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IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: 159-00
September 14, 2000

Military Appreciation Day at New York Jets

The New York Jets have challenged the U.S. Armed Forces to launch an assault on their game against the Buffalo Bills on September 17, as the National Football League franchise hosts "Military Appreciation Day" at Giant's Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.

In response, the Defense Department has called on America's armed forces to meet the challenge. The joint service, often referred to as "purple suit," battle plan includes jets zooming over the Meadowlands, paratroopers jumping on to mid-field, a special coin toss, and a unique military halftime show.

As part of the pre-game maneuvers, the U.S. Military Academy Band from West Point will play the National Anthem as a joint Service Color Guard from the Military District of Washington posts the colors in front of 78,000 Jets fans. The Air Force will then join the pre-game salute with a formation fly-over of A-10 "Warthog" attack jets from the Maryland Air National Guard.

The aerial assault will continue with a four-person "purple suit" parachute team from Special Operations Command headquarters, MacDill AFB, Fla., jumping into Giants Stadium from a Marine Corps Reserve aircraft high over the Meadowlands. Their mission: deliver the game coin. The Navy will then have the Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy James L. Herdt take the handoff from the paratroopers and help conduct the coin toss with a special Korean War commemorative coin.

Outside the stadium, uniformed servicemembers will be conducting an encirclement maneuver with recruiters from all branches, including the U.S. Coast Guard, setting up recruiting booths at stadium gates, and greeting Jets fans as they arrive for the game.

The final assault of the day will be made by 40 soldiers of the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment, "The Old Guard" from Fort Myer, Va. They will be the centerpiece of a unique half-time show highlighting the courage and sacrifices of U.S. armed forces during the Korean War. The West Point band will provide music to support this joint Service tribute as Marine Corps aviators fly overhead. Year 2000 marks the first year of a three-year commemoration of the Korean War.