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    Army recruits experience Airborne Review

    Army recruits experience Airborne Review

    Photo By Sgt. Michelle Blesam | Command Sgt. Maj. Michael A. Ferrusi, the 82nd Airborne Division senior enlisted...... read more read more



    Story by Sgt. Michelle Blesam 

    49th Public Affairs Detachment   

    FORT BRAGG, N.C. – “Hard Rock Five Two, this is Two Four One. Send nine-line when ready.” The radio transmission for close air support resonates over the grassy field as Paratroopers in the sky above prepared for the green light to jump. As the fighter jets depart, the narrator directs all attention to the northeastern horizon.

    Thousands of spectators look up, searching through the overcast sky for what is next to come; a U.S. Air Force C-17 Globemaster III aircraft gliding through the clouds. It passes overhead, leaving behind a trail of parachutes gently carrying hundreds of men and women of the 82nd Airborne Division to the ground.

    Approximately 350 future Soldiers and their recruiters from across the state traveled to watch the All American Week Airborne Review at Sicily Drop Zone on Fort Bragg, May 24, 2018.

    “Most of the kids that are here today are mainly high school seniors, and in my opinion if they had any doubt on whether or not the Army was right for them, this seals the deal,” said Staff Sgt. Donald Braun, a station commander from Burlington, North Carolina. “They see what the capabilities are, what the possibilities are. You can just hear them talking to each other and how excited they are to go do this.”

    Nearly every spectator’s phone was out and pointed at the sky, moving almost in unison as they trailed the Paratroopers descent. For some of the future Soldiers, this was their first time experiencing such a sight.

    “Honestly, it was everything I expected,” said Sentorious Johnson, an 18-year old future Soldier and a Burlington, North Carolina-native. “It made me even more excited to try and go airborne.”

    The drop zone became a battlefield as CH-47 Chinook helicopters deposited howitzers and lightweight, tactical vehicles bounded toward actors playing the enemy. Paratroopers demonstrated coordinated ground and air assaults, conducted artillery fires, and demolished the enemy’s fortifications before the eyes of the audience.

    “The 82nd Abn. Div. has allotted them the opportunity to see a full combat-oriented Soldier do warrior task and drills, so it gives them the knowledge … of what it is to be an American Soldier,” said 1st Sgt. Johan Ponder, the senior enlisted advisor for the Winston-Salem Recruiting Company.

    As thick curtains of smoke cleared, more than 15,000 Paratroopers emerged in a massive formation led by Maj. Gen. Erik Kurilla and Command Sgt. Maj. Michael A. Ferrusi, the 82nd Abn. Div. command team.

    Ferrusi shared words of encouragement and motivation with the future Soldiers upon conclusion of the Airborne Review.

    “You defend freedom,” said Ferrusi. “If you are doing this for fame or fortune or personal gain, you are doing it for the wrong reason.”

    “Look to your left and look to your right,” said Ferrusi. “That’s why you’re doing it. You defend freedom.”



    Date Taken: 05.24.2018
    Date Posted: 05.31.2018 17:12
    Story ID: 279085
    Location: FORT BRAGG, NC, US 
    Hometown: BURLINGTON, NC, US
    Hometown: NIAGARA FALLS, NY, US

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