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  • Writer's pictureDominic Konareski

Which Military Academy Has The Best Football Program?

Updated: May 18, 2023

Joining the armed forces is something many do, especially straight out of high school. It is something bigger than themselves, it’s heroic. Some people prefer to go to college first, usually a military college (academy), others go to college to play football, some do both.

There are three D1 military academies in the United States: Army, Navy and Air Force. The history is traced back to 1891 (Army, Navy) and 1957 (Air Force), all three teams have played football since those years, but only one can lead the stat category.

We looked at a combined 324 seasons and took the best from all three teams out to analyze and put in order of what military academy leads in football. The list will be broken down in three main categories: W-L-T records, Winning percentage and Bowl games.

The Army Black Knights played their first football game in 1891, in a total of 129 seasons they have gone 707-532-51. The Black Knights are the only D1 military academy to win a national championship, overall they are 7-3 in Bowl games (.700%). The team has five perfect seasons with 9-0-0 records (1.000%) (1914, ‘16, ‘44, ‘45, ‘49). 2018 marked their best season in the modern era with a 11-2-0 (.846%) line.

The Navy Midshipmen have also been around since 1891, they have a program record of 700-574-52 and are 12-11-1 (.521%) in Bowl games. The closest the Midshipmen have gotten to perfect football is back in 1926, where the team went 9-0-1 (.950%). Overall they have had two 8-1-0 (.889%) seasons and three double-digit win column seasons (1905: 10-1-1, .875% | 2015 and 2019: 11-2-0, .846%). Those 2015 and 2019 seasons stand as their best in the modern era.

The Air Force Academy Falcons is the youngest team/program on this list. The AFA was founded in 1951, just several years after the Air Force was created on September 18, 1947. It was formerly part of the Army, being known as the U.S. Army Air Forces. The Department of the Air Force was created under the National Security Act of 1947.

The Air Force Falcons have a 418-336-12 program record, they are 15-13-1 (.534%) in Bowl games. Their best seasons came in 1985 and 1998, where they went 12-1-0 (.923%). The team had a 11-2-0 (.875%) in 2019. The Falcons have also gone 10-3-0 (.769%) a total of five times (2022, ‘21, ‘16, ‘14 and 1991).



Air Force 12-1-0

Air Force 11-2-0

Navy 11-2-0

Army 11-2-0

Navy 10-1-1

Air Force 10-3-0

Army 9-0-0

Navy 9-0-1

Navy 8-1-0


Army 9-0-0 (1.000%)

Navy 9-0-1 (.950%)

Air Force 12-1-0 (.923%)

Navy 8-1-0 (.889%)

Navy 10-1-1 (.875%)

Navy 11-2-0 (.846%)

Air Force 11-2-0 (.846%)

Army 11-2-0 (.846%)

Air Force 10-3-0 (.769%)

Bowl Games

Army 7-3 (.700%)

Air Force 15-13-1 (.534%)

Navy 12-11-1 (.521%)

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