SAN ANTONIO (July 17, 2013) -- Army Entertainment is getting set to host another season of Operation Rising Star, a singing contest for Soldiers and military family members based on the American Idol format.

Installations and garrisons interested in hosting 2013 Operation Rising Star events must apply by July 29. Local competitions will be contested in September or October. Fort Hunter Liggett in Jolon, Calif., was first to apply this year.

"We are very excited about our ninth season," said Tim Higdon, executive producer of Operation Rising Star. "It's this kind of Family and MWR programming that year after year provides fun, exciting, and relevant entertainment for our Soldiers and their Families."

Operation Rising Star is open to active duty military, National Guard and Reserve personnel and their 18-and-older Family members.

Local Operation Rising Star performers will receive $500 for first place, $250 for runner-up and $100 for third place, along with a $300 spirit award to encourage audience participation and Internet exposure of local competitions via social media and

Local winners and, in some cases, second-place finishers, will have a shot at becoming 2013 Operation Rising Star champion.

Army Installation Management Command encourages garrisons to collaborate with their food and beverage facilities, recreation programs, marketing teams and Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers programs to ensure success of Operation Rising Star.

The Army Installation Management Command's program aims to showcase Soldiers and their family members' singing talents on stage and on the Internet. Past shows have been televised by The Pentagon Channel.

"Operation Rising Star is a unique opportunity for the talent in our Army family to be shared with a worldwide audience," Higdon said.

Operation Rising Star bolsters morale among troops and delivers positive reinforcement to Soldiers, military civilians and Family members.

"It helps maintain our strong esprit de corps, especially during these challenging times," Higdon said.

Operation Rising Star also introduces new customers to Army Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation food and beverage facilities, which in turn helps generate income that is invested in other MWR programs.