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Air Force-Navy Week Pranks Throughout The Years

The Against All Enemies staff reflects upon their favorite Air Force Week pranks while at the Naval Academy

Lehigh v Navy Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

With the Air Force-Navy game just a day away, the Against All Enemies staff members, many of who are Naval Academy graduates, reflect upon their favorite Air Force week pranks they experienced or pulled off while attending the Naval Academy.

Gavin’s Favorite Prank

My favorite prank definitely wasn’t my favorite at the time. If you didn’t know, I was a member of the Navy football team during my four years at the Naval Academy. Entering my freshman year, I found myself second on the depth chart behind a sophomore, who was very talented. I learned right away that I didn’t really have a chance at seeing quality time on the field until my senior year, which I was okay with.

So, it was a running joke within my company (primarily among my friends), that I was the back-up punter. It was funny. I kept a good spirit about it, because I knew my role on the team...be ready in case the starter was unable to play.

Senior year comes around, and I was, unexpectedly, sharing playing time with another player early in the season. Which was, disappointing as an individual, but the coaches thought that was best for the team.

After three weeks of play, the coaches informed me that the other player was going to be the starter for the Air Force game. Heartbreaking. However, I was a team player and remained positive. Nobody knew this other than fellow members of the team and my roommates.

So here’s where the prank comes in.

The Plebes (freshman) in my company, thought it would be a funny idea to prank me, Mr. Gavin Jernigan.

Approximately 3 a.m. on a Wednesday morning, I woke up and left my room to go to the bathroom. What do I see? A long metal bench that was brought into the company spaces from the practice field, with a few signs taped to the bench reading “Reserved for 1/C Jernigan”

The Plebes in my company thought they would jump in on the company joke about me being a backup the same exact week that I was officially demoted from co-starter to second string (for the time being).

I saw the bench as I stumbled to the bathroom. Stopped. Turned and Looked. Then continued to the bathroom and went back to my room.

Upon waking up again around 7 a.m., my roommates, who were all awake, looked at me in the most disappointing and caring way said, “There’s something outside for you”. My response, “I know”. The prank had spread to, seemingly, the entire school. I left my room, with multiple text messages and Snapchats on my phone about the prank, and walked straight to my first class that started at 8 a.m. However, I had approximately three to four people who made a comment to me while walking through Bancroft Hall alone. While strolling down Stribling Walk to Sampson Hall for class, I had another five people make a comment.

While this was, temporarily, the most sad moment of my senior year, I acknowledged how savage of a prank this was and that the Plebes were unaware of my current second string status. Naturally, I had a good, long chat with the entire Plebe class, and the issue was resolved.

Austin’s Favorite Prank

When all of the students complete summer training and return Bancroft Hall, the Naval Academy puts on an incredible dinner that includes some of the finest crab you will ever find in Annapolis (that’s because it is “free”). As plebes, you have to wait until all upperclassmen were finished with their meals before you could clean the respective table. It wasn’t normal routine for plebes to clean the table but this meal was different as there was always a larger than average mess that required assisting the awesome King Hall (dining hall) staff. During my plebe year we had some upperclassmen that purposefully took their sweet time at dinner and I was stuck with a few others waiting to clean the table. What seemed like an hour of waiting finally came to a halt when the upperclassmen finally decided to leave and never even acknowledged us. Unbeknownst to me, a fellow classmate of mine was bottling up crab juice at other tables while these upperclassmen enjoyed their delicate crab dinner.

This unnamed classmate of mine decided to bring out this bottled “juice” nearly two months later during Beat Air Force week. Late at night, he poured the “juice” right under a deck plate just outside the door of these specific upperclassmen. While the stench and wretched smell certainly shocked the slow-eating and under-appreciating upperclassmen, that foul odor lingered over our hall for days. Still to this day when I smell crab it’s all I can think about.

Justin’s Favorite Prank

Okay, so first off, this isn’t an Air Force week prank. It’s actually from Army week my Plebe year. To be honest, it all kind of runs together at this point, so I had to go back and look at the football schedule to piece together my memories. And, it’s not a prank I pulled. I just happened to be on CMOD (Company Mate of the Deck) and had to deal with the repercussions.

A little backstory. My freshman year there were a bunch of Plebes that got in trouble for drinking at a party at the Notre Dame game. For those not aware, consuming alcohol, even if you are 21, is not allowed for freshmen at the Naval Academy. So, there was a guy in my company who, long story short, got caught and gave up the names of a bunch of other people he saw at the party. He was being pressured pretty hard to do so in his defense, but he gave up like 20 other people. And that did not go over well. Those other Plebes were given maxed out restriction, not allowed to go home for Thanksgiving or Christmas, and well, as you can imagine, they were not happy with the individual who told on them.

So, as was a natural outcome of the situation, this guy’s room was the primary target for all of Army Week. And it wasn’t like just standard stuff. As our friends in the state of Georgia would say, it was (not so) clean old fashioned hate. Straight up revenge.

I happened to be standing the always lovely middle of the night CMOD watch at two in the morning, minding my own business, when several Plebes rushed up on deck and ran straight towards the kid’s room. Before I could say or do anything, they opened the door, took the lid off of a box, and proceeded to punt (with form Gavin would be proud of) 1,000 crickets into the room and run away.

I’m not even sure where you go online in 2005 to buy a box of 1,000 crickets, but somehow they found their way to the insect black market and made it happen.

It was like we were in Egypt and pharaoh was refusing to let the Israelites leave. Crickets just started pouring out and I spent the better part of the next hour putting towels under every single door in our company spaces so that the crickets didn’t infiltrate all of our rooms.

You know the one annoying cricket you hear in the house and can’t find for a week? We heard crickets for like the next two months.

Fast forward about five years and I’m talking to my wife, who is also a Naval Academy graduate, explaining this prank and how awful it was to be on CMOD having to deal with the infestation. Turns out, her roommates were two of the people who had been ratted out from Notre Dame, and she was the one that punted the box of crickets into the room.

If that’s not a modern day USNA love story, I don’t know what is.

Those are some of our favorites. Please share in the comments below what your favorite Air Force Week prank was, or general rivalry pranks you’ve heard of, or experienced.