Every year for the Army navy Game, both Army and navy release a special uniform. I think most people don't realize that both uniforms are supposed to honor something about the Army and the navy, respectfully. Many just look at the pictures they release or see the game and decide if they like how the uniforms look or not. However, Nike (Army) and Under Armor (navy) work closely with the schools to go much deeper than just trotting out a flashy uniform. (Not sure about navy but I know Army/Nike work on each years' uniforms for 18 months prior to the release.)
Army and Nike do a wonderful job with this. Each year the uniforms not only look great but they tell the story of an Army unit that distinguished itself on the battlefield. Take last year for example:
On the 20th anniversary, Army honored the Special Forces unit that deployed to Afghanistan following the 9/11 attacks. Very cool story and good looking uniforms.
navy and Under Armor honored planes. No seriously, just planes.
In 2020, navy honored the marble in one of their buildings.
So this year navy decided to honor…NASA? Really?! NASA?!
Now, rivalry aside, this uniform is not ugly. Heck, Phil Simms looked great in this uniform.
However when they get into the explanation of the uniform they lost me
So they are honoring NASA because they've sent about 50 graduates to NASA. Which, ya know is cool and all. But Army has sent 20 graduates to NASA as well so navy doesn't have an exclusive with NASA. Maybe even more important, NASA isn't part of the navy. It's not even part of the Department of Defense. Sure some navy grads did cool things as astronauts but so did Army grads.
The worst part of these uniforms though are easily the helmet.
Airbrushed cartoons are meant for t-shirts you buy on the boardwalk, not football helmets. This is what helmets would look like if they asked 3rd graders to compete in a helmet design contest where the winner gets a pizza party. For some reason Under Armor loves this airbrush technique and it stinks every time.
Here is the big takeaway - all the folks from both of these schools are so damn proud of their school and service (more on that in a couple weeks) and I think navy misses the boat (grins adjusts mic) each year. So many naval units have distinguished themselves throughout history.
I work alongside two Marines who could tell you all about Marine units that kicked ass through our Nation's wars. Why not tell the story of one of those units? So really, I just feel sorry for navy. You cannot honestly tell me you're proud to represent NASA. NASA is cool for sure but people who work at NASA come from all schools and all walks of life. NASA isn't unique to navy.
Be better navy, stop making me feel sorry for you.
Overall grade: C-
P.S. Credit to me showing growth and giving an objective take on these uniforms.