Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Army Mascot

The Army Mascot

For the fourth Army-Navy football game in 1893, the U. S. Naval Academy adopted a live goat as its mascot. In 1899 an officer at the Philadelphia Quartermaster Depot decided that Army needed a mascot of their own for their upcoming game against Navy. An oversized white mule being used to pull an ice wagon was selected to be that mascot. After 1899 mules were frequently present at football games, but it was not until 1936 that Army adopted one mule as a regular mascot.

Mr. Jackson (1936-1948) – A former Army pack mule and the first mule to serve as a regular West Point mascot.
Poncho, a.k.a. Skippy (1939-1958) – A small burro donated by Ecuadorian Ambassador Colon Alfaro.
Hannibal I (1948-1964) – Originally named “Bud,” but renamed by the cadets.
K.C. Mo (1957-1969) – Came from Kansas City, MO (name pronounced “kay-se-moe”).
Trotter (1957-1972) – Earned his name by being able to maintain a trotting gait for 8 hours.
Hannibal II (1964-1980) – Donated by the Hannibal, MO Chamber of Commerce.
Buckshot (1964-1986) – A gift from the United States Air Force Academy and the only female mule to serve as mascot.
Spartacus, a.k.a. Frosty (1973-1994) – A gift from Missouri Governor Warren E. Hearns.
Ranger I (1978-1995) – A gift from the Ranger Association of World War II.
Black Jack (1985-1989) – A gift from then-Senator Albert E. Gore, Jr.
Traveler, a.k.a. Dan (1990-2002) – Named for his ability to do certain fancy steps, like sidestepping.
Trooper, a.k.a. Ernie (1990-2002) – A highly trained, saddle-type mule.
Raider (1995-present) – A gift from the Quincy Notre Dame Foundation of Quincy, IL.
Ranger II, a.k.a. George (2002-present) – Named in honor of the 75th Ranger Regiment.
General Scott, a.k.a. Scotty (2002-present) – Named in honor of Lieut. General Willard Scott, Jr., former USMA Superintendent.



Bill said...

I want to be "Trotter" lol!

Dusty Foxhole said...

Until I saw this post, I had no idea that the Academy had increased their Army Mule lineup by one and had named the latest addition after LTG (Ret.) Willard Scott, the former USMA Superintendant from 1982-1986. I am a USMA graduate from the class of 1986. I know I can speak for all my classmates when I say that we were priviliged to have attended the academy during the four years LTG Scott served there. The Class of '86 never knew another Superintendent and we consider him "Our Supe". And though I believe that LTG Scott certainly deserves a more singular and prominent namesake (perhaps "Scott Hall" for one of the buildings?), I'm convinced that Our Supe, with his ever-present sense of humor, chuckled and was honored to have an Army Mule named after him.

Go Army! Beat Navy!

Amanda said...

I guess I'm officially an "Old Grad"-- as an ex-mule rider, it's a milestone when all of the mules you rode are retired. Didn't realize it's been 6 years since that happened-- time flies!!

GuZ said...

Does anyone besides me remember in the late Fifties or early Sixties that one of the mules at a football game got "spooked" when the Victory Cannon went off and bolted for the Exit? A brave, but not-to-smart NCO came down from the end zone bleachers, got in front of the mule to try to stop him. (The normal cadet rider had dismounted and was not able to remount when the mule bolted.) The mule bowled the NCO over, cracking a few of his ribs, but carefully did not trample him. Once the mule got to the exit gate, he just stopped and waited for his rider to re-claim him.

Scott O'Hearen said...

Black Jack (named for Black Jack Pershing) was technically a gift from the Tennessee Mule Riders Association, and he was presented to West Point by Al Gore. Black Jack was actually a gift from Jack Daniels, but West Point could not accept him directly from a distillery. Hence, Jack Daniels handed him over to the Tennessee Mule Riders Assocation. There is a Jack Daniels belt buckle at the mule barn -- #2 in a series of 10,000. The first buckle was presented to Ronald Reagan. Black Jack was half Tennessee Walking Horse and half Spanish Donkey (the same breed as the first donkeys imported into the U.S. by George Washington) The day Black Jack died was a very sad day for me.

Scott O'Hearen
Mule Rider '90

Tsnodgrass said...

To Dusty Foxhole, the Academy actually went from 4 mules to 3 in 1995 when retiring 2 mules and only getting 1 new one. There have been 3 since then, although Troope often missed games prior to his retirement due to being lame.

Tessa Burns-Snodgrass
Mule Rider '99