The Black Knights will honor the WWI soldiers of the 1st Infantry Division 100 years after they helped end the war. The 1st Infantry Division was the first permanent division in the regular Army, the first American division to fight in the first World War, the first to use modern, combined arms operations and the first to defeat the enemy at the Battle of Cantigny.
The Fighting First #BigRedOne
— Army Football (@ArmyWP_Football) December 3, 2018
Instead of wearing their usual black and gold uniforms, the Black Knights will take the field in all-black uniforms with touches red and gold. The front of the helmets and the sleeves will have a distinct red numeral “1,” honoring the “Big Red One”, which was the nickname for the 1st Infantry Division. The design is a call-back to the uniforms of the actual 1st Infantry Division, who also had a red “1” on their helmets and sleeves.
2018 marks the 100th Anniversary of America’s First Division helping end the first Great War of the 20th Century. #BigRedOne
— ArmyWestPoint Sports (@GoArmyWestPoint) December 3, 2018
On top of the eye-catching red highlights, the uniforms also offer more subtle nods to the 1st Infantry Division. The team’s cleats say “Big Red One” on their heels along with a small red “1” and their jersey collars will have bronze emblems representing the ones wore by the soldiers. There is also a 48-state flag on the back of their helmets to represent the nation they were fighting for at the time (Alaska and Hawaii weren’t yet states in 1918).
Finally, Saturday’s uniforms will feature a shiny black lion graphic on their shoulder pads as a way to remember the infantry that won in Cantigny, who became known as “The Black Lions of Cantigny.”
Army and Navy play at 3 p.m. E.T. Saturday at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia. The game will be televised on CBS.