Army Star Josh McNary Gets a Shot at the NFL

Former Army star defensive end/linebacker and current lieutenant Josh McNary has signed a free agent contract with the Indianapolis Colts. The team has placed him on the reserve-military list until he completes his military obligation on May 21st.

Army fans will remember McNary for his outstanding performance in the 2010 Armed Forces Bowl, where he returned a fumble 55 yards for a touchdown and sparked the Black Knights to a 16–14 win over Southern Methodist University.

McNary, currently stationed with an artillery unit at Fort Hood in Killeen, TX, attracted interest after an outstanding performance at the NFL’s Super Regional Combine at Cowboys Stadium and he joins a Colts team in desperate need of pass rushers after longtime anchor Dwight Freeney left the team in free agency.

McNary told ESPN that he’s ready for the challenge:

“Once I committed to going to the combine and stuff like that, I incorporated a lot of football skills and drills to kind of bring msyelf back. So I’ve been doing a lot of drills in general, things that get me moving like a football player again because that doesn’t happen overnight. I was still in shape being in the Army and everything, but it’s a different type of shape. In the Army, it’s a lot more long-distance running, more endurance-based and football is more of an explosive sport.”

The Colts were a surprise playoff team last season. Training camp opens in late July.



  1. Mike Hatcher says:

    Shouldn’t he be going into the Army to fulfill his committment? Just asking since we paid for his education

    • Chris Connolly says:

      I agree with your question. Since 1999, USMA athletics budget has doubled in budget. In return for this–including preferential admissions for athlete recruits–USMA varsity athletes less likely to stay and do “20” than a non-varsity athlete. Ironically, Army football has ONE winning season since 1996. As a nation, we need to ask what the return on the investment is here. How many potential USMA cadets were denied entry into USMA in favor of a less qualified recruited athlete?

      Perhaps as a nation it is time to ask whether ROTC is the better investment.

    • jdavis65 says:

      Story clearly states that he is staying in until May 21st in order to fulfill his military obligation. Your question is not relevant to the story or issue.

      • roosta says:

        It’s relevant because everyone else, or non-varsity athletes, are required to fulfill a 5 year obligation to the army. May 21st will only be 2 years.

  2. Conrad vonBlankenbur says:

    Do your duty like everyone else. Pay your dues for the education I paid for for you. Then you can think about playing kid’s games for money. No before that.

    • Rosalee says:

      Thank you. I did not see your comment before I posted

      mine, but duty comes first.……and if he skips out

      COMPENSATION .….…..a hefty bill from

      the American taxpayer

  3. Rosalee says:

    so what happens to ALL the $$$$$$$$$$$$$$ the taxpayer has forked over to educate him?

    Compensation is a must here.

    He needs to fork over the $$$$

    we spent on him if he takes this deal

  4. Ike says:

    I see no one bothered to actually read the article.

    It’s not that hard. The second sentence completely negates everything everyone has commented on so far.

    • Chris Connolly says:

      This is not about “obligation” that LT McNary faithfully adhered to. This is about something bigger. USMA is a national, taxpayer institution with a mission to provide life-long national-level leaders for the nation. Does the “NFL” accomplish this or is it more about trying to enhance Division 1A stature for future recruiting? Since this is a national institution, this requires debate by those who foot the bill. Why go to any Academy? To be an officer and improve the organization over a lifetime of service or be a gridiron star for a me-first entertainment industry such as professional sports?

    • Conrad vonBlankenbur says:

      Hey Ike! Get your head on straight. When someone get’s the chance to attend West Point they have taken a path to be a Military officer. That is the “EXPECTATION”! Get it?

      • jdavis65 says:

        Hey Conrad, do your home work.…. only 43% of all academy graduates stay in past 8 years. So your point is null and void. You shouldn’t be upset because he 1) accomplished something you haven’t and 2) is being given the opportunity to do something you won’t.

  5. Mathew says:

    He has the talent screw the money there are plenty people that want to take his place. Handle your business young man we know where your heart is. Ooooh raaah

  6. Steven says:

    1) He has fulfilled his obligation. The Army offers early outs when there are forced cuts by the DoD.

    2) The Army is cutting over 50,000 Soldiers.

    3) There is a huge recruiting value from having an Army officer and West Point Grad going into the NFL. This benefits the Academy and the Army. This type of publicity can’t be purchased.

    I wish him well.

    • Conrad vonBlankenbur says:

      1. He did not fulfill his obligation. There has not been a Military obligation for more that forty years now.

      2. The “EXPECTATION” when he received his appointment was for him to follow a military carrier and serve his country in exchange for the money that the hard working tax payer “GAVE” him.

      3. Pro Sports is “bread and cirrus” for the mindless masses.

      4. Do your duty young man.

      • jdavis65 says:

        An individual is only obligated to do 4 years of active duty and 4 years of reserve duty, or 8 years of reserve duty, or 3 and five.…. any combination that equals a total of 8 years. Just because he might get to play in the NFL, doesn’t mean he’s not in the reserves after his 3 years of active duty. Just an FYI, those that don’t meet the obligation do have to pay back a pro-rated cost for the education received.

        Do your homework before you open that pie hole.…

    • JR says:

      @steven although I think he needs to do some service I agree and appreciate your assessment.

      The most of these comments seem to come from military haters.

      I think it is possible you are doing the seem as I am. I have a “hobby” of keeping track of anti-military Hate Crimes. U.S. Military personnel are the ultimate minority in America but do not have any legal recourse.

  7. Ike says:

    I don’t know what decade people are living in. The majority of West Pointers don’t make a career out of the Army anymore. Google “retention rates for west point graduates”. Or read “The Unforgiving Minute” about a USMA grad and Rhodes Scholar. The author spent most of his time in school, did one tour and got out. The is becoming the norm.

    If you ask me, the service academies should be closed, or more spots should be opened to enlisted soldiers who have already served in the military and are more likely to make a career of it. But nostalgia prevents reforms and the service academies produce people who are very much in demand in the private sector. Many, if not most will leave the service well before retirement. Every class sees people taking early outs, not just athletes but former officers who are looking for big money in the private sector.

    This goes unpublicised, but people stand around crying about the handful of athletes doing what hundreds of former cadets have been doing for years. The system allows this. Meanwhile, OCS and ROTC grads cost the DOD far less money and produce officers as good as or better than the service academies.

  8. Mathew says:

    Millions or the military? Pat Tillman was killed by who? It wasn’t Taliban. Sad but true and the Army used that propaganda like crazy telling the world that he was killed by Taliban fighters blah blah blah. And guess what Pat turned down a multimillion dollar contract for what an enlistment as and enlisted not officer for pennies compared to what he was use to making. This young man has done his duty in a military that is trying to recover from scandals past. Besides this is good for the Army and it gives them an A in letting there young men an women leave the Army early to venture into other careers.

  9. james says:

    Everyone is bashing him, how the heck do you not know that he has met his obligation of 3 yrs and might be finishing out his time in the reserves. Just like david robinson when he graduated from Annapolis he did no active duty time he was in the Naval Reserves for 5 years. Maybe if people actually spend time in the military and know the rules they can comment until then. Sit back in your chair, read the funny papers, and drink your beer, and how the hell dont you know if he has agreed to pay back any remaining money just because the article does not say so. Maybe you should know all the facts before commenting.

    • Tracey says:

      Thank you, James!! Very well stated! To all the haters above, please know all the facts before you bash this young man. We don’t know if he is a reservist or not. We also don’t know if he decided not to serve, and if that is the case, we also don’t know of his financial agreements with the academy. If you do know, please inform the rest of us. If you don’t, shut your mouths!!

  10. DRB says:

    Don’t worry ya’ll, he will have plenty of money

    from the NFL to pay back the tax payers, and will have an obligation to a local reserve unit.

  11. Vic holmes says:

    He would have to pay it back if and I repeat if the military lets him leave and play pro

  12. KEVIN PIGRAM says:

    He has already done three years and you do not have to do all the time on active duty. The rest can be done another way.

  13. Jeff says:

    Eeh, so many people who join quit at the first chance of something better. I mean he is going to play a kids game for a living, why do we care?