President Donald Trump was the first sitting president to attend the Army-Navy game in seven years on Saturday. He did not just sit on the sidelines.
The president participated in the ceremonial coin toss before the 119th edition of the annual matchup. There was a crowd of 66,729 in the city of brotherly love, many active duty military members. Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia was filled with passionate fans.
Trump seemed to get a warm reception from the fans, but then he got more applause when he honored the captains from both teams. The president turned and shook hands with the captains for both the Midshipmen and the Black Knights.
Trump reached out about his appearance at the game on his Twitter account, tweeting a photo of the field shortly before Air Force One landed.
While the approach path to Philadelphia International Airport is normally close to Lincoln Financial Field, Air Force One made a special low pass over the stadium and dipped its right wing.
The president was not the only military official attending the game. Defense Secretary James Mattis was there along with Interior Department Secretary Ryan Zinke, Secretary of the Army Mark Esper and Secretary of the Navy Richard Spencer.
“It’s an honor to have the president in attendance as the nation watches these men fight one another with every ounce of their being on the field, but when it’s all said and done, they will combine to form one of the most powerful fighting forces known to mankind — the U.S. Armed Forces,” a statement from West Point read.
The final score was 17-10 in Army’s favor — their third straight win over Navy — although the game never seemed as close as the score might indicate. Army finished a very respectable 10-2 while the Midshipmen ended the season at 3-10, their worst campaign since 2002.