Army Education News

2016 U.S. Army All-American Bowl: Sharing the U.S. Army Story with Elite Student-Athletes

Mar 10, 2016

For 16 years, the U.S. Army All-American Bowl (AAB) has been the premier high school football game in the Nation. More than 100 players and 125 marching band musicians and color guard members were selected from across the country to participate in a week of leadership and sportsmanship events and engage with Army Soldiers and senior Army leaders in San Antonio, Texas. These players and musicians were granted the opportunity to wear the Army colors and demonstrate their dedication to team, community and excellence. AAB provides the Army with a platform to engage local communities; supports the development of America’s future leaders; and allows America the opportunity to get to know the team that makes a difference – the U.S. Army.

"You should be very proud of where you are. This is a big deal. This is a big game," Sergeant Major of the Army Daniel A. Dailey told National Combine athletes before the 2016 U.S. Army All-American Bowl.

This year’s game was played at San Antonio’s Alamodome on January 9, 2016 and featured a week full of activities leading up to game day. Players and musicians were paired with Soldier Mentors during game week to provide opportunities for the students to learn first-hand what it’s like to serve in the Army and better understand the importance of Army values. Soldier Mentors attended team and marching band practices and offered valuable advice on leadership and teamwork. Early in the week, the Soldier Mentors joined players from the East and West squads to visit local community organizations, including University Health Systems, the Boys & Girls Club, Boysville, and Eva’s Heroes.

Soldier Mentors participated in community outreach events alongside players from the East and West teams. One location they visited was San Antonio’s University Health Systems hospital, where players and Soldiers interacted with young patients. 


During the course of the week, nearly 60 community and education leaders from the around the country came to San Antonio to meet with Army leaders as well as the players, coaches, band members and band directors from the participating high schools. During their time in Texas, attendees visited Joint Base San Antonio - Fort Sam Houston and learned about the history of the Army in the South; participated in panel discussions with ROTC Cadets from universities around the country as well as the Drill Sergeant and Recruiter of the Year. In addition, the attendees had a chance to learn about the state of the Army from Mr. Mark Davis, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army (Marketing); Major General Peggy Combs, Commanding General, U.S. Army Cadet Command and Fort Knox, KY; Major General Michael Smith, Deputy Chief of the Army Reserve, and Brigadier General Troy Kok, Deputy Commanding General, U.S. Army Recruiting Command. Attendees walked away with a better understanding of the leadership and skills training, education, and career opportunities available within the Army.

Colonel Rick Kelling introduced a panel of four cadets, each of whom answered questions from an audience of community and education leaders from across the country.

Toward the end of the week, hundreds of local high school students attended the Go Army Experience, an interactive display area outside of the Alamodome that showcases the options and opportunities offered by the Army. From simulators to demonstrations to hands-on experiences, the Go Army Experience exposed visitors to the leading-edge technology that makes the U.S. Army one of the most elite organizations in the world.

On game day, nearly 40,000 family members, friends, fans and Army Soldiers packed the stands to support these talented high school student-athletes and marching band members. The game was nationally broadcasted on NBC, and ultimately the West squad defeated the East with a final score of 39 to 7. Following the game, Mr. Mark Davis, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army (Marketing) said, “We are proud to continue to showcase and recognize the talents of America’s youth while celebrating the team that makes a difference every day for the Nation – the U.S. Army. We congratulate the West team on their win, but really it was America who won today. The players, musicians and Soldiers who participate each year in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl represent young men and women of character who have dedicated themselves to excellence.” 


View more photos from the 2016 U.S. Army All-American Bowl here.

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