Josh McNary goes from the Army to the Colts


Colts outside linebacker Josh McNary got to training camp a few days later than his teammates, but he had a good excuse for being late: He was serving in the U.S. Army.

McNary graduated from West Point two years ago and has been serving as a lieutenant since then. But the Colts have had an eye on him since he finished his career on the football team at Army, where he was the all-time leader in sacks and tackles for loss. Indianapolis signed him in April and moved him from the reserve/military list to the active roster after he was officially discharged from active duty this week.

Colts coach Chuck Pagano had McNary address himself to the team, then drew on McNary’s experience in the military to discuss the hard work, dedication and commitment to a cause that Pagano wants to see from his team.

“I told the team pretty much where I’ve been for the past two years, where I’ve been the past couple of months,” McNary said, via Mike Chappell of the Indianapolis Star. “After all that was said and done, [Pagano] made the parallel between the Army and that team, and the team that we have here. The fact that you kind of put this game into perspective, he called it a ‘child’s game.’ He said that basically there’s traits to be adopted and that team, in terms of everybody taking personal accountability and people being accountable for what they are supposed to be doing. It was pretty good. It was inspiring.”

McNary hasn’t played football since he walked off the field against SMU in the Armed Forces Bowl, but he says he’s ready to get to work for the Colts.

“In regards to playing [again], it didn’t really catch up to me until I got out here because before I was just focused on taking it a day at a time and doing what I can at that point,” McNary said. “I just knew the process as far as getting me out of the Army and everything wasn’t going to happen in a day. It definitely kept me preoccupied. I had enough to worry about down there.”

Now all McNary has to worry about is making the Colts’ roster.

27 responses to “Josh McNary goes from the Army to the Colts

  1. Kudos to Pagano for referring to football as a “child’s game” compared to the Army and not comparing it to “going to war” like everyone else does.

  2. Josh,
    Thank you for your service and coming from a US Army Vet myself, I understand your dedication, drive and courage that it takes to go through what you have been through. Now, I wish you all the best in the NFL as you will be an asset to any team. And if it is Indy that selects you to make their roster then that will be a very lucky team 🙂

  3. Pagano has shown us how humble he is and that he knows what’s important in life, especially after what he went through last year. Wish more people had Pagano’s character and outlook on life.

    Even if he doesn’t turn out to be a great coach, he certainly sounds like a guy to keep football players grounded and humbled.

    And more importantly, thank you for your service Lt. McCrary.

  4. Just found another guy to root for. As a veteran I am proud of any time my brothers and sisters from other mothers do something good – following their dreams. I hope he makes the squad.

  5. I know a kid that didnt get in to West Point because there was no room. Two years is a pretty short commitment for a West Point education.
    Not taking anything away from Josh McNary, the rules are the rules, but hey…someone else lost that appointment to him that may not have walked way from service for education after only two years.

  6. Good luck soldier, we’re proud of your service.
    Make it a good run!

    I hate it when media, players compare sports to war. It should be discouraged. Athletes play sport, HEROS good to war. God Bless America.

  7. There should be special exemptions from serving your full term in the armed forces (providing the person wants an exemption). He could have served in the Reserves for two years instead of active duty. Then he could have recruited more people as an example of how hard work pays off. Best of luck to this young man!

  8. To Josh McNary: as a 30 year AF vet, Ravens fan and as a kid a Baltimore Colts fan, GOOD ON YOU. Here’s to you having great success with the Colts this year and beyond. You’re teamed up with the best young QB in the NFL.

  9. I served 4 years in the Marine Corps infantry and regardless of what his MOS was there are no easy lives in the military. Hope he does well and even if he makes a play against my Vikes ill still cheer for him

  10. Good luck kid, I hope you make it !
    That said, GO NAVY – BEAT ARMY !
    Whatever happened to Caleb Campbell & Kyle Eckel ??

  11. I guess my question is how did he end up off active duty after only 2 years when the normal commitment is 5 years active duty? Did he get special treatment because he was a football player? I wish him luck but have a real problem with him getting out early when the rest of those in his class have to serve their full 5 years. He made a commitment and there was nothing in it that said unless you get offered a pro football contract.

  12. Time to finally ban aaroncurryisabust. That crosses the line.

    Way to validate everyone’s opinion of the Seattle fan base.

  13. He goes from driving tanks to playing for a team known for tanking whenever a draft pick or playoff rest depends on it!

  14. To the guys that gave the first post a thumbs down. Please go find a tall building, I mean really tall, and please jump from it. You would be doing the world a HUUUUUGGGEEEE favor.
    With that said …… GO COLTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  15. WOW does anyone actually know what Josh is saying here, he did 4 years at West Point becoming an officer in the ARMY that is active duty!!! Two years deployed after his West Point time as an OFFICER that’s six (6) years people. More power to this man and others here uneducated on the military should talk to a Vet or two prior to making idiotic comments about how they knew someone or how long they heard a commitment is supposed to be.

  16. 4 years at West Point does not count as 4 years as active duty…it only counts as college and once you earn a degree you are appointed as a Lieutenant in the US Army. That being said… He served only two years of a five year commitment because he played a child’s game. Out of those two years he went to school for at least six months to learn his Army job (i.e. Infantry, Logistics etc) which leaves 18 months serving in the force. My question is: where did he serve? No mention of where he served? Did he serve as a recruiter, stay at West Point to help out at school, deploy overseas and lead Soldiers in combat? I don’t have a problem if he served overseas leading Soldiers in combat but if he didn’t then he didn’t fulfill his commitment. A free tax payer paid education from West Point will pay him for the rest of his life even if he doesn’t make the Colts (the long gray line alumni). This is coming from someone still serving after 24 years, 6 combat deployments, and played in division I in college.

  17. olopop23 – Sounds like youve more than served your time but you should be well aware that the military is many things but fair is not one of them. I dont know this guys story but any duty station or possible deployments will probably come out eventually, lets judge him then. It was my knowledge in the Marine Corps that an officer could give up his commission at any time, unlike an enlisted who must serve out his contract (that unfair thing again). Is this different in the Army or for West Point in particular? Last point: as a combat vet (Hoorah 3/7 Javs) I couldnt care less if he was a Green Beret or an admin pogue, if he served honorably and followed the stipulations of his commission then hes OK by me. Stay safe and I hope they dont force you out before 30 years.

  18. Let me start by thanking you for your commitment to our country and all the sacrifices you’ve made.
    An officers commitment when appointed to West Point is 6 years including his years as a CADET plus where ever he was stationed. Being a cadet is active duty even though he’s in school not like college then OCS. Even ROTC is considered time served when adding up service length. The army is not in the habit of not letting someone qualified into West Point due to over crowding, a Qualified candidate will be accepted, may have to defer 3-6 mos but not turned away unless there are unknown issues such as low scores on entrance exems just like all prestigious institutions. There are a lot of unanswered questions (thanks again NBC) they edit out a lot of relevant info usually due to lack of knowlege of subject matter. Most of their reporters are truly only qualified to stand in front of a camera or mic. I was 11B20 38 years ago, I know that I don’t know all on West Point,a freind of mine is a training NCO at M.I.T and Harvard, he also trains people at Benning and SOCOM facilities with vast knowlege and experience of this subject. Has a lot of time and hash marks just like you, he does salute Cadets at West Point as Officers. Again Thank you for your service and commitmetment to OUR country.

  19. This joker is not a soldier! Barely! Turn that football into a rifle, maybe. What we should all be talking about is why the fuge the army needs officers to play football?!!

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