WASHINGTON — Yesterday, President Donald Trump emerged from the tunnel in the south end zone as the public address announcer intoned: “Ladies and gentlemen, the 45th president of the United States…” The Audience of approximately 9,000 at Michie Stadium erupted with a standing ovation. Trump stopped in the Army end zone and waved in all directions as the crowd chanted “USA, USA, USA.”
Truly, a warm and affectionate welcome on behalf of thousands in attendance at the annual Army-Navy game despite a visibly smaller crowd than previous years due to coronavirus restrictions — limited to students and Department of Defense leadership — those in attendance made their voices heard when Trump took the field.
MOMENTS AGO: President Trump arrives at the Army-Navy football game. pic.twitter.com/2QyIRPFzIZ
— The Hill (@thehill) December 12, 2020
In accordance with tradition, President Trump spent part of Saturday’s game amid the West Point cadets and part with the Naval Academy cadets. And although he did not keep it on through the entire game, he was spotted wearing a mask with the presidential seal emblazoned on one side.
This year marked the first time the game was held at either of the academies over 75 years. With the world at war at the time, the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis hosted the game in 1942, and West Point hosted in 1943.
Trump attended the 121st Army-Navy game, marking the third straight year he has done so as sitting president. Trump also attended the 2016 Army-Navy game at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore as president-elect.
President Trump entered the field along with the superintendents of the two service academies — Army General Darryl A. Williams and Navy Vice Admiral Sean Buck. He was joined on the field by Secretary of the Army Ryan D. McCarthy and Secretary of the Navy Kenneth J. Braithwaite.
Trump stood at attention and saluted as members of the Naval Academy and Army West Point glee clubs sang the national anthem.
Trump presided over the pregame coin flip with Navy captain Cameron Kinley calling tails. Tails it was when the side of the coin that featured a replica of Michie Stadium landed face up.
The President sat in the stands along with the Corps of Cadets in the first half and was not wearing a mask. However, he later donned a mask while taking photos with cadets. Per tradition, the Commander in Chief changed sides at halftime — crossing the field to sit among members of the Brigade of Midshipmen.
History of President’s attending the game date back to when President Theodore Roosevelt first attended in 1901, taking a special train from Washington to Philadelphia for the game, which Army won 11-5. He attended again in 1905.
President Obama attended the game in 2011 and President George W. Bush attended in 2001, 2004 and 2008.
Joe Biden attended the game while serving as vice president in 2011 with Obama and again the next year when he presented the Commander in Chief’s Trophy, presented it to Navy after it beat Army 17 to 13.
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