Army prepares to snap the ball against Navy during the Army-Navy game on December 8, 2018, at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia,PA.(Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
U.S. Military Academy cadets traveled this past weekend to a farm near Annapolis, Maryland, the home of Navy mascot Bill. Since there were many goats with the same name, the cadets grabbed Navy mascot Bill No. 34, a one-horned, 14-year-old retiree, instead of Bill No. 37, the New York Times reported.
On Monday, Bill No. 34 was returned safely and believed to be in good health by a veterinarian.
Navy midshipmen march before an NCAA college football game against Army on Dec. 14 in Philadelphia. A probe by both service academies into hand gestures displayed by West Point cadets and Naval Academy Midshipmen that were captured on national television concluded the signs were not intended to be racist. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
“The U.S. Military Academy and the U.S. Naval Academy are disappointed by the trust that was broken recently between our brothers and sisters in arms. These actions do not reflect either academy’s core values of dignity and respect,” superintendents Lt. Gen. Darryl A. Williams and Vice Adm. Sean Buck said in a statement on Monday night.
Taking each other’s mascots was once a long-time tradition and always viewed as a prank, but it has been reportedly off-limits since the early 1990s. Back in 2018, Army officials apologized to the Air Force Academy after a falcon was injured during a prank.
Jeff Monken, Head Coach of the Army Black Knights waves a flag in the locker room after defeating the Navy Midshipmen at Lincoln Financial Field on December 8, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Dustin Satloff/Getty Images)
According to the Times, Army has taken a Bill mascot at least 10 times over the past 70 years.
The Army-Navy game is set for Dec. 11.