Navy Football's Veterans Day Game Offers Opportunities to Highlight Skilled Trades Careers

A man hands a football to another man while standing on a football field. The ball has words on it noting it is the ceremonial game ball for the Navy-University of Alabama-Birmingham game.

Veterans Day 2023 provided a unique opportunity to showcase stable, sustaining careers contributing to the United States Navy’s next generation submarines. It came at the service branch’s academy.

As part of its multi-year engagement with the Naval Academy Athletic Association (NAAA), BlueForge Alliance (BFA), owner of, was the presenting sponsor for Navy Football’s match-up with the University of Alabama-Birmingham (UAB) Blazers on November 11 in Annapolis, Maryland.

Prior to kickoff at Navy-Marine Corps Stadium, representatives from NAAA and BFA were joined by pipefitter Kelvin White with Newport News Shipbuilding (NNS), a division of HII. White was the recipient of the game ball from President of the Naval Academy Athletic Association and Director of Athletics Chet Gladchuk in recognition of his outstanding work over 40 years with NNS.

White served his country in the Navy both on active duty and as a reservist. Since transitioning from his military service to a skilled trades career, he has spent decades working on aircraft carriers and is currently supporting efforts with a submarine undergoing maintenance in Newport News. White has earned multiple awards from NNS, including a Model of Excellence honor in 2021.

BFA staff also had the chance to speak with supporters of the Midshipmen and the Blazers at a set-up in the stadium concourse. Game attendees learned about the Navy’s goal to have three submarines added to the fleet each year, the more than 15,000 suppliers across the country working to reach that goal, and the skilled trades career opportunities available nationwide at those companies.

A woman in a Navy shirt stand behind a table and in front of a backdrop with on it. Fans approach the table.
Two men stand on a football field with stadium stands and fans behind them. One holds a ball which has words on it noting it is the ceremonial game ball for the Navy-University of Alabama-Birmingham game.
Midshipmen from the United States Naval Academy stand in the stands at their team's football stadium. Many of them are holding blue towels with a Navy anchor logo and a logo on them. More fans are in the background in the stands.

In addition to the game day's significance to the U.S. military, Navy Football’s Veterans Day opponent is from a noteworthy state supporting the Navy's efforts. Alabama plays a key role supporting the nation’s defense with more than 100 suppliers in the Submarine Industrial Base. This includes Mobile-based Austal USA, which delivers modules for Virginia- and Columbia-Class submarines. They are a strategic supplier to General Dynamics Electric Boat which, like NNS, is a Navy submarine shipbuilder.

As for the game itself, Navy defeated UAB 31-6. The Midshipmen's point total was a season high.

BFA and NAAA’s collaboration involving Navy Football, which began with the 2023 season, is serving to raise awareness of the generational effort to recapitalize America’s submarine force. During every home game in 2023, has been featured throughout the stadium. And regardless of whether people followed the games in person, at home or around the world, they have been provided with a range of video, audio, and print presentations., powered in part by ZipRecruiter, serves as the central hub to recruit giants of manufacturing to build the undersea giants defending our nation and deterring its adversaries. Information is available on the various manufacturing specialties for already skilled workers, those seeking to gain those skills, and even military members transitioning out of their service and veterans who can continue to support their country in new ways.

Written by:
Steve Fullhart, BlueForge Alliance

(Some photos courtesy of NAAA)

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