Army Entertainment has integrated live auditions for the 2014 U.S. Army Soldier Show with the judging and selection of the 2013 Operations Rising Star finalists.

The Fort Wainwright competition for the 2013 Operation Rising Star singing contest is scheduled for Oct. 24 through 26 at the Warrior Zone from 7 to 10 p.m. Preliminary auditions begin Thursday and the finals are Saturday.

The program hosted by the Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation is open to all branches of the U.S. military, including Family members 18 and older. The competition is similar to popular television shows like "American Idol" and is televised on The Pentagon Channel. All local talent is encouraged to participate.

"This is a great opportunity to showcase local talent, have a great time, win some great cash prizes and possibly take that next step to stardom." said Ann Binford, marketing manager for the Fort Wainwright Directorate of Family and MWR.

The grand prize winner receives $1,000 spending money, an all-expenses-paid trip for two to Los Angeles to record a three-song demo compact disc. In addition the winner gets three days and nights of studio time which includes top-rated musicians, recording technicians, a vocal coach and a CD producer.

Soldiers submitting packets to be considered as a performer or technician for the 2014 U.S. Army Soldier Show should note the Nov. 1 deadline for packet submissions. Details are available at www.armyentertainment.net, where candidates can download registration forms and upload their video auditions and resumes. Entry packets are also available at the Warrior Zone.

Local winners of garrison Operation Rising Star events, if eligible, receive an automatic pass into live auditions for the 2014 U.S. Army Soldier Show, so they could be "double dipping" come December at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, Texas.

The Soldier Show live auditions are set to take place during the second week of the Army-level Operation Rising Star finals.

"That allows us to be a little more efficient with the artistic and production team that's already going to be in place for Operation Rising Star, to work with the Soldier Show candidates during that week," Higdon said. "It also allows us, as Army Entertainment, to better promote the upcoming Soldier Show tour season because part of that live audition process those Soldiers will perform group numbers on the Operation Rising Star live shows." Higdon also hopes to cross promote both programs.

Calvin Snead, former soldier, Army reservist, alumni of the 2010 Army Soldier Show and husband of Staff Sgt. KaMesha Snead, Dental Activity-Alaska made it to the Army's top four last year. He said, "One of the greatest opportunities was working with famous vocal coach Debra Byrd, who has been the main vocal coach on American Idol."

"This is a great opportunity for Fort Wainwright singers to showcase local talent." Binford said. It's also an opportunity for installation community members to support, cheer for - and enjoy live performances by - family members, friends and coworkers.

For more information on Operation Rising Star visit www.OpRisingStar.com, drop by the Warrior Zone or call (907) 353-1085 or 353-1087.