On Sunday, November 8th, the Washington Football Team hosted their annual Salute to Service Game presented by USAA in their second showdown against the New York Giants of the 2020 season. It was the first home game of the season the team allowed fans to attend (approximately 3,000 were permitted in the stadium). Although new guidelines permitted fan attendance, traditional Salute to Service ceremonies, recognitions, and performances were not quite the same this year. In a regular military recognition game, the team would feature hundreds of service members lining the field during the national anthem, 4-Star military leadership presence, re-enlistments, drill team performances, USAA military recognition parties, and more. Though, respecting COVID-19 guidelines around field access, group gatherings, and military travel, the team and USAA continued long-time traditions pivoting digital and virtually connecting service members with the team!
Washington Works With Sailors on Salute To Service Fan Cutout Section
On Saturday, Nov. 7th, the team hosted 20 sailors at FedExField volunteering to assist install over 150 fan cutouts. The cutouts were purchased by fans that were given the opportunity to honor someone they know that has served in the United States military. In the weeks leading into the game, fans ordered their cutouts to be presented during the game, where each order resulted in a donation to Washington's trusted not-for-profit military partner in the USO of Metropolitan Washington-Baltimore. At the conclusion, the sailors were surprised with two executive suites to watch the game on Sunday!
Maintaining Long-Time On-Field Military Presence
On August 21st, Washington Salute hosted Military Filming Day at FedExField with the intention of maintaining a tradition that's lasted over 20 years. The team hosted 30 service members representing each branch to line the fields saluting the flag, as well as the U.S. Army Ceremonial Band Quartet and the U.S. Army Silent Drill Team. Digitally, the team was able to record military presence, performances, ceremonies, and recognitions that have been featured for over 20 years. The team played all features on the HDBoard and the WFT Second Screen Experience, as if fans hadn't missed a beat!
Senior Military Leadership Inclusion
Although Senior military leadership was not capable of attending the 2020 Salute to Service Game, the Team was able to work with the Department of Defense requesting and receiving military shoutouts from Secretary of Defense Mark T. Asper, Chief of Staff of the United States Air Force General CQ Charles Brown, Chief of Space Operation General John Raymond, and Commandant of the United States Coast Guard Admiral Karl Schultz.
Washington Football Team Highlights USAA Service Member Player Connection
In partnership with USAA, the team was able to connect with it's players and Coach Rivera ahead of the game, and talk about their military involvement and engagement. In two features played on HDBoards during the game. The team was able to sit down with star Outside linebacker Cole Holcomb in the installation of his military decal on his helmet and talk to him about his military involvement. Then, they spoke with Coach Rivera, Chase Young, Terry McLaurin, and Cole about their own military background answering the question What Does Salute to Service Mean To You?" See the features below!
Halftime Presentation with First Ladies of Football Visit to Joint Base Andrews
Find below the halftime presentation featuring the September First Ladies of Football visit to Joint Base Andrews! the First Ladies of Football toured Joint Base Andrews meeting and touring the First Helicopter Squadron (meeting team members, testing flight equipment, learning the controls of the helicopter, and watching a live demonstration of a takeoff), participated in demonstrations with the 316th Security Support Squadron Military Working Dogs, toured and examined the 113th Wing Fighter Air Defense Center and witnessed takeoff of several fighter jets, met with the 459th Air Fueling Wing to tour the controls of an Air Fueling Jet, and concluded the day meeting with the 89th Airlift Squadron to tour Air Force One and meet its staff.
Washington Football Team Competes Against the New York Giants
In the celebratory game of our troops, the Washington Football Team came out to play in their camo gear honoring our nation's military. The team battled back from a 3-20 deficit in the second half with a strong showing from Alex Smith (after Kyle Allen went down with an injury in the 2nd quarter) to 20-23 with 2:17 left in the fourth quarter. After a midfield interception with 1:17 left on the clock, the Giants claimed victory 20-23.
Washington Football Team Nominates Ryan Kerrigan for NFL Salute to Service Award
This year's NFL Salute to Service Award presented by USAA Washington Football Team nominee is Ryan Kerrigan. A silent leader on-and-off the field, Kerrigan has defined the Washington Football Team's culture for the past decade. In his time with Washington, he's stood at the forefront of their Salute to Service initiatives honoring, empowering, and connecting his military community around him. Acting as a host and captain when the team's visited Joint Base Andrews to hold their annual practice, staying an extra hour at the USO Warrior & Family Center Salute to Service BBQ to ensure all uniformed personnel got a picture with him, and being the last player to leave each and every military appreciation practice during Training Camp and Organized Team Activities.