By Tim Hipps, U.S. Army Installation Management CommandOctober 28, 2014
SAN ANTONIO (Oct. 28, 2014) -- Active-duty service men and women still have an opportunity to submit videos online to compete for two of six finalist spots and a chance to be named the 2014 "Rising Star."
Army Entertainment officials expect competition to intensify in the online division-- open to active-duty personnel from all branches of the U.S. military-- as local competitions for the 2014 Operation Rising Star presented by PenFed wind down on installations.
Videos of participants already entered are available on ArmyMWR.com, where viewers can give the performers a "thumb up" or "thumb down."
That same link is used to enter the competition. This portion of the competition is open only to active-duty U.S. military personnel, until Nov. 5. The online portion opens the event to participants who are not located near one of the 13 hosting installations.
"The active-duty online competition is new and unprecedented," said Army Entertainment program director Tim Higdon. "It allows for maximum participation throughout the DOD services worldwide, where before it was limited to participating Army garrisons."
From Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, to Presidio of Monterey, California, to U.S. Army garrisons at Camp Humphreys, Casey and Red Cloud, South Korea, Soldiers and military family members are competing on local installations, through Nov. 1.
In keeping with this year's theme, Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, has 2013 Operation Rising Star winner Sgt. Christiana Ball serving as emcee for the installation finals Oct. 24, where 11 x 17 photographs of Fort Leonard Wood's former Operation Rising Star winners will be displayed.
"The finals night theme this year is based on the 10th anniversary," said LoraLee Neubeck, special events coordinator at Fort Leonard Wood. "We will have an anniversary cake, punch and snacks. There will be presents to give away to the lucky-drawing winners. There will be plenty of balloons and sparkling lights, with a special performance at intermission, big over-sized checks -- lots of fun."
Fort Leonard Wood also will have an anniversary banner for everyone to sign, marking the 10th year of the program originally called "Military Idol," based on the format of FOX television's "American Idol."
"We are on our way to a great competition this year," Neubeck said.
One garrison winner will be selected by Army Entertainment judges to represent each of four regions in the live finals, scheduled for Dec. 6-12, at the historic Fort Sam Houston Theatre on Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, Texas. Two wild-card finalists will be selected from online submissions to complete the field of competitors for finals week. The finalists will be announced Nov. 12, on OpRisingStar.com. Finals will feature a "Soldier for Life" theme that will partner past winners as mentors and co-performers alongside this season's finalists.
For more information, visit www.OpRisingStar.com.