The Washington Commanders announce programming for the team's annual Salute to Service-themed game, presented by Verizon, the Official 5G Network of the Washington Commanders. Verizon will be debuting a new 5G-powered interactive wall to enhance the fan experience at FedExField. As a partner that shares the team's commitment to supporting our nation's military, the wall will feature a Salute-themed interactive board and photo booth this week, where fans can showcase personalized cards and words of encouragement to honor service members and veterans.
"We are proud to join forces with the Commanders for the annual Salute to Service game and reinforce our commitment to enhancing the fan experience by debuting our 5G-powered interactive wall at FedExField," said Chris Flood, Verizon Atlantic North Market President. "This wall will provide an innovative new platform to showcase the gratitude we all share for our veterans and give fans the opportunity to join us in honoring our nation's heroes."
With the Commanders unique presence in the nation's capital, Salute to Service-themed gameday programming serves the largest community of military veterans in the country, building connections across the military community and the Commanders football family. The following Salute to Service pregame and in-game ceremonies and elements will recognize veterans and current members of America's armed forces throughout gameday:
- The Commanders will honor 6 VIPs from each branch of service, including the National Guard on the field prior to kickoff. During pregame warmups the VIPs will have the opportunity to meet with head coach Ron Rivera, the recipient of the NFL 2022 Salute to Service Award, on the field and exchange challenge coins
- The USO Club, presented by Air National Guard (located across from Section 109 outside the main concourse), will open three hours before kickoff to select active-duty military members and will include performances and meet and greets from the Commanders marching band drum line and Command Force. There will be 650 active-duty service members and company in the stands as guests of the Commanders
- USAA will present a special Salute to Service-themed challenge coin to the refs during pregame warmups that will be used for the coin toss
- Prior to kickoff, Musician First Class (MU1) Sally Ziesing from the US Navy Country Current Band will perform the National Anthem behind the Military District of Washington Joint Armed Forces Color Guard. During the National Anthem, Air Force F-22s will conduct a flyover and six stars for pageantry will be placed on the 5-yard lines on either side of the field
- Upon entrance, fans will receive a limited-edition Commanders Salute to Service fan flag giveaway, subject to availability
- Vietnam Medal of Honor recipients will serve as our honorary captains, in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of the final combat troops leaving Vietnam
- At halftime 180 service members, 30 from each branch will hold their branch flag in uniform and unfurl the flags when the Commanders marching band plays their respective service song
- During various game breaks, the following groups and officials will be honored:
- Lisa Marie Riggins will be presented with a game ball on behalf of the team for her longstanding leadership with USO
- The Chief of the National Guard bureau will conduct an enlistment ceremony for 21 Air National Guard recruits
- The winners of the Army National Guard Warrior Week will be honored as the best squad from the competition
- Pilots from the Air Force's 94th Fighter Squadron, who conducted the flyover prior to kickoff, will be recognized
- Four families representing Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS), an organization providing comprehensive care and resources for those grieving the death of a loved one that served in the military, will be honored. Commanders players will honor the families by wearing helmet decals with each of the fallen family members initials on their helmets
- USAA will honor Commanders employee and retired Navy Captain Chris Bailey as the Commander's Salute to Service Award nominee for the 2023 season
- Commanders players will wear the team's black alternate uniforms, a tribute to our nation's military with key features, including the custom military-inspired diamond camo and the Commanders wordmark positioned in an authentic military nametape placement
- Commanders players and coaches will be wearing official NFL Salute to Service sideline gear during the game
- The field design will include Salute to Service themed in-bowl banners and goal post wraps
- Photo opportunities include a US Army Blackhawk Helicopter on display in the Red Zone lot and a giant "W" wrapped in camo located on the main concourse in the Pepsi endzone
Before kickoff, SeatGeek Legends Plaza is the place to be. Open three hours prior to game action (one hour before regular gates), fans can enjoy live music, tailgate games, and a variety of beverages, including domestic beers starting at $6.75, available until kickoff, and rotating local food trucks operating throughout the game. Fans also can watch the Command Center: Gameday Live show, get an early look at team warm-ups in the Bud Light End Zone, and interact with Washington Legends and team partner activations. This week, fans can look forward to live performances from the US Navy Country Current Band and the Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon from the Marine Barracks, Washington, D.C. Additionally, all active duty and veterans with a valid ID will receive one free drink coupon courtesy of Bud Light, the Official Beer Sponsor of the Washington Commanders.
Fans who arrive early to the game also can head to the tailgate lot (Lot G) behind SeatGeek Legends Plaza where they'll find more gameday excitement. Pepsi's Taste of Gameday Experience takes fans through the gameday journey with Pepsi and features three separate areas, highlighting different ways fans prepare for their favorite team's game: Tailgating, "Bargating," and "Home-gating." Additionally, Black Rife Coffee Company will be sampling hot coffee and handing out koozies, and Air National Guard will have a 4D immersive experience allowing participants to see what it's like to be involved in a special operations mission with the US Air Force.
Former NFL MVP and Washington Commanders Ring of Fame member Joe Theismann will serve as the Legend of the Game, presented by SeatGeek, marking the 40th anniversary of his MVP season. Theismann played in 167 regular season games across 12 seasons for Washington, leading the team to two consecutive Super Bowl appearances and winning Super Bowl XVII against the Miami Dolphins. Theismann is a two-time Pro Bowler, first-team All-Pro selection and winner of the 1982 NFL Walter Payton Man of the Year award, recognizing his community service and work to ensure the health and welfare of children. Theismann still holds Washington records for passing yardage (25,206), completions (2,044) and attempts (3,602).
As part of the team's season-long Welcome Home theme, each home game will showcase a discounted item of the game, made available to all attendees. This week, hot dogs will be 50% off. The discounted item of the game will continue to be announced in the team's gameday press release and Know Before You Go email communications ahead of all remaining home matchups.
The Commanders 50/50 raffle is presented by Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson's 501(c)(3) philanthropic arm, The G-Unity Foundation. This week, half of the game's jackpot will go to one lucky winner and the other half will benefit Children's National Prince George's County. Children's National also will be stationed outside of the four main gates collecting donations from fans entering FedExField to benefit local patients and families this holiday season.
The Commanders and Safeway will be collecting new and gently-used winter coats from 10-1 p.m. at Gates A, D, E, F, G, H, and SeatGeek Legends Plaza. Fans who donate will receive a $10 Safeway coupon for each coat donated. The coats will be donated as part of Safeway's 24th annual Feast of Sharing celebration on Wednesday, November 22.