The Mil Life: How the Military Bowl serves military families

Oct 05, 2011

This season marks the Military Bowl's fourth year in existence as the nation's capital's first and only bowl game. This year's game, taking place on December 28 at RFK Stadium, will feature the U.S. Naval Academy versus a team from the Atlantic Coast Conference, both pending bowl eligibility.

But why even have a Military Bowl?

In this week's "The Mil Life" chat, chat with Military Bowl president Steve Beck about the bowl game, about the game, including the purpose behind it, how he thinks it affects military families, and how the proceeds will go to the USO, a non-profit that "lifts the spirits of America's troops and their families."

Beck will also discuss ticket information, where it will be aired, how the proceeds will be used and more.

Ask questions and submit your opinions now! Discuss how you think the military community will change after this repeal, if at all. Ask questions, get advice, share your own experience and weigh in on this military topic!

This chat is part of The Mil Life, an going chat series the Post hosts for military families. The Mil Life chats take place every Wednesday at noon ET.

Check out these military resources for you and your family:

Blue Star Families
Gold Star Wives

Hi everyone.  This is Steve Beck of the Military Bowl and I'm looking forward to your questions.

How will the Military Bowl be engaging the local D.C. community, as well as the military community?

The purpose of our event is two-fold. One, to have a substantial economic impact on D.C. and two, support the USO and their mission.  Last year we had an $18 million economic impact on the area and donated $100,000 to the USO, along with 5,000 tickets for military families.

How can I get tickets for the game?

You can visit or  At our website, you can also make donations for military members and their families to attend the game.

My family and I attended the game last year and noticed a vast improvement from previous years. The game day atmosphere last year was much better than any past years. What did you do differently last year that wasn't done before? Was it the involvement of the USO? Do the military branches actively participate? PS As a side note from military topic, please have whoever coordinates the tailgate put a cap on the amount of people that can enter the armory. It was really crowded and not enough food to go around (as it has been for a couple of years).

Thansk for your comments.  We anticipate having more events this year than in previous years.  It is our intention to make this a destination event each year.  We do appreciate your feedabck and continue to grow our event by taking into consideration comments such as fact, we will be capping the tailgate this year.

I think what you are dung for our military is great. I read recently that you started a Military Bowl Touchdown Club...what is that exactly and how can I get involved to help your mission?

You can find out more information about joining by visiting our website at  It's a membership organization that will provide unique experieneces surrounding the game of football and benefiting the military.

How do miliary families go about getting free tickets for the game on December 28?

The USO Metro will be handling distribution through the local military bases.  Service members can also sign up to receive updates about free tickets to the Military Bowl at

Is there anything special going on during the game, like a moment of silence for the military?

The game is integreated with military components.  From the march on of the Midshipmen prior to the game to a special Moment of Gratutude to honor our service men and women, along with their families.

How did you come about naming the game the Military Bowl? What type of involvement does the USO have with the game?

The USO is the beneficiary of our game and it makes perfect sense that being in the nation's capital it be entitled the Military Bowl.  It gives us a strong identity and demonstrates our passion.

What will the Military Bowl be offering in terms of gameday experience?

We are putting together a lot of unique gameday activities and expect to announce them in the upcoming month.  Special Military Bowl Touchdown Club on field opportunities will be added as well.

We are honored to have Northrop Grumman as our presenting sponsor for the second consecutive year.  Their support enables us to have such a significant impact on the military and their families.  We look forward to growing and sustaining the Military Bowl for many years.

What teams are playing in the Military Bowl and how did they qualify?

The game on December 28 at RFK with feature the U.S. Naval Academy vs.  a team from the Atlantic Coast Conference, pending bowl eligibility.  A formal announcement will be made on December 4 unveiling the matchup. The game will air air live at 4:30 p.m. on ESPN on December 28.

What is the significant of DC hosting a bowl game?

We feel that that the Baltimore-Washington, DC is a college football destination and we are proud that the Military Bowl allows this area to be one of 28 communities nationwide hosting a bowl game.

You mentioned there is a new Military Bowl Touchdown Club? Do you have anything lined up for that?

We are lining up a series of event thoughout the region  and those updates can be foudn at  We will have a team  contract signing party around December 6 and the team luncheon on December 27...these will be exclusive to Touchdown Club members.

How did the Military Bowl start? When was the first game?

The fiirst game kicked off the college football bowl season on December 20, 2008.  On October 26, 2010 it was rebranded the Military Bowl, presented by Northrop Grumman and benefiting the USO.

How exactly does the game benefit the USO? And what can fans do to get involved on gameday and before?

There are a number of ways fans can get involved and we will have some exciting news soon.  Go to to sign up for our newsletter, follow us on Facebook at or stay connected with us on Twitter - handle @MilitaryBowl.

I have never been to the Military Bowl, but am interested in purchasing tickets this year. Is there traditionally any special form of entertainment or performance honoring the military during the game (ie. National Anthem, half time performance, etc.)

Yes, we will have a number of special elements honoring and celebrating the dedication and sacrifices made by our Armed Forces.  We look forward to announcing these elements throughout the fall as we lead up to our game and we are certain they will all be items that fans will enjoy.

Thanks for all of your time and questions.  I just arrived at RFK Stadium for the special 50th anniversary celebration kickoff so I need to run.  Hope to see you all at the Military Bowl, presented by Northop Grumman, on December 28.  I wish I could answer everyone's questions please don't hesitate to connect with us at if we can help you with any questions or become a part of the experience. Thanks, Steve!

In This Chat
Steve Beck
Steve Beck is the president and executive director of the Military Bowl, presented by Northrop Grumman and benefiting the USO. In this role, Beck is responsible for overseeing all aspects of the Military Bowl, including serving as the liaison between the teams and conferences; assisting in developing the board; working with the USO; creating and overseeing the bowl’s budgets; and cultivating/managing partnerships. Funds raised from the bowl help thousands of military personnel and their families through the game’s partnership with the USO. Under Beck’s leadership, last year’s Military Bowl donated $100,000 to the USO and provided more than 5,000 game tickets for service members and their families.
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