The commitment to serve that comes with attendance at West Point, the Naval Academy, and the Air Force Academy has been the subject of shifting and changing standards in recent years, as it relates to whether service can be deferred until after a professional sports career.
On Saturday, the current Commander-in-Chief touted while attending the annual Army-Navy game a shift in policy that permits athletes at the service academies to delay their service.
President Trump told the players that they now have the chance “to make a fortune, and after you’re all finished with your professional career, you’ll go and you’ll serve and everybody’s thrilled.”
The President apparently thinks this will help recruiting; he joked to Army coach Jeff Monken, “It probably gives the coach no reason to ever lose another game.”
It made for a more positive visit to the annual Army-Navy game by the President than his first visit, three years ago. After he had been elected but before he had been inaugurated, then-President-elect Trump told CBS broadcasters Verne Lundquist and Gary Danielson, “I don’t know if it’s necessarily the best football.”