Bill the Goat
Rolling along to Penn State's 3rd opponent, the Lions will welcome the midshipmen of Navy on Military Appreciation day. Did you know that the Naval academy is located on what was once Fort Severn? If you didn't, you do now thanks to Too Much Information: the Navy Edition.
The United States Naval Academy is a four-year service academy located in Annapolis, Maryland. It is the second oldest of the United States 5 military academies. Students are officers-in-training and are referred to as midshipmen. Getting into the Naval academy is unlike non-military schools, a successful candidate must be nominated, usually by a member of congress. The Academy trains it's cadets for officer duty for commissioning primarily into the United States Navy and United States Marine Corps (remember kids, although they may not like to admit it, the Marines are a part of the Navy -Oorah). The Naval academy was established in 1845 under Secretary of the Navy George Bancroft.
About the University
In 2012, Forbes magazine ranked the U.S. Naval academy as No. 17 overall in the nation in its report "America's Top Colleges 2011". It also holds the No. 5 spot with the US Air Force Academy for Best Undergraduate Engineering programs. I mention that because I'm a geeky engineer-sue me. Candidates for the academy must pass a physical fitness test and a thorough medical exam as part of the application process. There are roughly 1,200 students in each new class of plebes (freshman are referred to as plebes, an abbreviation of the Ancient Roman word plebian) but only 1,000 Midshipmen will graduate.
Students agree to the Honor Concept and Honor Treatise which is a code that they agree to demonstrate integrity while refusing to lie, cheat or steal. Tthe Honor Concept allows a midshipman to confront someone committing an honor violation without formally reporting it. At the other academies, failure to formally report an honor violation is construed as tolerating it, which is itself a violation of the code. The U.S. government pays for tuition, room and board in exchange for an active duty service obligation upon graduation. Participation in athletics is mandatory at the Naval Academy and most Midshipmen not on an intercollegiate team must participate actively in intramural or club sports.
Of course it goes without saying that the Navy football team would call themselves the "Midshipmen." The mascot itself is "Bill the goat" both in "live" goat and costume form. The first mascot was the Navy Monkey (which was really a gorilla), then a cat, then switched to Billy in 1893. Currently Bill is the 33rd goat used as Navy's mascot
Football related data
Last Season: 5-7
Currently, Navy is one of the last few college football teams still playing as an independent. In 2015, that will change as they will join the Big East Conference. Navy has one recognized national championship in 1926, has a postseason record of 7-9-1, and was home to 2 Heisman winners. The football players wear two main colors: Navy blue (duh) and gold. Navy has played Notre Dame 84 consecutive times since 1927 but their main rival is the annual Army-Navy game played on the last weekend of football. The Commander-in-Chief's Trophy is awarded to each season's winner of the triangular college football series among the United States Military Academy, the United States Naval Academy, and the United States Air Force Academy. Navy controlled the trophy from 2003 to 2010, marking one of the longest times any academy has had possession of the prestigious trophy.
Of course being that it's a military academy, the list of famous military men is long and if you want to see a nice comprehensive list of Medal of Honor recipients Wikipedia has you covered. The academy graduated six Astronauts including Alan Shepard and Jim Lovell. As far as athletes are concerned the most famous would have to be Roger Staubach and David "The Admiral" Robinson. Long-time NFL referee Bob McElwee was a Midshipman as was billionaire Ross Perot*. The 39th President of the United States and Nobel Peace laureate Jimmy Carter graduated from the academy. While we're talking about presidents and Presidential candidates we might as well throw John McCain in there. As for entertainment the only midshipmen that went into showbiz were Oliver North and Montel Williams.
*side note: it's hard to believe someone that comes off as batshit crazy as Ross Perot when he was running for president was a Battalion Commander - a freakin' Battalion Commander!
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