As the football teams from the U.S. Military Academy and the Naval Academy meet for the 113th time Saturday, the handiwork of an Iowa company will be on display. Powers Manufacturing of Waterloo made the uniforms that the teams will wear for their annual meeting in Philadelphia.

This is the 14th year that Powers has made the uniforms for the meeting between the service academies, and company Vice President Scott Klieman says that the Army-Navy game has become a showcase for Nike, one of Powers’ suppliers. “Our first year was 1999 and at that time it was really pretty basic and nothing more than what they wore during the regular season,” Klieman says. He says the last four years they uniforms have been more elaborate to highlight the rivalry.

This year’s Army uniforms will feature a detail that may not be seen by the average TV viewer. The uniform numbers will feature a background pattern that mimics a map from the Battle of the Bulge. He says the base uniform will be solid black, but the numbers will be cut our from a map from the battle. “It’ll have some significance for sure, the close ups will show a pretty good shot of this,” Klieman.

As for the Navy uniforms, Klieman says they are meant to be a recreation of the all-white, “Class A” dress uniforms that cadets wear on campus during the summer months. He says they will have solid white pants with navy blue necks and significant shoulder stripes.

Klieman says the workers at Powers may take more pride in manufacturing the uniforms for the service academies than for any other school. “Everybody that is involved takes a significant amount of pride that we are associated with Army and Navy, and of course we do the Air Force Academy uniforms as well,” Klieman says. “No question, it’s a very patriotic feeling when we see these uniforms come off the line at the end.”

Powers makes the uniforms for around 80 Division One college football programs, as well as several high-profile college baseball team as well.

By Jesse Gavin, KCNZ, Cedar Falls