The Golden Knights prides itself on being the most highly qualified parachutist in the world. We were founded in 1959 not only to compete against the Soviets who were dominating the new sport of skydiving, but to also test and evaluate new equipment and freefall techniques. It became apparent that we had to be subject matter experts.
In keeping with that tradition, the Golden Knights invited Mr. Mark Procos, General Manager of United Parachute Technologies, to our winter home at Homestead Air Reserve Base in Homestead, FL; to run a Tandem Examiner course for 5 of our most qualified Tandem Team instructors. A Tandem Examiner is a person specially qualified to teach a Tandem Instructor course and certify aspiring candidates as Tandem Instructors. The Examiner is the subject matter expert on all things related to tandem skydiving. This gives credibility to the Golden Knights as being experts and leaders in our field. As Golden Knights we represent over 1.2 million Soldiers, and as America expects them to be experts in their field, so must we. The American public deserves nothing less.
The Golden Knights have had the luxury of having Examiners assigned to the Team to teach other teammates to become instructors, however most of them have moved on or retired. With SFC Greg Windmiller being the lone survivor, it was apparent that we needed to sustain our tandem program with new examiners. Mark Procos along with SFC Greg Windmiller assisting, certified SFC Joe Jones, SSG Aaron Figel, SSG Joe Abeln, SSG Jon Ewald and SSG Noah Watts last week.
We would like to publicly thank Mark for his time and efforts. His vast knowledge of tandem skydiving and the Sigma Tandem system that we use on the Team has taught each of us new things and has made us better instructors ourselves.