Golden Knights take on Social Media

(photo by Trey Ratcliff

The Golden Knights are once again blazing the trail and setting the standard for all to follow, as they embrace the world of social media. Several members of the Team attended a blogging/social media conference this past weekend in Dallas, Texas and brought back a wealth of information to use in order to further the mission of the Team, which is to connect America with her Army.

Now more than ever, the internet affords organizations the opportunity to reach a huge audience, extending beyond the traditional air show audiences. Americans can learn about the Golden Knights from the comfort of their own home. The Golden Knights began using Facebook over a year ago and Twitter just this year to build a following for the Team and to allow fans to keep up with coming events. The Team already has more than 500 followers on Twitter and more than 4,700 fans on Facebook.

The conference, called OpenCamp, focused on making social media sites easier to use, how to connect to the readers, and how to drive internet traffic to the Team’s website and fan page.

In addition to attending the conference, the Golden Knights also provided tandem jumps for the keynote speakers at the conference. In all, the Team completed more than 25 tandems and three demonstration jumps…and got quite a bit of face time as the passengers and fans “tweeted” and blogged all about their experiences.

The Team arrived Monday evening and stepped off the plane into 103 degree weather. In addition to the heat, other factors made the mission a unique challenge: the tandem camp was to be conducted in the middle of a congested urban area in a suburb of Dallas, called Addison. The landing area was a double soccer field next to the hotel and a school, which added some entertainment to the days, as the school kids screamed in delight as they saw the jumpers land during their recess. Surrounded by trees, tall buildings, wires, and busy roads, the drop zone showcased the jumpers’ precise skill, as they landed their parachutes within a few feet of the target all day long.

Unfortunately, the weather on Wednesday prevented any of the tandems from going up. The tandem team members did two jumps from 3500 feet to showcase the team colors, but the cloud cover never did get high enough to get the tandems up. So the Team had lunch with the passengers and designated Friday as the makeup day.

Thursday dawned clear and blue, and the team managed to perform all 15 tandems! The passengers were ecstatic, and many thought that perhaps a record had been set for the most “tweets” mentioning the Golden Knights ever in one day. Exhausted from a rigorous day of jumping, the team retired to bed in preparation for a long, long Friday.

Friday was a showcase of the Golden Knights’ versatility in their performance ability. The day started at 10:00 am with 12 tandems. The last tandem landed at 2:30pm and the team immediately began preparation for a demo into the homecoming football game for the School next door. They jumped in the game ball, the coin for tossing, and even tandem jumped the school’s athletic director! No sooner did they land, than they had to rush off to the airport to prep for the night demonstration jump into the opening ceremony for the OpenCamp. SGT Rachel Medley jumped in to narrate with the pyro chain and the state flag, and the rest of the team lit up the twilight Texas sky with smoke and pyro, as they tandem jumped in the head organizer of OpenCamp, John Pozadzides. If it wasn’t for John, the Golden Knights would never had been so positively influenced by the OpenCamp experience. He was key in helping to organize the tandem camp and the demonstration.

With the week’s jumps over, the tandem team said farewell to the Team members who were going to stay and attend the conference. SFC Dave Herwig and SGT Rachel Medley, along with LTC Martin and SGM Young and Mr. Michael Battise from the Media Relations department stayed to attend.

At the completion of the weekend’s classes, SGT Medley and SFC Herwig felt a bit overwhelmed, but totally prepared to meet the challenge of stepping up the Team’s social media presence. The Commander and Sergeant Major got a chance to see what social media entails and how it can help the team spread its message. All involved agree that the trip was well worth the trouble, and that there is no doubt it will be a useful tool for the Team.

Stay informed about the activities and whereabouts of the Golden Knights by following us on twitter and check out our Facebook Fan page . Also check out some of the other stories written about the entire event by attendees and tandem passengers.  You can also search for OpenCamp and #OCDFW.

    GeekBeat.TV -  Cali Lewis Blog
    Scott Ellisposted many pictures                                   
    The Real Deal - Trista Perot

    Army Strong Stories – Dave Curlee talks about his day with the Team
   Army Strong Stories – SGT Rachel Medley talks about her Army Strong Story
   Army Strong Stoies- SSG Jared Zell gives his Army Strong Stoies
    Army Strong Stories – Lee Odden of 

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