AIT students weigh in on the 2015 Soldier Show
By Ms. Jessica Marie Ryan (FMWRC)April 22, 2015
SAN ANTONIO (April 20, 2015) -- Approximately 300 Advanced Individual Training students from the 32d Medical Brigade watched a sneak preview of the U.S. Army Soldier Show at the Fort Sam Houston Theatre April 16, 2015.After a long day of training and studying, the Soldiers arrived to the theatre for an evening performance. Many of the Soldiers were new to the Army and had not heard of the Soldier Show.The U.S. Army Soldier Show is a live Broadway-style performance featuring active-duty Soldiers and is run by Army Entertainment, an Installation Management Command operation. Army Entertainment productions are "For the Soldier, By the Soldier."This year's theme is "We Serve." The show explores what it means to be a "Soldier for Life" in and out of uniform.The cast and crew spent the last five weeks assembling and rehearsing for the show, according to Tim Higdon, executive producer.As the Soldiers took the stage wearing their combat uniforms, one student remarked on the fact that the cast members were of different ranks yet all performed together."It was great to see actual Soldiers performing on the stage," said Pfc. Kristin Sells. "They are not just actors wearing Army combat uniforms."Throughout the 75-minute performance, the cast performed both classic and contemporary songs which were integrated in scenes depicting the Army life. In one part, the cast sang DJ Snake and Lil Jon's hit "Turn Down for What" while doing exercises and complex choreography in their physical training uniforms.While some scenes evoked excitement and laughter from the crowd, there were segments in the show which captured serious life moments such as deployments and loss of loved ones.Pvt. Nick Njoku commented on how he could relate to those scenes. He said he could feel the emotions coming from the cast members' voices as they belted out emotional power ballads."Those scenes really hit home for me, because they were really emotional," said Njoku. "They remind me of hard it is for our Families at home."
The show featured songs from different musical genres, and the performers tied Army messaging and popular song lyrics together. The audience members were impressed to hear songs like Fifth Harmony's hit "BO$$" combined with phrases like "Not In My Squad," which is Sergeant Major of the Army Dan Dailey's campaign phrase to stop sexual assault and harassment.One of the segments was a set of performances showcasing music and dance routines from around the world.
"If we are assigned to overseas assignments, we get to learn about different countries and cultures," said Pvt. Miranda Mistretta. "The scenes let us see what we could possibly be doing in our Army careers."When the show ended, the AIT Soldiers gave the cast and crew a standing ovation. As they left the theatre, some attendees mentioned that the Soldier Show was better than what they imagined. The attendees commented on how the show turned what it could have been an uneventful evening to a meaningful and refreshing experience."The Soldier Show is a must that should continue on for generations to come," said Pvt. Visal Ebbott.