Army Cadets accidentally kidnapped the
wrong goat during a secret raid of a Maryland farm in search of
Navy’s mascot, Bill No. 37, over the weekend.
Dave Philipps of the New York Times
reported Tuesday that the long tradition of trying to steal the opponent’s
mascot has continued despite pleas from military officials to stop
the practice, which typically happens during the lead-up to the
annual Army-Navy football game.
This year’s clash between the Black
Knights and the Midshipmen is scheduled for Dec. 11, and Army tried
to strike first with its “spirit mission” in search for Bill
Instead, the cadets returned to West Point—the United States Military Academy—with Bill No. 34, a retired
mascot who’s 14 years old and deals with arthritis, according to a
joint statement from Army and Navy provided to the New York Times.
A military employee told Philipps the
goat was returned to the farm Monday and that a veterinarian said the
animal was in “good health” following a checkup.
Lt. Gen. Darryl Williams and Vice Adm.
Sean Buck, the superintendents of the academies, confirmed in the
joint statement the situation is under investigation, saying they are “disappointed by the trust that was broken recently between our
brothers and sisters in arms” and the Cadets’ actions don’t “reflect either academy’s core values of dignity and respect.”
They also reiterated the stealing of
animal mascots is “off limits.”
Army (7-3) will likely be the heavy
favorite over Navy (2-8) when the teams meet to close out the regular season next month at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey.