterans Stadium after the Army–Navy Game. From 2003 to 2007, President George W. Bush presented the trophy at a White House ceremony.

During the late 1980s and early 1990s, the winner of the trophy, if bowl eligible, was granted an invitation to the Liberty Bowl in Memphis, TN.[3]

The other two federal service academies—the United States Coast Guard Academy and United States Merchant Marine Academy—do not participate in the Commander-in-Chief's trophy competition. As these two academies are approximately one-quarter the size of the three Department of Defense academies, they compete in NCAA Division III athletics, and do not compete against the other military academies in most sports. The two smaller academies do share a rivalry, however, as their football teams square off in the Secretaries Cup each year.

The trophy[edit]

The trophy itself stands 2.5 feet (0.76 m) high and weighs 170 lb (77.1 kg). The design consists of three silver footballs in a pyramid like arrangement, set on a circular base, with three arc-shaped sections cut out — one for each academy. In each of the cut-out areas stands a silver figurine of the mascot of one of the academies, in front of small, engraved plates denoting which years the respective academy has won the trophy. Beneath each of the three silver footballs is the crest of one of the three academies.

When Army possesses the trophy, it is housed in a glass case in Eisenhower Hall, the academy's theater and ballroom. When Navy has possession of the trophy, it is displayed in a glass case in Bancroft Hall, the Midshipmen's dormitory. When Air Force has possession of the trophy, it is displayed in a glass case in the Cadet Fieldhouse, the indoor sports complex at the Air Force Academy.

Winners of the trophy[edit]

In the event of a shared award, the previous year's winner retains custody of the trophy.

Air Force victories Army victories Navy victories Tied games, shared awards, future events
Season Trophy Winner Air Force – Navy score Air Force – Army score Army – Navy score
1972 Army 21–17 17–14 23–15
1973 Navy 42–6 43–10 51–0
1974 Shared (Navy retained trophy) 19–16 17–16 19–0
1975 Navy 17–0 33–3 30–6
1976 Shared (Navy retained trophy) 13–3 24–7 38–10
1977 Army 10–7 31–6 17–14
1978 Navy 37–8 28–14 28–0
1979 Navy 13–9 28–7 31–7
1980 Shared (Navy retained trophy) 21–20 47–24 33–6
1981 Navy 30–13 7–3 3–3
1982 Air Force 24–21 27–9 24–7
1983 Air Force 44–17 41–20 42–13
1984 Army 29–22 24–12 28–11
1985 Air Force 24–7 45–7 17–7
1986 Army 40–6 21–11 27–7
1987 Air Force 23–13 27–10 17–3
1988 Army 34–24 28–15 20–15
1989 Air Force 35–7 29–3 19–17
1990 Air Force 24–7 15–3 30–20
1991 Air Force 46–6 25–0 24–3
1992 Air Force 18–16 7–3 25–24
1993 Shared (AF retained trophy) 28–24 25–6 16–14
1994 Air Force 43–21 10–6 22–20
1995 Air Force 30–20 38–20 14–13
1996 Army 20–17 23–7 28–24
1997 Air Force 10–7 24–0 39–7
1998 Air Force 49–7 35–7 34–30
1999 Air Force 19–14 28–0 19–9
2000 Air Force 27–13 41–27 30–28
2001 Air Force 24–18 34–24 26–17
2002 Air Force 48–7 49–30 58–12
2003 Navy 28–25 31–3 34–6
2004 Navy 24–21 31–22 42–13
2005 Navy 27–24 27–24 42–23
2006 Navy 24–17 43–7 26–14
2007 Navy 31–20 30–10 38–3
2008 Navy 33–27 16–7 34–0
2009 Navy 16–13 (OT) 35–7 17–3
2010 Air Force 14–6 42–22 31–17
2011 Air Force 35–34 (OT) 24–14 27–21
2012 Navy 28–21 (OT) 41–21 17–13
2013 Navy 28–10 42–28 34–7
2014 TBD 4 Oct. 2014 at Air Force 1 Nov. 2014 at Army 13 Dec. 2014 at Baltimore, MD
(M&T Bank Stadium)
2015 TBD TBD TBD 12 Dec. 2015 at Philadelphia, PA
(Lincoln Financial Field)
2016 TBD TBD TBD 10 Dec. 2016 at Baltimore, MD
(M&T Bank Stadium)
2017 TBD TBD TBD 9 Dec. 2017 at Philadelphia, PA
(Lincoln Financial Field)
2018 TBD TBD TBD 8 Dec. 2018
Season Trophy Winner Air Force – Navy score Air Force – Army score Army – Navy score

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]