On Sunday, November 14th, the Washington Football Team teamed up with USAA to host the annual Salute to Service Game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. USAA, the Official Salute to Service Partner of the Washington Football Team, was proud to join Washington in both involving fans and showcasing their year-long efforts partnering with the team to honor, empower, and connect military members, veterans, and their families. Let's relive all the incredible moments, programs, and events yesterday that allowed our team to showcase our year-round efforts showing our appreciation for all of those who've served.
Salute to Service Fan Experience Starts Outside FedExField
As fans arrived at FedExField, they were greeted with several military static displays and military themed murals around and throughout parking lots at FedExField. Fans had the opportunity of interacting with recruiters placed around a Blackhawk Helicopter presented by the United States Army in the Safeway Red Zone Lot and an official United States Army Humvee placed just outside Gate H. Additionally, artists painted murals around Gate A highlighting military members that had been honored at FedExFiled this season, as well. Lastly, as fans entered FedExField, they were greeted by a draped flag hung over Sean Taylor Road hoisted by fire trucks from College Park Volunteer Fire Department.
New Salute to Service In-Stadium Look & Feel
As fans entered FedExField on Sunday, they were greeted by a new field design they hadn't seen before. They saw that "Washington" in each end zone was painted with the NFL's Official Salute to Service camouflage. Additionally, this was the first game that the Washington Football Team circle logo was placed at the 50-yard line (previously, the NFL shield logo populated the 50-yard mark). Fans also saw the camouflage "W" placed in the Bud Light End Zone Bar in the East End Zone Fan Standing Area.
Washington Football Team Leadership Meets Senior Military Leadership
Senior military leadership representing each branch attended the Salute to Service Game. Each senior leader attended as an Honorary Captain and spent a vast majority of the day connecting and giving remarks to several military personnel invited to the game from installations across the National Capitol Region. Upon arrival early on Sunday, the military leaders were greeted by President Jason Wright and Co-Owners of the Team, Dan and Tanya Snyder, in the Pepsi Endzone Fan Standing Section where they were presented honorary game balls. Honorary Captains included Commandant of the Marine Corps General David H. Berger, Commandant of the Coast Guard Admiral Karl L. Schultz, Chief of the National Guard Bureau General Daniel R. Hokanson, Chief of Space Operations General John "Jay" Raymond, Vice Chief of Staff of the United States Air Force General David W. Allvin, Deputy Chief of Staff of the United States Army G-1 Lieutenant General Gary M. Brito, and Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Warfighting Development Vice Admiral Jeffrey William Hughes.
Washington Leadership And Military Leadership Join 350 Military Members At USO-Metro Club Tailgate
In their second stop at FedExField, the Honorary Captains joined 350 military members from Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling and Marine Corps Base Quantico. Additionally in the club were twenty soon-to-be airmen who'd later enlist in the United States Air Force and five families representing the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS). The Generals and Admirals from each military branch, alongside Washington Football leadership, spent 30-minutes thanking the military groups for attending and representing their branches, organizations, and universities.
Before the stadium opened to the general public, co-CEO Tanya Snyder and President Jason Wright spoke to all attending military groups thanking them for attending and allowing Washington to uphold a long-held tradition hosting hundreds of military members and families to honor them in the designated military appreciation game. Following, Admiral Shultz (U.S. Coast Guard), General Hokonson (U.S. National Guard), and Vice Admiral Hughes (U.S. Navy) praised all attending services for representing their branches and installations proudly, thanked TAPS & USO for their unwavering support of service members and families across the country, and stirred excitement around the Oath of Enlistment and Naval Academy Marching Band Performances scheduled later in the day. Executive Director of USO-Metro closed the event highlighting the Club and the team's year-round efforts keeping service members connected to family, home, and country throughout their service.
Head Coach Ron Ron Rivera And Washington Football Team Welcome Senior Military Leadership
Upon entering the field, senior military leadership was greeted by Head Coach Ron Rivera and several Washington Football Team players and coaches. Abiding by the NFL COVID Safety Policy, the team was not permitted to chat with the military personnel within six feet of one another, but coaches and several players were able to greet the Admirals & Generals from a distance. Before bringing the team in, Coach Rivera was even able to present each senior leader with an official Washington Football Team Salute to Service Challenge Coin. A special moment for Rivera, as his father was a 32-Year Commissioned Officer in the United States Army, and is a notable long-time representative of the league's Salute to Service efforts.
Washington Dedicates Pregame Ceremonies To Honoring Military
To kick the Salute to Service Game off, the team welcomed the United States Naval Academy Marching Band to the field for the singing of the National Anthem. Joined by the Air National Guard out of Joint Base Andrews, the midshipman sand the National Anthem which concluded with a flyover presented by the First Helicopter Squadron (United States Air Force) out of Joint Base Andrews. At the conclusion of the flyover, the team then named Honorary Captains and presented the referee unit with the Official Salute to Service Challenge Coin presented by USAA to be used in the games coin toss. The game kicked off with cheers led by the Official Salute to Service section in-stadium (Sections 227, 228, & 229) featuring all service members from Quantico, Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling, and the United States Naval Academy which all tickets were provided by fans that purchased by fans in the Buy a Ticket, Give a Ticket campaign ran in the weeks leading up to the game!
Washington Features Recognitions, Ceremonies, and Performance Throughout Dominating Win Over Buccaneers
Throughout the game, the Washington Football Team featured several in-game recognitions including but not limited to honoring Staff Sergeant Timothy Quinn of the United States Air Force in the FedEx Game Ball Delivery, Senior Airmen Cole Lowery and Ivan Green of the United States Air Force in the USAA Salute to Service Moment, Staff Sergeant Carmen Romero in the GEICO Military Shoutout, and two-time Purple Heart Recipient Pasha Palanker of the United States Army as the Black Rifle Coffee Veteran of the Game.
The team also hosted an Oath of Enlistment with fifteen Airmen from the United States Air Force in the second quarter immediately following a 20-yard touchdown caught by DeAndre Carter. The Oath was administered by Vice Chairmen of the United States Air Force, General David Allvin. Then, five families who spent the week meeting and greeting with Head Coach Ron Rivera and the Washington Football Team were honored on the field before halftime. Each family had been surprised on Saturday at a private practice viewing where players revealed they would be wearing their fallen hero's initials on their helmets throughout the game and that they would be playing for their families on Sunday. Team captains wore the initials of SSG Ronald Eure, Coaches wore the initials of Brigadier General Tom Carroll, Offense represented CSM Jonathan Lankford, Defense played for the family of 1st LT Charlie Owens, and special teams wore the initials of SFC James Stoddard Jr.
Military features hit a peak during half when the United States Naval Academy Marching Band featured a seven-minute performance featuring over 100 midshipman entertaining the packed crowd. Vice Admiral Jeff Hughes watched the performance from field level as the crowd erupted after the performance concluded.
Washington Football Team Thanks All Attending Military Groups
The team would like to offer our sincerest thanks to Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling, Marine Corps Base Quantico, United States Air Force Recruiting Offices, Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS), and the USO of Metropolitan Washington-Baltimore. We take pride in the outstanding partnerships held with services in the DMV, and look forward for more opportunities to honor, empower, and connect our military community in the near future.
The Washington Football Team concluded the day with a win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 29-19. Please enjoy a few more photos of our USO-Metro Club featured below!