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Army Cadets Steal Wrong Goat in Attempted Kidnapping of Navy Mascot

Army cadets added new meaning to "getting someone's goat" when they nabbed the wrong goat in a poorly executed prank that intended to kid-nap the Navy mascot, according to The New York Times. 

Over the weekend, a group of Army cadets drove four hours to a private farm in Annapolis looking to complete a "spirit mission," which is part of a longstanding tradition before the Army-Navy game where each side tries to kidnap the other's mascot. 

Upon arrival, the noisy group reportedly spooked a trip of goats out at pasture before giving chase. The cadets managed to grab only one goat, but it wasn't until arriving back in West Point that they realized Navy's mascot isn't an arthritic, one-horned goat. 

Rather, they had grabbed retired Navy mascot Bill No. 34, and not the current one: Bill No. 37.

Bill No. 37 is just that: the 37th in the line of goats of various breeds to hold the prestigious title of Navy mascot over the last 70 years. Army cadets have stolen Bill at least 10 times. Army Mules, the Army mascot that was created in 1899 to counter the Navy goat, has proven more difficult to snatch. 

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The problem is that mascot stealing has been officially forbidden by the great mascot armistice of 1992, which was signed after Navy midshipmen cut phone lines and zip-tied six Army employees while stealing the mules. Another semiviolent incident occurred in 2015 when a melee in a stadium parking lot sent Bill No. 35 to a veterinary clinic for a week.

“The U.S. Military Academy and the U.S. Naval Academy are disappointed by the trust that was broken recently between our brothers and sisters in arms," superintendents Lt. Gen. Darryl A. Williams and Vice Adm. Sean Buck said in a statement to The New York Times on Monday night. 

"These actions do not reflect either academy’s core values of dignity and respect.” 

Don't worry, the Army confirmed that Bill No. 34 was returned safely Monday and that a veterinarian who checked the goat said he was in good health. 

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