July 30, 2012
GLEN ALLEN, Va. -- In a sea of cowboy boots and Stetsons, a group of combat boots, berets and patrol caps stood out as the U.S. Army took center stage at the 2012 K95 CountryFest July 29.
For the second year in a row, CountryFest invited the U.S. Army to open the show with an oath of enlistment ceremony, which took place right before the event's featured performer, Darius Rucker, took to the stage. In front of more than 6,500 fans, Catfish, one of K95's radio morning hosts, introduced Brig. Gen. Stephen E. Farmen, U.S. Army Chief of Transportation and commandant of the Transportation School, and Command Sgt. Maj. Allen B. Offord Jr., the 11th Transportation Regimental command sergeant major. The Transportation School, at Fort Lee, is a part of the U.S. Army Combined Arms Support Command.
Farmen and Offord took a tag-team approach on stage as they energized the crowd at Innsbrook. They shared their personal Army Strong stories, which included Farmen's college years spent at the University of Richmond with the Reserve Officers' Training Corps, and Offord's son who recently joined the ranks of the U.S. Army. Farmen and Offord described Soldiers' commitment and selfless service as they explained the meaning of the oath of enlistment to the fans before the ceremony.
Then Farmen administered the oath of enlistment to 27 Future Soldiers from the U.S. Army Beckley Recruiting Battalion's Richmond Company. After staying silent throughout the oath, the crowd erupted in applause shouting "Hooah" after the ceremony.
The group exited the stage and then had the opportunity to meet Rucker, who took pictures with them and signed autographs. The Future Soldiers told the country music star that they were huge fans, but it was Rucker who was a bigger fan of them, he said. Right before heading on stage, Rucker thanked the Army for their commitment to serve their country.