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    Naval Academy football stars shine during Steel Knight 23.2

    109th Army-Navy college football game at Lincoln Financial Field

    Courtesy Photo | U.S. Naval Academy quarterback Kapo-Noa Kaheaku-Enhada (#10) throws a pass during the...... read more read more



    Story by Capt. Joseph DiPietro 

    1st Marine Division

    U.S. Marines and Sailors from across I Marine Expeditionary Force and Third Fleet join every year in December to execute Exercise Steel Knight. The Army-Navy game – the annual battle for gridiron supremacy between the Military Academy at West Point and the Naval Academy in Annapolis – comes center stage at the climax of Steel Knight.

    Exercise Steel Knight 23.2 features some of Navy Football’s best players in significant positions of leadership for the exercise. These former football stars, along with countless other Naval Academy athletes, will utilize the skills and traits developed through their time at Annapolis to better increase the readiness and lethality of the Navy-Marine Corps team.

    U.S. Marine Corps Maj. Brye French, a 2012 team captain and Deatsville, Alabama, native, serves as the operations officer for 2nd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division. French finished his Navy Football career with 137 tackles, including two sacks, and finished with a 4-0 record against Army. He previously served as a company and platoon commander in the Blue Diamond, as well as a company and platoon commander at Marine Barracks Washington. His role now includes planning operations and exercises for his battalion, and French epitomizes the toughness and grit developed through his time making tackles for the Midshipmen.

    “The similarities between a Navy Football player and Marine are huge,” emphasized French. “The lessons learned in the locker room, weight room, practice field, and on game day are translatable with being a Marine on a daily basis. The camaraderie, mental and physical toughness, discipline, and overall selflessness are the trademark of a Navy Football player. These traits are what’s expected of being a Marine.”

    In addition to French, 1st MARDIV is home to Maj. Clint Sovie, a 2008 team captain and Jacksonville, Florida, native. Sovie serves as the logistics officer for 5th Marines and plays a critical role in coordinating the movement of equipment, people, and supplies around the battlefield during Steel Knight. Sovie finished his Navy Football career with 163 tackles, including one sack, and added two interceptions on his way to a 4-0 record against Army along with four Commander-in-Chief trophies.

    “We continue to reap the benefits from the lessons learned through adversity and the examples of selflessness from our Navy Football brothers,” said Sovie. “I’ve only been successful because of the men and women who surrounded me over the past decade, and that includes some of the best men I have ever known on the football team.”

    Maj. Kaipo-Noa Kaheaku-Enhada, a logistics officer like Sovie, and a Kapolei, Hawaii, native, is supporting Steel Knight as the operations officer for Combat Logistics Regiment 1, 1st Marine Logistics Group. Kaheaku-Enhada, also responsible for sustainment operations, was one of the most successful quarterbacks in service academy history during his time at Navy. He finished his career with over 1,600 passing and rushing yards as part of Paul Johnson’s and Ken Niumatalolo’s triple option attack, and also finished 4-0 against Army. Kaheaku-Enhada translated his battlespace analysis skills, which led to over 40 total touchdowns on the field, to quickly analyze logistics challenges to support the Marine Air-Ground Task Force.

    “Regarding the Army Navy Game, no other game in college football epitomizes the purity of the sport,” said French. “It doesn’t matter the record of either team, whoever possesses the most grit, sacrifice, and attention to detail comes out on top. The effort and will to win displayed by players on both sides of the ball are the best representation of commitment and sacrifice displayed by the services they represent. Go Navy, Beat Army!”

    French, Sovie, and Kaheauku-Enhada combined for over 100 Navy Football victories during their collective time at the Naval Academy, but the lessons learned on the field directly led to their outstanding performance in the Marine Corps. While Marines and Sailors continue to build on naval warfighting capabilities during Exercise Steel Knight, the 2023 Navy team will fight for victory prior to the senior class joining the ranks of Navy and Marine Corps formations across the fleet.



    Date Taken: 12.05.2023
    Date Posted: 12.07.2023 19:59
    Story ID: 459460
    Location: CAMP PENDLETON, CA, US
    Hometown: DEATSVILLE, AL, US
    Hometown: JACKSONVILLE, FL, US
    Hometown: KAPOLEI, HI, US

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