News: Soldier Show rocks the house
Story by Staff Sgt. Christopher Freeman
FORT BRAGG, N.C. -- The U.S. Army Soldier Show performed at the Crown Coliseum July 19 and 20, Fayetteville, North Carolina.
The Soldier Show is a 90-minute song and dance event that highlights key messages to the entire Army. 31 Soldiers make up the Soldier Show. They tour the country, performing at various Army installations. This year, six members are from Fort Bragg.
“There are command messages that are presented in a positive way,” said Sgt. 1st Class Frederick McDuffy, noncommissioned officer in charge, U.S. Army Soldier Show, Joint Base Sam Houston, Texas.
This year, the show’s theme is Stand Strong.
“To me, it means being resilient,” said McDuffy. “ Don’t let anything keep you down. Get kicked down and get back up.
The show at Fort Bragg has six Soldiers, more than any other duty station this year.
“What I love most about the Soldiers Show is that it allows me to be someone different,” said Spc. Diquan Sims, a performer with the 2014 Soldier Show. “The show transitions you into a better person.”
The show takes up most of the performers’ time, but they still squeeze in time to grow as Soldiers.
“Even while we are on the road, we still have Physical Readiness Training, formations, and Sergeant’s Time Training,” said McDuffie.
For Sims and the other performers from Fort Bragg, their time with the Soldier Show started with an audition held at the Fort Bragg Post Exchange.
“My platoon sergeant knew I was into music,” said Sims. “ He told me about the show and the upcoming auditions.”
Sims continued, “The auditions showed that you could perform in front of not only your peers, but a large group of people.”
“[Army Entertainment] did a really good job of attracting people to the show,” said Sgt. Amy Hargis, a performer with the Soldier Show from Fort Bragg.
“It really shows the people who make the selections if you could work a group of complete strangers,” continued Hargis. “I think that is why so many people from Bragg made it.”
The show itself takes a crew and time to put together.
“It takes six hours to set the stage for the show,” said McDuffy.
“My favorite part is putting up the stage,” said Hargis. “We come here with two trucks and when we are done, we have [an entire show set up].”
After the lights go down and when the tour comes to a close after eight months on the road, the Soldiers will return to their units.
“The show has inspired me to pursue a degree in music,” said Hargis, who, after the tour, will return to Fort Bragg as a psychological operations sergeant.
“The show transitions you into a better person,” said Sims, who will return to Bragg at the end of the tour to the 3rd Military Information Support Operations Battalion.
At the end of the show, members announce themselves to include duty station. The crowd cheered for all, but it was clear who was from Fort Bragg.
“This is an amazing experience,” said Spc. Copey Rice, a performer in the show from the 18th Fires Brigade, XVIII Airborne Corps. “ I thank the (18th Fires Brigade) for this opportunity.