The U.S. Army Parachute Team (Golden Knights) dropped by San Antonio, Texas, to help connect America with America's Army at the 2017 All-American Bowl.
For 17 years, the All-American Bowl has helped showcase the nation's premier high school athletes and band members -- who have gone on to achieve personal greatness in college, the National Football League and as U.S. Army Soldiers. U.S. Army Parachute Team members met the public outside the Alamodome and conducted tandem parachute drops with community leaders, families, educators and media members that help shape the public's perception of the Army.
The Golden Knights serve as ambassadors, bringing the Army story to communities across America. In many cases, Army Parachute Team members are the only Soldiers that Americans meet during the year. That mission adds to the importance of the interaction the Golden Knights have with tandem camp participants, according to Sgt. 1st Class Noah Watts, assistant tandem team leader.
"One of the things we most look forward to, besides the River Walk or San Antonio being a very military friendly town and welcoming us in, is working with the civilian advocates," Watts said. " For someone who has never jumped before, you work together as a team and share their story as they take part in their own personal Army experience."
Assistant Distributive Education Clubs of America Director John Fistolera was among the group of civilians to tandem with the Golden Knights during the Army All-American Bowl game week. DECA prepares emerging leaders and entrepreneurs pursuing careers in marketing, finance, hospitality and management in high schools and colleges around the globe. DECA has been a long-time partner with the Army.
When asked about the relationship between the Army and DECA, John said, "We really share a common mission to help young people identify what it is that they want to do in their lives and to realize the leadership that is in them as well."
The Golden Knights conducted 17 tandem jumps in San Antonio before packing their parachutes for their next mission. Next up is the team's annual certification cycle before the 2017 airshow season. Each year the Golden Knights perform parachute demonstrations across America, highlight the skills of some of the Army's best-trained Soldiers and connect America with America's Army.
The United States Army Parachute Team is part of the U.S. Army Accessions Support Brigade which is aligned under the Army Marketing and Research Group. The Golden Knights are based at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.