Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Academy Leadership Remembers 1983 Army-Navy Game

U.S. Naval Academy and U.S. Military Academy leadership gathered at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif., Nov. 30 to remember the 1983 Army-Navy football game played in the famous stadium.

Vice Adm. Ted Carter was joined by Army West Point Superintendent Lt. Gen. Robert Caslen and a large group of local dignitaries and local graduates from both institutions to mark the anniversary of the game, the only time the famous rivalry was played west of the Mississippi River. The games are traditionally played on the East Coast, most often in Philadelphia.

The event was conceived and organized by Rolfe Arnhym, a 1953 Military Academy graduate, who was the driving force behind bringing the 1983 game to Pasadena. During the ceremony, a bench was dedicated just outside of the main gates of the Rose Bowl. A time capsule was also dedicated and sealed beneath the bench. The capsule contains memorabilia from the 1983 game, Army and Navy football gear and personal letters from both superintendents.

"Mr. Arnhym, you had a vision and a dream," said Caslen.  "You were able to make this happen.  I'm incredibly proud to be here today."

Carter made note of the monumental logistical effort it took in 1983 to enable the game to be played with every midshipman and cadet in attendance, no small feat considering both institutions are more than 2,500 miles away from Pasadena.

"To move 9,000 mids and cadets at the philanthropy of the people of Pasadena is simply amazing," said Carter.

Both superintendents made note of the hospitality of the people of Pasadena, who housed the cadets and midshipmen in their homes before the game. This helped endear the students and institutions in the hearts of the residents and in the city.

Also speaking at the event were Pasadena’s Vice Mayor Gene Masuda, former Pasadena Mayor Bill Bogaard and current president of the Rose Bowl Operating Company Victor Gordo, who accepted the bench and time capsule and expressed thanks to both academies for the contributions they've made to the nation.

Navy emerged victorious in the 1983 game by a score of 42-13.

Caslen noted that the Army-Navy series started in 1890, with the first game being played at West Point. In all, the teams have met 115 times over the years with Navy owning a 59-49-7 advantage in the all-time standings.

The records and results were the furthest things from the minds of the leadership today.

“At the end of the day, we all remain brothers and sisters in service," said Carter. "There is no greater team."

Caslen noted that whatever happens in the football game, Army "will stand shoulder to shoulder with Navy" after the game and as all the graduates go on to combat this nation’s threats all around the world.

Caslen is a 1975 graduate from USMA and played center on the football team.

The 2015 Army-Navy football game will be played Dec. 12 in Philadelphia. It remains the most important game for each team each year.

"This is not just a good college football rivalry," said Carter. "I believe this is the greatest sports rivalry in our country, period."


  1. The whole event was a debacle and it was poorly executed. The Naval Academy didn't have the money to send the mids out to Pasadena so they had to borrow it from the Alumni Association. The Alumni Association, being that generous people that they are, charged interest on the loan and the Academy took a financial bath on the whole deal.
    The article mentions that all the mids stayed in Pasadena but doesn't mention that USNA insisted that the ENTIRE staff had to be flown and housed in Pasadena as well. Company Officers were posted at car rental outlets to ensure that no mids rented cars (Wouldn't want anyone to have any freedom or fun, would we?) while other staff was posted all over the Pasadena area (gotta love those watch bills). It was a stupid idea and hopefully will never happen again.

    1. Just because you think it was not poorly executed once does not mean it is "stupid idea and hopefully will never happen again". The people of Philadelphia get to sit in a blizzard and watch it every year. There are millions of veterans and average Americans that deserve to see their game at least once in a life time. It has the added benefit of not being played on frozen tundra, like the blizzard game a couple years ago.

    2. It was a great game and a great thing for the Brigade of Midshipman. I attended the game from 2nd company and it was one of the greatest experiences of my four years at the Academy
      well done by our sup and by our commandant Leon Edney

    3. My uncle rented one for me. We were not prohibited as plebes from driving in Pasadena.

    4. ACADEMYFAN is plain incorrect. Not only were rental cars permitted, we signed up for them by computer in Ward Hall. I was a Youngster, and rented a Mustang convertible. My classmates and I actually did some foolish things, and our Company Officer, LT John Sarao, was a real pro. We had a blast, stayed at the LAX Hilton, and were the last company to go out...last company to return.

    5. I was there as well as a plebe and from my seat there were no issues! I know John Sarao know in Tampa!

  2. I went to the game as firstie and thought it was phenomenally well done and a great experience

  3. That was my Plebe year and my first Army-Navy game. I recall it was very well executed and this trip was my first trip home since before I-Day. Great game too!! Proud to be part of this historic game.

  4. That was an awesome experience. I stayed with an excellent USNA grad from the class of '45 in Pacific Palisades. If it was a disaster, nobody I knew noticed.


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