By: Kaylah Jackson
Army has finally unveiled their new uniforms, honoring one its famed divisions for the much awaited Army- Navy rivalry game this weekend.
The “Climb To Glory,” uniform, created by Nike, gives tribute to the 10th Mountain Division. Ironically enough, the infamous athletic apparel company’s co-founder Bill Bowerman, managed supplies and maintained the mules for the 10th Mountain Division. He eventually served as commander of the 86th Regiment’s First Battalion before he died in 1999.
In February 1945, the unit had a defining moment in the Apennine Mountains of northern Italy: U.S. soldiers scaled a sheer, 1,500-foot cliff under cover of darkness and fought their way through the snowy mountains. The Germans, who had considered the peak impossible to scale, were quickly routed. Soldiers trained at high altitudes on skis and snowshoes and learned cold-weather survival tactics, sleeping outside without tents in the Rocky Mountains and as a result, today, the unit is known for its ability to operate in “harsh terrain, in any climate, anywhere the world.”
The pando commando patch features a panda bear, the mascot of Camp Hale Colorado, where the original 10th Mountain Division was created in 1943.
Cross ski pins, featured on the front of the uniform helmets, are reflective of the division’s origins. The rear of the helmets display a vertical gold bar similar to the bars officers wore during WWII, often referred to as “follow me” bars.
The American flag, displayed on the left shoulders and reminiscent of WWII flags soldiers wore during the invasion of North Africa in 1942. U.S. forces wore the flag on their left shoulders with the blue field forward to identify themselves to the Vichy French as Americans.
A shoulder patch on the uniform features a blue background with crossed bayonets to denote the infantry and represents the Roman numeral 10 for the unit’s number.
“As a team, we take pride in remembering and honoring those that have come before us,” Army coach Jeff Monken said. “To be aligned with such a great division of the United States Army that has fought on some of the harshest terrain in the world makes this opportunity special.”
Navy unveiled its “Blue Angel’s” new uniforms in late November. The teams play this Saturday at Lincoln Financial Field.
Associated Press and Reporter Kaylah Jackson contributed to this story