Imagine a Michigan student spending a semester at Ohio State. Or a UT student going to Oklahoma University. Getting sent to a rival school would be intense – and that’s exactly what Army and Navy have been doing for decades.
Every year, juniors at West Point and the Naval Academy switch places, spending an entire semester in enemy territory. Before they go back to their respective institutions, they go through the “prisoner exchange” at the annual Army-Navy Game, presented by USAA.
The West Point Cadets attend Navy classes with their midshipmen rivals. They live in “berthings,” probably call walls “bulkheads,” call floors “decks,” and ask permission to use the “head.”
Rivalries exist between all branches of the military – and college students are no different. The Army-Navy rivalry is so intense because it’s so old, but like all those other rivalries, it’s all in good fun. At the end of the day, the Cadets and Mids are still U.S. troops and we all fight on the same team.
That doesn’t mean they don’t get to have fun. The “Prisoner Exchange” is a time-honored tradition – one of many.
After the Cadets and Mids are marched across the field, they go back to being part of one of the biggest rivalries in football, in the military, and in America.