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Biden awards Commander-in-Chief's Trophy to Army Black Knights

Head coach Jeff Monken (R) and linebacker Jimmy Ciarlo present President Joe Biden with a custom jersey after awarding the Commander-in-Chief's Trophy to the Army Black Knights football team during an event in the East Room at the White House on Monday. Photo by Samuel Corum/UPI
1 of 5 | Head coach Jeff Monken (R) and linebacker Jimmy Ciarlo present President Joe Biden with a custom jersey after awarding the Commander-in-Chief's Trophy to the Army Black Knights football team during an event in the East Room at the White House on Monday. Photo by Samuel Corum/UPI | License Photo

May 6 (UPI) -- Declaring, "Go, Army!", President Joe Biden on Monday presented the annual Commander-in-Chief's Trophy to the U.S. Army military academy at West Point, which clinched the award with a victory over Navy in December.

The Black Knights secured the hardware in the three-way service academy rivalry with the Navy Midshipmen and Air Force Cadets thanks to a 17-11 win over Navy in Foxborough, Mass., on Dec. 9, 2023, claiming their first Commander-in-Chief Trophy since 2020.

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They also defeated then-No. 17 Air Force 23-3 earlier in the season in an upset, overcoming long odds for the unexpected victory.

Seventy-two members of the Army football squad stood behind Biden in the East Room of the White House as he praised their achievement with a cheer of "Go Army!"

"Critics counted you out, but you never gave in," Biden said, adding, "You represent the very best of who we are as Americans, and I'm confident that in the years to come you'll see the same toughness, tenacity, and camaraderie, and accountability to our country that you brought to the field in every single game."

Black Knights co-captain Jimmy Ciarlo, a 6-foot-2 linebacker from Ringwood, N.J., presented the president with a jersey worn during the Navy game with the number 46 on it.

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Army coach Jeff Monken, now entering his 11th season as coach at West Point, assured Biden that despite the prodigious size of the Commander-in-Chief's Trophy -- which measures 2 1/2 feet and weighs 170 pounds -- the team would be able to carry it home.

"Mr. President, these young men and women embody the values of duty, honor, country, and they represent the best our nation has to offer," the coach said. "We're incredibly proud to be here and grateful to you for this tremendous honor."

Also attending the ceremony were West Point graduate and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, Joint Chiefs of Staff Charmain Gen. Charles Q. Brown, Jr., and Secretary of the Army Christine Wormuth.

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