ALEXANDRIA, Va. (Army News Service, Sept. 11, 2007) - The name has changed, but the contest will remain the same as Operation Rising Star has replaced Military Idol as the premier worldwide singing competition for servicemen and women.

Modeled after FOX television's American Idol, local competitions are scheduled for 42 installations and camps across the United States - including Alaska and Hawaii - Germany, Iraq, Japan and Korea.

The competition is open to active duty, National Guard and Reserve personnel from all service branches.

Contest rules and registration forms to enter the Army Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation Command-sponsored event are available on the Internet at Operation Rising Star

Installation-level competitions are scheduled throughout September and October, with the number of weeks determined by the number of competitors. Contact your local MWR office for times and locations.

The top three installation-level finishers will receive $500, $250 and $100 respectively. Local first-place finishers also will receive $500 in unit funds.

Audience members who participate in the local voting process will be eligible to win a portable DVD player with an iPod docking station, MP3 players and music download cards.

All installation-level winners will be determined by Halloween.

After a panel of judges selects 12 performers from among the local winners, the remainder of Operation Rising Star will be a virtual competition at Operation Rising Star

Online viewers will vote Nov. 13 through 26 for their favorites to help narrow the field to six finalists. Online voting between Nov. 27 and Dec. 3 will determine the Armywide winner, which will be announced Dec. 7.

The Operation Rising Star champion will earn $2,000. The runner-up will receive $1,000 and the third-place finisher $500.

(Tipps writes for Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation Command Public Affairs.)