The U.S. Army West Point Black Knights football team pressed their way to victory, and as a result, they were celebrated at the White House with the Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy.
President Donald Trump welcomed the service members and football members to the White House on Monday for the second consecutive year. The trophy is awarded to the college football series winner among the service academies.
“What a job you’ve done,” the president said, praising Black Knights head coach Jeff Monken. “Congratulations to all of you on a phenomenal victory.”
“Every time you enter the field, you prove that you are Army Strong,” Trump said.
"Every time you entered the field you proved that you were Army Strong," Pres Trump tells the Army West Point Black Knights football team, at ceremony presenting 2nd consecutive Commander-in-Chief's Trophy. pic.twitter.com/rJHdQxGCxr
— Mark Knoller (@markknoller) May 6, 2019
The president attended the Army-Navy football game in December and participated in the coin toss.
Army defeated Navy by a score of 17-14 and went on to capture its third Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl victory later that month, culminating in its first 11-win season in program history.
Monken said during the ceremony that the players “represent our nation’s very best — their commitment to put country before themselves is what sets these men apart.”
He added that each football player will serve as an officer in the military to serve beyond as they “prepare to fight our nation’s wars.” He continued:
“They’re going to stand in the gap between freedom and those who want to take it from us, and I’m most proud of that. […] These young men represent all that our nation expects of an officer and a West Pointer — the best of the best, warriors, gritty, determined, disciplined, resilient. These are the same qualities expected in a championship football team, and they are.”
“As the president, I have no greater honor than to serve as the commander in chief of America’s armed forces and very proud of it,” the president said. “I know that all of you are a great football team, but it’s not only a football team, you’re the future in the United States Army — so important.”
Trump thanked the military members for their “selfless commitment to this country,” adding that the lessons learned on the football field “will help you to lead on the battlefield.”
“When you play for Army, you’re taught the courage to take a hit, the strength to sacrifice for your team, and the grit to fight for every single inch. You give all that you have, and you never let up until that mission is done.”
During the ceremony, the president was presented with a U.S. Army helmet and jersey.
Watch the full event below:
“We have the greatest military right now that the world has ever known,” Trump declared.