FORT KNOX, Ky. – Soldiers assigned to the 1st Theater Sustainment Command took center stage by reenlisting during the halftime show at the University of Louisville football game at Cardinal Stadium in Louisville Nov. 4.
It was the Cardinals Salute to Service game where they honored veterans, Active Duty and National Guard military personnel with special ticket offers and exclusive recognitions throughout the day.
Highlights included a flyover by the 123rd Airlift Wing of the Kentucky Air National Guard; the U.S. Army Golden Knights Parachute Team dropping into the stadium with the game ball; a recognition of local veterans and their families; a presentation of the Cardinals Chair of Honor for those who are Prisoners of War or Missing in Action – symbolizing a place in the stadium awaiting their return; a demonstration by members of the Reserve Officers Training Corps who performed push-ups on the field; and the mass reenlistment taking place in the end zone during halftime.
Lt. Col. Julio Reyes, commander, Special Troops Battalion, 1st TSC, reenlisted a platoon of Soldiers who took advantage of several reenlistment options, to include duty location of choice. One Soldier invited her extended family to the game.
Sgt. Tatiana Morales Garcia, human resource specialist, 1st TSC, appreciated the opportunity to share her reenlistment with her father, aunt, grandmother, brother, and cousins who all flew in from Puerto Rico.
“Growing up in my family we were taught to have each other’s backs and celebrate every achievement together,” Morales Garcia said.
It’s important to her to be a role model because she is the oldest child, explained Morales Garcia.
“Having my family there to see me reenlist and commit to honorably serve the greatest nation in the world will be one of my greatest memories I could share with them,” she added.
Reenlisting at Cardinal Stadium was also exciting for Cpl. Pelasala Faleseu, ammunition inspector, 1st TSC, who took his 8-year-old son to the game.
“It was my son’s first college game and he had a lot of fun,” he said.
Faleseu was also surprised at the amount of fan support.
“It felt good; it was nice having so much support from people who didn’t even know us,” he added.
The Cardinal community showed gratitude for their local heroes throughout the game with handshakes, thank-you’s, and other signs of appreciation, as their team quickly took the lead over the Virginia Tech.
The Cardinals were ahead of the Hokies when Soldiers formed up on the field during half time to participate in the ceremony which was displayed on the jumbo screens in the stadium. After the reenlistment ceremony, Reyes thanked the Soldiers for their continued service.
As the 1st TSC has reached their annual retention goals for another year, those involved with the mass reenlistment were happy to share it with their families and the Louisville Cardinal football community.
Sgt. 1st Class Timothy Marcum, career counselor, 1st TSC, said, “Reenlistment ceremonies at public events foster a sense of community and togetherness.”
“They provide opportunities for celebration for Soldiers deciding to continue their service to our nation, and they help showcase our traditions and customs,” he added.
“For these Soldiers reenlisting to hear 10 to 50,000 fans at a football game cheer them on, is something I hope they will pass down to their Soldiers as they become leaders,” Marcum said.
After Saturday’s win over the Virginia Tech Hokies 34-3, the Cardinals are in second place in the Atlantic Coast Conference with a winning conference record of 5-1 in and 8-1 overall.