Army Mules

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Army Mule
Army Mules.jpg
U.S. Army mules 1942-49. Helped in constructing NORAD.
UniversityUnited States Military Academy
Conference Patriot League
DescriptionLive mules
First seen1899

The Army Mules are a group of mules which serve as the mascots for the United States Military Academy in West Point, New York.

The Army Mule mascot at the 2018 Army-Navy Game 191214-D-AP390-1230 (49222747241) (cropped).jpg
The Army Mule mascot at the 2018 Army–Navy Game

The tradition of mules as mascots for Army dates back to 1899, when an officer at the Philadelphia Quartermaster Depot decided that the team needed a mascot to counter the Navy goat. Mules were an obvious choice, as they were used as haulers for Army gear for generations. Not much is known about the "official" mules until 1936, when Mr. Jackson (named for Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson), a former Army pack mule, arrived from Front Royal, Virginia. He served for twelve years, presiding over two national championship teams. Starting with Mr. Jackson, there have been seventeen "official" Army mules, only one, Buckshot, being female. The current Mule Corps are:

The Army Mules are trained by cadet Mule Riders, a part of the Spirit Support Activity of the U.S. Corps of Cadets. The current Army Mule Riders are: Cadet Garrett Dolan, 2021, Cadet Sarah Traynor, 2022, Cadet Kyle Kass, 2023, and Cadet Benjamin Bennett, 2024. Together they are present at many of West Point's athletic events, parades, and other ceremonial activities.

The Mules serve not only as West Point's mascot, but also as the mascot for the entire United States Army.

Former Army Mules
NameYearsDonorNotes
Mr. Jackson1936–1948Remount Station, Front Royal, VirginiaFirst "official" mule
Pancho1939–1958 Ecuador Also known as "Skippy", a gift of Colon Alfaro, the Ecuadorian Ambassador to the US and father to two members of the class of 1939
Hannibal I1948–1964U.S. Army (a six-year veteran)Originally named "Bud" and renamed by the Corps of Cadets, Hannibal I died in 1964 after being kicked by another mule
K.C. MO1957–1969Mr. James M. Parker of Kansas City, Missouri Known to throw his riders; retired early
Trotter1957–1972U.S. Army 35th Quartermaster Pack Unit, Fort Carson, Colorado Named for his ability to trot long distances
Hannibal II1964–1980The Hannibal, Missouri Chamber of CommerceOriginally named "Jack"
Buckshot1964–1986A gift of the United States Air Force Academy Exchanged for a ceremonial sword
Spartacus1973–1994Governor Warren E. Hearnes of Missouri Nicknamed "Frosty" for his white muzzle
Ranger I1978–1995 Ranger Association of World War II Son of a Percheron draft mare and a Spanish jack
Black Jack1985–1989Senator Albert Gore, Sr. of Tennessee Died of cancer two days before the 1989 Army-Navy Game
Traveler1990–2002AnonymousAlso known as "Dan," known for his ability to do fancy steps
Trooper1990–2002Mr. Bob Griffin of Houston, TexasAlso known as "Ernie," known for his advanced training
Raider1995–2011Quincy (IL) Notre Dame High School FoundationFormerly known as "Joker." Known for his reddish color, white star on his forehead, calm demeanor and high level of sociability. Son of a Tennessee Walker mare
Ranger II2002–2011Steven Townes, Class of 1975Also known as "George," known for his small size and shy character. Son of a Quarter Horse mare
General Scott2002–2011Steven Townes, Class of 1975Also known as "Scotty." Known for his large size, beautiful dark coat and skittish tendencies. He is named for Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Willard W. Scott Jr., a former USMA Superintendent and Army Mule supporter. Son of a Clydesdale mare
PaladinPresentUnknownN/A
StrykerPresentUnknownN/A
Ranger IIIPresentUnknownN/A

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