FORT RILEY, Kan. - Kansas State University’s annual Fort Riley Day kicked off Saturday, September 17, 2022, at Bill Snyder Family Stadium in Manhattan, Kansas. This tradition is a celebration of the long-standing partnership between the university and the military community.
The day was packed full of events. The festivities began with tailgates in the stadium parking lot and a showcase of static displays of military vehicles and weapons.
U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Niave F. Knell, the 1st Infantry Division Deputy Commanding General-Support, and U.S. Army Command Sgt. Maj. Albert Serrano, the rear 1st Inf. Div. Command Sgt Maj., engaged with community members in front of interactive and static displays. These displays allowed the Fort Riley community to bring their equipment for the KSU community to see.
“We have a great partnership with [KSU],” said Knell. “We really appreciate the opportunity to come and enjoy the game and that they invited us here, especially where we get to have displays, and get to just show people that are coming to watch a football game that this is a little piece of the Army in case they don't get to see that. If they don't get to come to Fort Riley, they can see. What do you do? What are Soldiers like? How do I interact with them? We just bring a piece of Fort Riley to K-State which is really nice.”
During this year's military appreciation festivities, KSU presented one of its fellow alumnus and Silver Star Medal Recipient, U.S. Army Sgt. Maj. Antonio Gonzalez with the medal of military excellence and a President Emeritus Myers coin.
Gonzalez played football and graduated from Kansas State University in 1996 before enlisting in the U.S. Army as a Special Forces Soldier.
“Thank you so much for your service to our country,” said Chris Klieman, the KSU head football coach. “It’s so neat the partnership K-State has with Fort Riley, and our kids really appreciate it and our university appreciates it.”
Along with the static displays, the 1st Inf. Div. Band played alongside the KSU Marching Band; Soldiers stood side-by-side with students; the Combat Aviation Brigade flew Apaches over the stadium; and all in attendance stood tall to salute the American flag.
To kickoff the KSU and Tulane University football game, Knell and Serrano ran with the ‘Wildcats’ out onto the field. This annual event celebrated K-State’s connection to Fort Riley military base honoring Soldiers serving at home and overseas.
“We are obviously honored that Kansas State University is able to have this unbelievable relationship with Fort Riley,” said Richard Linton, the KSU President. “Thank you for your continued support and we look forward to great partnerships moving forward.”