The following feature story on the Trimble family appeared in the Army vs. VMI Football Game Day program on Oct. 30, 2010, and was written by Tracy Nelson.
WEST POINT, N.Y. - Former Secretary of State Colin Powell once said, “My responsibility, our responsibility as lucky Americans, is to try to give back to this country as much as it has given us, as we continue our American journey together.” Anyone at West Point would be hard-pressed to find a family that has epitomized that concept and call to responsibility more than the Trimbles. It’s a lineage that started in 2004 and has seen three brothers pass through the gates of venerable West Point since.
Senior defensive back Jordan Trimble and his younger brother Justin, a plebe on this year’s roster, are the second and third Trimble brothers, respectively, to attend West Point in the last six years. Jeremy Trimble got the train started when he was recruited to play football on the banks of the Hudson back in 2004. Football is in the Trimbles’ blood. Their father, Steve, spent four seasons playing for the Denver Broncos and Chicago Bears after a standout career as a defensive back at Maryland. Steve remains the head football coach at Bishop O’Connell in Ashburn, Va., where he has coached all of his sons.
Now, along with football, the military is ingrained in the Trimble lineage and the brothers could not be happier with their respective decisions.
“Until Jeremy came here, I didn’t know much about West Point or the military at all,” Jordan recalled. “Our grandfather enlisted in the Air Force, but that was it for our family. Joining the military and especially attending West Point was a pretty novel concept to me, but I couldn’t be happier about my decision. I’ve really grown to truly appreciate the responsibility and all that the people in the military do to protect our freedom. I will be proud to become one of them in May.”
Jeremy, who served as a football captain in 2007 and ranks as Army’s all-time leader in receptions, receiving yards and touchdown receptions, is currently serving our nation overseas in Kuwait already two years into his military commitment.
“He’s over there working with his Air Defense unit monitoring systems on the Kuwait border,” Jordan said. “It’s a pretty reaching task from what he’s told us. We still keep in touch pretty often thanks to Facebook and email.”
The eldest Trimble has a month left until he returns to the states, which will be just in time to attend the 111th Army-Navy game on Dec. 11, 2010, in Philadelphia and see two of his three younger brothers play for its first win over the Mids since 2001.
While Jeremy faces combat day in and day out, the younger siblings have kept busy this fall keeping the football portion of the Trimble legacy alive and well. Both brothers have played in six of seven games during a turnaround season that has Army above .500 at the midway point for the first time in recent memory. Under the direction of head coach Rich Ellerson, the Black Knights head into today’s home contest opposite VMI with a 4-3 record and a chance to improve its bowl chances against the Keydets at Michie Stadium.
Jordan and Justin are both quick to credit the entire team, along with players in years past for the success of the 2010 Black Knights.
“From a senior’s standpoint, seeing how this program has grown has been incredible,” Jordan said. “While we’ve really been meshing as a team this season, we also have the players from years past to thank for getting us where we are today. I know I can speak for the entire group of firsties when I say we’re just trying to take everything in this year and leave it all on the field. We know this is all we have left before we go out and start a new life in the Army. We’re just trying to do what we can for each other and for the younger classes so that they can carry on the winning tradition.”
At free safety, Jordan has helped the cause with 22 tackles (10 solo, 12 assisted), including 1.5 for loss. He’s been credited with two pass breakups and enjoyed arguably the best outing of his career in Army’s 24-0 rout of North Texas on Oct. 5 at Michie Stadium. Jordan made nine tackles, collected a tackle for loss, intercepted a pass on the goal line and broke up two passes to pace a staunch Black Knight defense that afternoon.
Justin has shown promise in his first season on the banks of the Hudson. He is one of a handful of plebes to be earning solid playing time in his first season, playing in all but one game and recording three tackles. In the meantime, Justin finds it comforting to have an older brother at West Point to guide him through the rigors that is plebe year at the Academy.
“It definitely doesn’t hurt to have him here because it gives me somebody to look up to,” Justin said. “I know somebody is watching over me at times, and if I have any problems, I can go to him without reservation. He’s a great role model and an asset to have during my first year here.”
Thus far, Jordan is the only one of the Trimble brothers to experience the uniqueness of being both the younger and older brother during his tenure at the Academy.
“It’s interesting because I’ve been on both sides of it,” Jordan said. “As a plebe, I was the younger brother and now I’m in the role of the older brother. It’s like déjà vu. It’s nice because it gave me somebody to look up to and now that role is reversed and I can pay it forward.”
Justin may have that chance down the road as well as the youngest Trimble, Josh, is currently a senior at Bishop O’Connell and is very interested in following in the footsteps of his three older brothers. If the past is any indication, West Point would be lucky to have him.