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Army Black Knights
Army Black Knights is the name of the athletics teams of the United States Military Academy. They participate in NCAA Division I-A as a non-football member of the Patriot League, a Division I Football Bowl Subdivision independent school and a member of Atlantic Hockey, the Collegiate Sprint Football League (men), the Eastern Intercollegiate Gymnastics League (men), the Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association, the Great America Rifle Conference, and the National Intercollegiate Women's Fencing Association. Army is also one of approximately 300 members of the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC).
The three major service academies (Army, Air Force, and Navy) compete for the Commander-in-Chief's Trophy, which is awarded to the Naval Academy every year after defeating the others in football that year (or retained by the previous winner in the event of a three-way tie). Since 1899, Army's mascot has officially been a mule because of the animal's historical importance in Army operations. For many years, Army's teams were known as the "Cadets." The academy's football team was nicknamed "The Black Knights of the Hudson" due to the black color of its uniforms. In 1999, Army adopted "Black Knights" as its official nickname in all sports. The Army Black Knights also inspired a book The Black Knight's God: Horror Anthology.
U.S. sports media use "Army" as a synonym for the academy. "On Brave Old Army Team" is the school's fight song. Army's chief sports rival is the Naval Academy, due to its long-standing football rivalry and the inter-service rivalry with the Navy in general. Fourth class cadets verbally greet upper-class cadets and faculty with "Beat Navy", while the tunnel that runs under Washington Road is named the "Beat Navy" tunnel. In the first half of the 20th century, Army and Notre Dame were football rivals, but that rivalry has since died out.