By Mr. Larry D Mccaskill (ACC )February 22, 2013
Col. Martha Brooks never envisioned herself rubbing elbows with Hollywood's finest actors and actresses, but that is exactly what she'll be doing on the red carpet at the 85th Academy Award celebration this month.
"I was contacted by a Soldier that used to work for me at Third Army," said Brooks, the Expeditionary Contracting Command public affairs officer at Redstone Arsenal, Ala. "He is now working at the Office of the Chief of Public Affairs Los Angeles and is in charge of the program this year. He said he needed someone that will not be intimidated by the stars or be star struck and he thought of me."
An Army mission unlike many others, Brooks will be on the red carpet asking celebrities to give shout-outs to deployed Soldiers and asking for comments on the Soldier way of life.
"I will be in my military dress uniform and my pumps," said the newly promoted colonel. "As for the location on the red carpet, I'm not sure where I'll be exactly but I will try to walk very close to some of the live cameras several times. That way I'm sure that my daughter will be able to see me on TV."
Originally, Brooks was headed to Tinsel Town as an official temporary duty with the Army covering the costs. Due to money constraints in a tight fiscal environment the Army decided not to fund the trip. Undeterred, Brooks volunteered to perform the mission and pay for the trip herself.
"I'm going permissive TDY. With the current budget constraints many official TDY missions are being cut," said Brooks. "This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Not many people can say they were able to represent the military at the Oscars and on the red carpet.
"And it does not get any better than representing the military on a prestigious event while doing what I love to do best, producing products to support the troops down range and let them know that they are appreciated for their sacrifices."
Brooks will interview the award nominees before they go into the arena.
"I have a few already set up, mostly for military films that came out this year. But I will definitely try to stop some of the actors and actress that have played in military films in the past," said the 23-year veteran.
In Los Angeles for a week, she will also make appearances on Jimmy Kimmel Live on Feb. 26, the Ellen Show on Feb.27, and the Leno Show Feb. 28 Feb. With assistance from a military public affairs detachment, Brooks will gather footage and interviews for use on the Pentagon Channel and other military broadcasting media.
"I am looking forward to the whole experience. I'm glad that my former Soldier thought enough of me to put my name in to execute the mission."
The Academy Awards airs Feb. 24 on ABC stations with coverage on the red carpet beginning at 6 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.