News: ‘Raiders’ show off talents at R-Factor
Story by Spc. Andrew Ingram
CAMP BUEHRING, Kuwait – Twelve soldiers showcased a variety of different talents as they competed for one of 10 spots, during the first elimination round of the R Factor competition at Camp Buehring, Kuwait, July 12.
The R Factor is a talent competition based on a popular television show, hosted by the 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division.
With vocal styles ranging from country twang to Native-American chant, and comedy routines and light shows thrown into the mix, the “Raider” soldiers attempted to wow the judges and earn a spot in the competition’s finale, scheduled for Aug. 23.
“A lot of different talents were brought to the competition tonight,” said talent judge, Chief Warrant Officer 2 Steven Colburn, Air Defense Air Management Brigade Aviation Cell, 1st ABCT. “I think everybody brought their ‘A’ game.”
Colburn said he looks forward to watching the competitors become more comfortable on stage as they practice and perform.
“There were a lot of nerves tonight, but my hope is that these contestants will take our advice to heart,” Colburn said. “I hope the Soldiers will stand out with originality and blow us away next week.”
Staff Sgt. Harry Swartz, who made it through the first round, with a rendition of the Kriss Kross 1992 rap song, “Jump,” said he plans to heed the judges’ advice, going a more original direction with his next performance.
“I want to go back to my favorite genre, which is hair band type music, the kind of music you just want to bang your head to, said Swartz, transportation platoon sergeant, Company A, 4th Brigade Support Battalion, 1st ABCT. “I’m very pumped up to see where this competition goes.”
Elimination rounds will remain closed to spectators until the finale next month, scheduled to coincide with the Raider Brigade birthday celebration.
Fans will cast the deciding vote for first, second and third place during the finale, said Spc. Elizabeth Erickson, the Raider Brigade’s Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers representative, who organized the event.
“It’s been a long journey but I’m very excited that we are making this happen,” said Erickson, signal support system specialist, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st ABCT. “It’s going to be an amazing event, and a great reason to get out of the tent and have some fun.”