Southeast Missouri State's Ohio Valley Conference football opener against visiting Tennessee Tech will feature a military theme.
Saturday's 6 p.m. kickoff at Houck Stadium, part of Southeast's Family Weekend, is billed as the Missouri National Guard/Military Appreciation Game.
Highlighting the evening will be a halftime dedication to officially recognize the field as "Missouri National Guard Field at Houck Stadium."
The field already had carried that title during Southeast home soccer and football games this season after the university and the Missouri National Guard formed a partnership through which naming rights to the field were awarded.
"We had a logo on the field behind the west end zone installed this summer," Southeast director of athletics Mark Alnutt said. "But this weekend will be the official dedication, and we're looking forward to it. To name the field for the Missouri National Guard is great. We're excited about it."
Officials with the Missouri National Guard will be on hand Saturday. There will be military tributes throughout the game, and the Redhawks will wear special camouflage uniforms.
Individuals with valid military IDs will be admitted free. Redhawks dogtags provided by the Missouri National Guard will be given to the first 2,000 fans admitted in the stadium.
"The partnership we have with the Missouri National Guard is a big deal. It's a great relationship between their group and the university," Alnutt said. "Family Weekend is a big weekend for the campus, and with all the other things we have going on we expect a big crowd and a great night."
The university and the Missouri National Guard announced an agreement last month to launch a U.S. Army Reserve officer training program to begin at Southeast in the fall of 2013.
"That program is going to be significant, and we're really happy that our athletic department is also involved with the Missouri National Guard," Alnutt said.