SAN ANTONIO -- After six months of performing more than 60 shows across the continental United States, The U.S. Army Soldier Show will stage an extended series of performances from Oct.18 through Nov. 18 at eight garrisons in Germany (including Grafenwoehr, Wiesbaden and Kaiserslautern), Kuwait, Afghanistan, Korea and Japan.This landmark tour is the first time in its 31-year history that the modern-era Soldier Show will visit CONUS, Europe, Pacific regions and downrange locations in the same year."The Soldier Show is a special event I think the entire family will enjoy. It's by Soldiers, for Soldiers, but there's something in it for the entire community," said U.S. Army Garrison Bavaria's Command Sgt. Maj. Jeffrey Dillingham. "This will be my first opportunity to go and I can't wait to see the show."
The 2014 Soldier Show, "Stand Strong," is a 75-minute variety showcase of high-energy performances of favorite songs from today and yesterday, all adapted to tell the story of what it takes for our Soldiers to Stand Strong.It features 35 talented cast and crewmembers who represent Army garrisons all over the world, as well as National Guard and Army Reserve units. Participants celebrate and convey Army values of loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity and personal courage on stage through musical, vocal and dance performances."These values, instilled in every Soldier, forge a resilient strength that can only be described as Army Strong," said Lt. Gen. David Halverson, commander, U.S. Army Installation Management Command and assistant chief of staff for Installation Management. "We are honored to share this experience and are confident that the show will leave audiences uplifted, inspired and ready to stand strong with the men and women of the U.S. Army."
The show continues the theme of "Ready and Resilient" and highlights many major Army initiatives, including suicide prevention, Sexual Harassment Assault Response Prevention (SHARP), Survivor Outreach Services (SOS), Sponsorship, Family Readiness Group (FRG), Army Substance Abuse Program (ASAP) and the pillars of Army professionalism.Another major thematic element of this year's production is the celebration of our national anthem. Sept. 14 marked the 200th anniversary of Francis Scott Key's writing of the "Star-Spangled Banner," so it is with great pride that this year's production also gives tribute to the song that is our nation's call.
The Soldier Show is a special program in its own right, and also because it is completely self-contained.In addition to producing and performing in the show, cast members also serve as their own crew support behind the scenes. They travel to select Army garrisons, then load-in, set up, break down, load-out, transport and maintain more than 60,000 pounds of equipment for each show. They perform for audiences including active duty Soldiers, families and civilians.Soldiers are selected to participate through an extensive screening and audition process, and each Soldier's participation has no impact on his or her mission accomplishment.At the end of the tour, Soldier Show participants return to their respective military specialties with a host of new job skills that will also serve them well when their military service is complete.
"Stand Strong is a tribute to the strength, character and resiliency of our Soldiers," said Sgt. 1st Class Frederick McDuffy, noncommissioned officer in charge. "With this high-energy production, we address issues that are important to today's Army community and pay tribute to our Gold Star families."
The Soldier Show is a flagship program in Army Entertainment's portfolio, which is an operation of the U.S. Army Installation Management Command and supports combat readiness and effectiveness as well as recruitment and retention.The Senior Army leadership has recognized Army Entertainment as an essential Soldier for Life initiative, as it not only contributes to the resiliency of our military communities, but it also showcases talents of our Soldiers and highlights the well-being of the total Army force.If Army families back home find the security and contentment they need, then our Soldiers can focus more on the mission.
"This extended run of the 2014 Soldier Show is a testament to our talented Soldiers, as well as IMCOM's ability to integrate the Army profession and tell the Army Story in a way that resonates with audiences around the world," said Tim Higdon, U.S. Army Entertainment producer and program manager.
The eight garrisons that will welcome the Soldier Show include: Arifjan, Kuwait; Bagram, Afghanistan; Bavaria (Grafenwoehr), Germany; Rheinland-Pfalz (Kaiserslautern), Germany; Wiesbaden, Germany; Camp Casey, Korea; Yongsan, Korea; and Torii Station, Japan.
For more information and highlights from the U.S. Army Soldier Show, including more information about the cast and crew, visit www.armymwr.com/soldiershow.