Navy defeats Army in flag football friendly

By Troy Darr, U.S. Army NATOFebruary 27, 2024

Navy defeats Army in flag football friendly
U.S. Soldiers assigned to NATO billets in Naples, Italy, pose for a group photo. The Soldiers played flag football against U.S. Sailors assigned to U.S. Naval Forces Europe coinciding with the annual Army Black Knights versus Navy Midshipmen football game. (Courtesy Photo) (Photo Credit: Courtesy) VIEW ORIGINAL

NAPLES, Italy – Just hours before the Army’s Black Knights beat the Navy’s Midshipmen 17-11 on Dec. 9 in Foxborough, Mass., teams of Soldiers and Sailors met on the gridiron to contend in their own historic struggle for bragging rights.

At Naval Support Activity Naples in Italy a team of salty Sailors slaughtered a squad of strong Soldiers in a shocking upset 32-18 that left the Soldiers vowing retribution in next year’s game.

The U.S. Soldiers playing in the game are assigned to NATO billets in Italy, and the Sailors are assigned to U.S. Naval Forces Europe.

Sgt. Devante Harris, Company B, Allied Forces South Battalion, said the two teams have been competing annually for at least the last 36 years, but no archival information is available to compare records of the two teams.

“The Navy had a slight advantage of experience on us going into the game,” said Harris. “Their team competed in the annual Captain’s Cup, and we only had a couple of practices sessions to prepare us for the game.”

Harris said the purpose of these types of activities is to promote physical fitness and unit esprit-de-corps.

“All of our friends, families and leaders were out on the sidelines cheering us on,” said Harris. “There is nothing in the world like making a great play and hearing the roar of the fans.”

The Soldiers plan to compete in the Captain’s Cup in 2024 to give them the same edge that the Sailors brought to the Army/Navy game.

“We are bringing home the win next time,” said Harris. “You can count on it.”