A Final Tribute to SSG Eric Holman

As the Golden Knight Demonstration and Tandem sections arrive at Homestead, FL, we begin to prepare for the new season to represent America’s Army. However, before we begin, we recognize one last tribute from 2012. As most followers know, Staff Sergeant Eric Holman, a 4 year member of the Gold Demonstration Team, was killed this past August, by an enemy improvised explosive device in Afghanistan.

Holman always had every detail of his life planned out. With his passing, few were surprised how he had his own memorial planned out- to the smallest detail. Being a fellow Golden Knight, he asked for his ashes to be released in free fall, on his birthday, by his Golden Knights Teammates, over the drop zone where he learned to skydive just outside of Pittsburgh.

Holman, 39, of Evans City, PA.; assigned to 192nd Ordnance Battalion, 52nd Ordnance Group, 20th Support Command, Fort Bragg, N.C.; died Aug. 15 in Godalia, Ghazni province, Afghanistan, of wounds caused by an improvised explosive device. His wishes were followed to the letter. Family, friends, his former brothers on the Golden Knights, and his most recent brothers with his Ordnance Battalion all assembled on November 20th to celebrate Eric Holman’s life and witness the arrival to his final resting place.

Holman logged more than 2800 free fall parachute jumps, 1000 tandems and 21 military static line jumps. It was our honor to perform one last jump with a father, son, dear friend, teammate and permanent brother.

We will never forget the sacrifices paid by our fellow brothers and sisters, allowing us to reach 2013 and continue our way of life. Thank you to the Holman family for sharing SSG Eric Holman with all of us and allowing him to save the lives of so many fellow Soldiers during his time with us.

http://armygk.armylive.dodlive.mil/2012/08/20/golden-knight-gives-the-ultimate-sacrifice/

http://www.militarytimes.com/valor/army-staff-sgt-eric-s-holman/6568311

 

 

Annual Certification Cycle Rolls On

The skies are blue in Homestead, Florida, where the Golden Knight’s Black and Gold demonstration teams and elite Tandem team are working hard to complete their Annual Certification Cycle.  The days start early in order to get as many training jumps as possible.   The demonstration teams have been working on all facets of the skills required to begin the show season.  These skills include various freefall formations, canopy relative work, target accuracy, and perfecting the narration used during our shows.

Canopy relative work, or CRW, is a newer component of parachuting where one jumper actually flies his parachute right into the hands of another jumper.  There are many different CRW formations that can be performed.   At the bottom of this page, you will see a seven stack built by the black demonstration team.

The newest members of the demonstration teams were in for a great treat with the arrival of Mr. Rob Reider.  Rob, an honorary Golden Knight and world renowned air show announcer, spent a few days sharing his experiences and knowledge with our up and coming narrators. 

The blue skies provide a perfect training environment for high altitude jumps, where the two teams are able to perfect their flights to perform a wide range of freefall formations.  Various team members wear red smoke on their legs to allow the spectator to see the formations from the ground. Once the outside jumpers reach 5,000 feet, they will each turn 180 degrees and streak to their opening point, creating a bomb burst with their smoke trails.  

The most important part of the jump, after the freefall formations and canopy work, is landing on the target.  Target accuracy is practiced and perfected every single jump during the two month certification period.  The jumper must be proficient in reading the wind conditions and maneuvering the parachute in order to land square on the target.

The tandem team has been busy training up the newest tandem instructors and providing tandem parachute jumps to various VIP’s.  The windy Florida weather has provided great experience to help this team prepare for their upcoming tandem camps.  There have been many happy faces coming off the drop zone thanks to this teams hard work.

The Golden Knights will continue to train hard in order to bring America’s Army to America’s Public.  We look forward to seeing you all at our upcoming shows!

Golden Knights First Demonstration of the Year

 

During the annual training in Homestead Florida the new team members learn what it means to become a professional demonstrator and the work that goes into it.  Over the weekend both the Black and Gold Demonstration Teams showed where all that hard work goes by jumping into the Homestead Rodeo.  Since the Golden Knights have been coming to Florida for their training they have also been jumping into the rodeo in support of the local community and to give the new members their first look at how to put on a performance.

 On Saturday the skies were blue with light winds making it perfect conditions for the jump.   As the team left the plane the cheers of the crowd below over took the music that was playing and the voice of the narrator SGT Trey Martin who flew in the POW/MIA flag.   The screams could even be heard by the jumpers after they opened their parachutes and lasted all the way till the last knight touched down.  Sunday was supposed to be a repeat of the fantastic performance except high winds and low clouds forced the team to cancel the jump just minutes before.  Even though the second jump did not happen the people of Homestead still showed their appreciation to the ground crew as they packed up.

 

 

 

 

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