Lavender Hill Farm

West Alexander, PA

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NAVY NEWSTAND                         MAY 8, 2007

Kids report for duty at U.S. Naval Academy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Apprentice Matthew A. Ebarb, U.S. Naval Academy Public Affairs

GAMBRILLS, Md (NNS) -- Two new goats reported for duty as U.S. Naval Academy mascots at Sunrise Farm in Gambrills, Md., May 5.

The six-month-old goats, or kids, are gifts from Tredd and Stacy Barton, the owners of Lavender Hill Farm in Alexander, Pa.

“Once we heard about the opportunity to donate, my wife and I were all over it,” said Tredd Barton. “It’s an honor to be able to do something for our nation’s military in any capacity.”

“Team Bill,” the group of midshipmen selected to care for the goats, met the Bartons to receive the kids. The midshipmen then introduced the newcomers to Bill XXXII, the goat that will stand alongside them this fall and whom they will ultimately relieve.

The tradition of goats serving as Navy’s mascot is steeped in legend. The story goes that in 1890, midshipmen marching up the hill to West Point for the first Army-Navy football game commandeered a goat from an Army officer’s yard to serve as their mascot.

Official records, however, cite 1893 as the first time a goat appeared as the Academy mascot. This goat, named “El Cid,” was a gift from the officers of the USS New York (CA-2). The goat was officially named as the mascot in 1900 and always bore the name “Bill,” after the pet goat of Cmdr. Colby M. Chester, the commandant of Midshipmen from 1891-1894.

Over the years, Bill has faced danger and peril. In 1960, Bill was was kidnapped by the United States Air Force Academy, and again in 1995 by West Point cadets. After this incident, senior leadership for Army and Navy agreed not to kidnap mascots.

The new goats are the 35th and 36th goats to serve as the mascot. They will take the names Bill XXXIII and Bill XXXIV. The new goats will perform their duties for the entirety of their lifespan, an average of eight to 10 years.

“We hope these goats will continue to bring us the same good luck their predecessors have,” said Lt. Derek Dryden, the “Team Bill” officer representative. “We want to keep up our impressive record against Army and Air Force.”

For more news from U.S. Naval Academy, visit www.news.navy.mil/local/usna/.