SAINT JOSEPH, Mo. — The 1st Infantry Division visited the Kansas City Chiefs during their final day of training camp in Craig Field at Spratt Stadium on August 17, 2023.
The Big Red One joined the Kansas City Chiefs during their Military Appreciation Day as part of the ongoing regional relationship between the two. Several players and staff members spent the morning thanking service members and sharing their experiences with the military through an outside perspective.
“My dad and grandparents were military,” said Trent McDuffie, a cornerback for the Kansas City Chiefs. “Just being around everyone today, where we only get to do this once a year, it’s just really cool.”
As a part of the northeast Kansas-Missouri community, the 1st Infantry has been continually building their professional relationship with the Chiefs both at the team’s home and on Fort Riley. Within the last year, the Chiefs staff has visited Fort Riley several times, being able to share experiences such as color guard duties, tours and flyovers at Arrowhead Stadium.
Five Soldiers were selected to attend the Chiefs’ final day of training camp. The Soldiers were sent to represent the noncommissioned officer corps and what Fort Riley sees as future and current leaders.
“I am extremely grateful,” said Sgt. Collin Modlin, a combat medic assigned to the 5th Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division. “It’s an experience that I’m probably not going to have again, so I’m just grateful and honored to be able to be a part of this.”
Alongside the Soldiers that were selected to represent the division, several Soldiers from the Big Red One’s 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team attended the event, where they presented a static display station that highlighted physical training, explosive ordnance disposal and new-age military vehicles. They spent the day at the display sharing the opportunities that the Army has to offer for people looking for a military career.
“We want to be a part of the community,” Modlin said. “We strive to maintain that relationship between the families, communities, and our Soldiers.”
Head coach Andy Reid spoke to the gathered service members during the game ball presentations and spoke about the honor of being able to serve the men and women that serve the country daily.
“Presenting the game ball to our service members is the least we can do for our troops,” Reid said. “Leadership is vital to being a coach, but it is easier when examples from our forces show everyone what great leadership looks like.”
The event concluded with players such as McDuffie, Patrick Mahomes, Isiah Pacheco, Harrison Butker, and George Karlaftis signing memorabilia and take group photos with the service members in attendance.
“The community was very supportive of their service members,” Modlin said. “Seeing that support and how grateful they were for our service to our country is really motivating.”