PHILADELPHIA — If you’re watching the game on TV, you can probably see this better than we can, but Navy’s players are each wearing the patch from a unit from somewhere in the Navy and Marine Corps. These could be ships, submarines, or aviation squadrons, and players draw the patches they’re wearing from a pool sent in from all over the fleet, said Naval Academy spokesman Cmdr. Joe Carpenter.
For example, junior quarterback Ricky “The Magic Man” Dobbs chose a patch from Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron 6, the “Indians,” which specifically wanted to honor the sailors aboard a helicopter it lost last year, Carpenter said. Indian 617 went down when a detachment of HS-6 was flying off the carrier Nimitz.
In addition to the unit patches, each Midshipman is wearing a red stripe on his uniform to recognize the Marine Corps, Carpenter said. The feature isn’t new, but it’s in a new location. Last year Navy included a red stripe on the players’ trousers.