Each year around this time, tensions rise between Army and Navy. Like clockwork, the U.S. Naval Academy makes a spirit video and then West Point does it better. Sure, they may have a YouTube celeb getting their alumni to make ship-related puns, but this year, the Army stepped up their game in a big way.
Over the years, both sides' spirit videos have ranged from "silly but good" to "AFN levels of bad." This year, Army's spirit video is based off the old tradition of stealing Annapolis' beloved Billy the Goat, who's protected by alleged "above-top-secret" security. Army cadets' first goat theft happened back in 1953, and since then, there have been many attempts to replicate that ultimate, symbolic middle finger. Normally, the prank is reserved for the young cadets with something to prove, but this time around, Generals and Command Sergeant Majors got involved.
The short film was shot in 4K and employs some impressive film-making techniques. It stars the U.S. Military Academy Superintendent, Lt. Gen. Robert L. Caslen Jr., Command Sgt. Maj. Timothy A. Guden, and Commandant of Cadets, Brig. Gen. Steve Gilland as they green-light the mission to sneak into Annapolis and steal the prized mascot.
The short plays out like an action film, complete with mission briefing, infiltration of the facility, deadly use of a knife-hand, and a welcome home back at West Point with the Goat. Bear in mind that the "actor goat," as it was called by the Capital Gazette, isn't the real deal. The actual Billy XXXVII is still in Maryland, safe and sound.
Writer's Note: As the sole U.S. Army dude currently on WATM's editorial staff, I'm holding down the fort while our other Army guy is currently kicking ass deployed... Go Army! Beat Navy!