Trump is the 10th sitting president to attend the game, a tradition Theodore Roosevelt started in 1901. As is custom, Trump is expected to sit on the Army side of the stadium for one half and the Navy side for the other.
It remains unclear whether Trump will officiate the coin toss, as he did last year.
On Saturday, Army (5-7) will look to extend its winning streak against Navy (9-2) to four games, its longest streak since the Black Knights beat the Midshipmen every year from 1992 to 1996. Should Navy win this year, the Mids will win the Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy for the 16th time in school history and the 11th time in the past 17 years. Should Army win, Army, Air Force and Navy will share the trophy because Navy beat Air Force and Air Force beat Army. The trophy would remain at West Point.
Navy leads the series, 60-52-7.
Trump, aside from his two previous Army-Navy games, has something of a recent history with military academy athletes.
Recently, Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper again made it possible for service academy athletes to play professional sports after they graduate by delaying their active-duty service. The Obama administration had put a policy in place allowing some athletes to go pro, but the Defense Department rescinded the policy in 2017.
Esper signed a memo last month detailing new guidelines that, according to the Associated Press, say athletes must get approval from the defense secretary to defer their service. The new guidelines also say athletes must either eventually fulfill their military obligation or repay the costs of their education.
Trump directed the Pentagon in June to figure out a way to allow service academy athletes to go pro immediately upon graduation. He first announced he was mulling over the issue in May, when he presented the Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy to Army in a Rose Garden ceremony.
“It’s a great time to be Navy football,” Navy Coach Ken Niumatalolo said when asked about the memo last month. “Academics are great, playing football at a high level, you’ve got a chance if you’re drafted to go to the NFL. I never thought this day would come. Never anticipated, nor did we lobby for it; it was just if it happened, it happened. It’s exciting.”