Commander-in-Chief's Trophy

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Commander-in-Chief's Trophy
Commander in Chief's Trophy
Showing the side of the 2016 winner, Air Force.
Air Force Falcons logo.svg Army West Point logo.svg Navy Athletics logo.svg
Air Force
Falcons
Army
Black Knights
Navy
Midshipmen
Originated: 1972; 45 years ago (1972)
Current Holder: Air Force

Air Force (20)
1982   1983
1985   1987
1989   1990
1991   1992
1994   1995
1997   1998
1999   2000
2001   2002
2010   2011
2014   2016
Army (6)
1972   1977
1984   1986
1988   1996
Navy (15)
1973   1975
1978   1979
1981   2003
2004   2005
2006   2007
2008   2009
2012   2013
2015  
Shared Awards (4)
1974   1976   1980   1993
Commander-in-Chief's Trophy is located in the US
Army
Army
Navy
Navy
Air Force
Air Force
Campus locations in the United States

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 U.S. Military Academy (Army Black Knights), the U.S. Naval Academy (Navy Midshipmen), and U.S. 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, the Michigan MAC Trophy, and the Beehive Boot, the Commander-in-Chief's Trophy is one of the few three-way rivalries that awards a trophy to the winner.

Through 2016, the Air Force Falcons hold the most trophy victories at 20 and the Navy Midshipmen have won 15. The Army Black Knights trail with only six; their last came 21 years ago in 1996. The trophy has been shared on four occasions, most recently in 1993.

History of the trophy[edit]

Prior to 1972, Air Force played Army in odd years and Navy in even years. The Commander-in-Chief's trophy was the brainchild of Air Force General George B. Simler, a former Air Force Academy athletic director who envisioned the trophy as a means to create an annual series of football games for the Air Force Academy against the Military Academy and the Naval Academy. First awarded in 1972 by President Richard Nixon, the trophy itself is jointly sponsored by the alumni associations of the three academies.[1][2]

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. In 1996, President Bill Clinton presented the trophy to the last winning Army team at Veterans Stadium after the Army–Navy Game. From 2003 to 2007, President George W. Bush presented the trophy to Navy teams at ceremonies in the White House.

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, Tennessee.[3]

Navy was the first to five wins in 1981, while Army won its fifth in 1988 and Air Force in 1989 to knot the series (five wins each with three shares). Air Force has led since their win in 1990, and dominated through 2002, with sixteen wins to Army's six. Winless in the series for over two decades, Navy reeled off seven consecutive sweeps from 2003 through 2009 to draw close.

In the annual series, Air Force plays a home game and a road game, usually both on campus, hosting Navy in even-numbered years and Army in odd years. Army–Navy is a neutral site game, usually in a major eastern city and most frequently in Philadelphia; it was last played on campus in 1942 and 1943, during World War II travel restrictions.

The other two federal service academies – the U.S. Coast Guard Academy and U.S. Merchant Marine Academy – do not participate in this competition. They are approximately one-quarter the size of the three Department of Defense academies and compete in Division III athletics, so they do not compete against the DOD military academies in most sports. The Coast Guard Bears and Merchant Marine Mariners have an annual football rivalry for the Secretaries Cup.

The trophy[edit]

The trophy itself stands 2.5 feet (0.76 m) high and weighs a hefty 170 lb (77 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 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. When Navy has possession of the trophy, it is displayed in a glass case in Bancroft Hall, the Midshipmen's dormitory. When Army possesses the trophy, it is housed in a glass case in Eisenhower Hall, the academy's theater and ballroom.

Game results and trophy winners[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
Before Trophy Established
1890-1958 N/A Not played Not played See Army-Navy Game
1959 N/A Not played 13–13 (a) 43–12 (b)
1960 N/A 35-3 (c) Not played 17–12 (b)
1961 N/A Not played Not played 13-7 (b)
1962 N/A Not played Not played 34-14 (b)
1963 N/A Not played 14-10 (d) 21-15 (b)
1964 N/A Not played Not played 11-8 (b)
1965 N/A Not played 14-3 (d) 7-7 (b)
1966 N/A 15-7 (e) Not played 20–7 (b)
1967 N/A Not played 10-7 (e) 19-14 (b)
1968 N/A 26-20 (d) Not played 21-14 (b)
1969 N/A Not played 13-6 (f) 27-0 (b)
1970 N/A 26-3 (g) Not played 11-7 (b)
1971 N/A Not played 20-7 (e) 24-23 (b)
Trophy Established
1972 Army (1) 21–17 (e) 17–14 (f) 23–15 (b)
1973 Navy (1) 42–6 (h) 43–10 (e) 51–0 (b)
1974 Shared (Navy retained trophy) (1) 19–16 (e) 17–16 (f) 19–0 (b)
1975 Navy (2) 17–0 (g) 33–3 (e) 30–6 (b)
1976 Shared (Navy retained trophy) (2) 13–3 (e) 24–7 (f) 38–10 (b)
1977 Army (2) 10–7 (h) 31–6 (e) 17–14 (b)
1978 Navy (3) 37–8 (e) 28–14 (f) 28–0 (b)
1979 Navy (4) 13–9 (h) 28–7 (e) 31–7 (b)
1980 Shared (Navy retained trophy) (3) 21–20 (e) 47–24 (f) 33–6 (i)
1981 Navy (5) 30–13 (h) 7–3 (e) 3–3 (i)
1982 Air Force (1) 24–21 (e) 27–9 (f) 24–7 (i)
1983 Air Force (2) 44–17 (h) 41–20 (e) 42–13 (j)
1984 Army (3) 29–22 (e) 24–12 (f) 28–11 (i)
1985 Air Force (3) 24–7 (h) 45–7 (e) 17–7 (i)
1986 Army (4) 40–6 (e) 21–11 (f) 27–7 (i)
1987 Air Force (4) 23–13 (h) 27–10 (e) 17–3 (i)
1988 Army (5) 34–24 (e) 28–15 (f) 20–15 (i)
1989 Air Force (5) 35–7 (h) 29–3 (e) 19–17 (k)
1990 Air Force (6) 24–7 (e) 15–3 (f) 30–20 (i)
1991 Air Force (7) 46–6 (h) 25–0 (e) 24–3 (i)
1992 Air Force (8) 18–16 (e) 7–3 (f) 25–24 (i)
1993 Shared (Air Force retained trophy) (4) 28–24 (h) 25–6 (e) 16–14 (k)
1994 Air Force (9) 43–21 (e) 10–6 (f) 22–20 (i)
1995 Air Force (10) 30–20 (h) 38–20 (e) 14–13 (i)
1996 Army (6) 20–17 (e) 23–7 (f) 28–24 (i)
1997 Air Force (11) 10–7 (h) 24–0 (e) 39–7 (k)
1998 Air Force (12) 49–7 (e) 35–7 (f) 34–30 (i)
1999 Air Force (13) 19–14 (l) 28–0 (e) 19–9 (i)
2000 Air Force (14) 27–13 (e) 41–27 (f) 30–28 (m)
2001 Air Force (15) 24–18 (l) 34–24 (e) 26–17 (i)
2002 Air Force (16) 48–7 (e) 49–30 (f) 58–12 (k)
2003 Navy (6) 28–25 (l) 31–3 (e) 34–6 (n)
2004 Navy (7) 24–21 (e) 31–22 (f) 42–13 (n)
2005 Navy (8) 27–24 (h) 27–24 (e) 42–23 (n)
2006 Navy (9) 24–17 (e) 43–7 (f) 26–14 (n)
2007 Navy (10) 31–20 (h) 30–10 (e) 38–3 (m)
2008 Navy (11) 33–27 (e) 16–7 (f) 34–0 (n)
2009 Navy (12) 16–13 (OT) (h) 35–7 (e) 17–3 (n)
2010 Air Force (17) 14–6 (e) 42–22 (f) 31–17 (n)
2011 Air Force (18) 35–34 (OT) (h) 24–14 (e) 27–21 (l)
2012 Navy (13) 28–21 (OT) (e) 41–21 (f) 17–13 (n)
2013 Navy (14) 28-10 (h) 42–28 (e) 34–7 (n)
2014 Air Force (19) 30–21 (e) 23–6 (f) 17–10 (m)
2015 Navy (15) 33–11 (h) 20–3 (e) 21–17 (n)
2016 Air Force (20) 28–14 (e) 31–12 (f) 21–17 (m)
2017 TBD 48-45 (h) November 4, 2017 (e) December 9, 2017 (n)
Season Trophy winner Air Force – Navy Air Force – Army Army – Navy
Records since 1972 Air Force: 26–20  (.565) Air Force: 33–12  (.733) Navy: 29–15–1  (.656)
All-time Records Air Force: 29–21  (.580) Air Force: 36–14-1  (.716) Navy: 60–50–7  (.543)

(a) Yankee Stadium
(b) Philadelphia Municipal Stadium/John F. Kennedy Stadium
(c) Baltimore Memorial Stadium
(d) Soldier Field
(e) Falcon Stadium
(f) Michie Stadium
(g) Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium
(h) Navy–Marine Corps Memorial Stadium
(i) Veterans Stadium
(j) Rose Bowl
(k) Giants Stadium
(l) FedExField
(m) PSINet Stadium/M&T Bank Stadium
(n) Lincoln Financial Field

Records since Trophy Established
Team Trophies Last W L T Pct.
  Air Force   20 2016 59 32 0 .648
Navy 15 2015 49 41 1 .544
Army 6 1996 27 62 1 .306
  • Four shared trophies, last in 1993
  • Only tie was in 1981 (Army–Navy, 3–3)
  • Overtime for Division I-A regular season introduced in 1996
    • three OT games, all between Navy (2–1) and Air Force

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Staff Sgt. Raymond Hoy (April 18, 2011). "Falcons bring home Commander-in-Chief's Trophy". www.af.mil. Archived from the original on July 24, 2012. 
  2. ^ Kyle Meadows (July 24, 2008). "The Top Ten College Football Rivalry Trophies". Bleacher Report. 
  3. ^ John Cavanaugh (November 12, 1989). "COLLEGE FOOTBALL; Boston College Surprises Army". The New York Times. 

External links[edit]