Tandem with North Carolinas Teacher of the Year

     On Wednesday, July 18, 2012 The Golden Knights Tandem Team Leader, SFC “world famous” Joe Jones stood in front of a room full of anxious, soon-to-be tandem skydivers at the Golden Knights training drop zone in Laurinburg, NC.  Darcy Grimes, the North Carolina Teacher of the Year 2012-2013 from Bethel Elementary, sat among the crowd as she listened to Team Leader, Joe Jones, inform the small crowd of the basic safety essentials needed for their immediate future. Next, the crowd sat on the edge of their seats as they watched the morale-boosting video montage of The Golden Knights in action. The video, set to an adrenaline-pumping Disturbed track, includes jumps with celebrities such as: Bill Murray, Vince Vaughn, and Geraldo Rivera. After viewing the exhilarating video, the audience is asked to sign their life away. Gasps fill the room as they receive their last instructions: “Your feet will be right on the edge of the door.” Filled with excitement and anticipation, the crowd stands up and begins to make their way to the hanger.

     Darcy Grimes, along with others, began to suit up and meet the Tandem Team member that she would soon be trusting with her life. The crowd made their way out of the hanger into the scorching hot, but beautiful weather so that they could witness the Golden Knights in action. After patiently awaiting her turn for the thrilling experience, it was finally time. Right before boarding the plane, Darcy looked at the camera and said: “ Thank you so much for this opportunity—I’m so excited!” The plane then began to ascend, offering the anxious jumpers a new perspective of the ground they were just standing on. As reality began to set in, Joe Jones looks to the camera and says: “I’m about ready to throw a teacher out of a plane!” Shortly after, Darcy Grimes put her feet on the edge of the plane, and dove right into open air, and an experienced that would stick with her for a lifetime. As Darcy landed safely to the ground, she flexed her muscles and shouted: “I am Army strong!”

 

 

 

 

Hottest Place in US Features the Golden Knights

The Great City Overview

Sweltering triple digit temperatures did not prevent over 600,000 fans from coming out to see The US Army Parachute Team, Golden Knights at Gary’s South Shore Air Show this weekend.

Sparkling Golden Knights

Multi-talented members of the Gold Demonstration Team gave an all star performance this weekend opening the show on the shore of the beach literally with a glimmering bomburst of sparkling pyro lighting up the pitch black skies of Gary.

"NightLine" up

The weekend’s tripleheader began with the normal FAA Briefing with the Pilots, CSM Royce Manis and Team leader, SFC JD Berentis.

 

 

SGT Trey Martin and SSG Brian Karst headed down to the Beach to do interviews for the Post Tribune with Jerry Davich and a WLPR, 89.1-FM remote broadcast live from the 13th Air Show over Marquette Park.

Meanwhile, SSG Tom Melton and SFC Dustin Peregrin attended an event hosted for a Make-a-Wish group held at the Gary Jet Center where they spent time with the children, signed autographs and distributed photos and stickers.

Aviation Hard at Work

Aviation crew chief SGT Austin Bowman, and the team pilots Mr Allen Aber and CW4 Jason Davis followed their traditional mission checking procedures and preparing the team F-27 Friendship Fokker for a safe flight.

Saturday and Sunday the team began the presentation dropping wind drift indicators followed by the playing of the National Anthem as narrator for the day, SGT Brian Karst jumped in the American Flag.

SSG Tom Pryjda

 

 

Team Leader SFC JD Berentis

Seven other members of the Gold Team jumped in, with three of the parachutist flying the Illinois, Indiana and Army Strong Flag on to the sandy beach in front of thousands of exhilarated cheering fans.

As soon as everyone touched down they gathered their gear and hustled to a van for the 40 mile ride back to the Jet Center to load up and launch again for the 2:30pm time on target.

Planes Orbiting Around Jumper

 

They prepped for the second demo, briefed the media, which was accompanying them and did a quick dirt dive (ground reenactment of the maneuver planed for the mass jump) and up to 9000 feet for the last performance of the day.

 

 

Representing Soldiers Everywhere

Following the last demo the entire team headed over to the Army Recruiting booth to sign autographs and greet the American public.

What aView of the City

It is not all stars and glitter as one may think for these dedicated, professional Soldiers who claim an office in the sky to do their jobs on a daily basis. There is extensive underlying work done for months, weeks and days in the preparation of each and every performance.

 

 

 

Meetings, schedule changes, POC’s, biographies, FAA waivers, lodging, vehicles, television, radio interviews and media rides are just  a few of the detailed issues, which all have to be arranged and coordinated beforehand.

Dirtdive

The Army’s “Golden Knights” are the only Department of Defense sanctioned aerial Parachute Demonstration Team. They traverse across the country as “Ambassadors of the Army” to help encourage and mentor aspiring youth to pursue the multiple opportunities available with the Army.

 

SFC Andrew Starr

Recruiters

How Many GK Autographs Can I Get?

Roy D. Martin

CPT Roy D. Martin

It is with heartfelt sorrow that we announce that Original US Army Parachute Team member Roy Dophele Martin, the USAPT’s very first Executive Officer (1960-62), and its second commanding officer (1962-65) lost his horrific battle with cancer on Monday, July 2, 2012 at the Veterans Administration Nursing Home in Collins, Ms.

 Roy was a giant of a man, not just in stature, but in the legend he leaves behind for his family, former team mates and current Knights,’ which he fought to blaze a trail for today. Roy’s License number is D-41,  he was a sky diving instructor and made 1,849 free fall parachute jumps,  his highest jump was 30,000 Feet, and he made over 200 static line jumps during his parachuting career.

Roy’s Military legacy speaks for itself as he participated in Towers Moon, an early test of the tactical use of free fall parachuting. He also was the Officer in Charge and Jumpmaster of the original HALO Test project and was a STRAC Team member and a former Company Commander of B Company 1/8th Cavalry (1965-66.)

These are a few of Roy’s accomplishment during his career with the team from his personal bio. “The team members selected the team name “Golden Knights.” Danny Byard and Dick Fortenberry came up with the name then the team voted for it. I signed off on the name. Team expanded to 5 Officers, 1 Warrant and 40 Enlisted with rank increases to: 3 E-7′s, 6 E-6′s & 20 E-5′s. The Team aircraft was approved of with aviation section. Led the First U.S. Army C.I.S.M Team. The Competition Team placed 2nd overall in Pau France. The Team earned a Superior I.G. inspection rating. Served as the Team leader: U.S. Team 1963, Adriatic Cup Meet placing 2nd overall.P.CA. Served as the Board of director 1962-65.Team was accident free from 1962-65. The Team was re-organized to: Two Demonstration, One Competition and One R&D team. I Departed Team to attend Advance Infantry Officers Course and Assignment to Vietnam.” 

George Torrealba said, “He was an outstanding Soldier, a combat leader that carried a rifle and bullets downrange as well as having a storybook parachuting career. While Commander, he probably sent more Team members to OCS and Flight School than any other Commander. His dedication to the Team and its members never ceased and he never stopped trying to see they received the accolades they earned.”

Casually talking to Roy you could see that he was a gentle soul working with Way Out Farms as a tree farmer, that he loved and had numerous animals, and that he had been a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor for over twelve years. He owned many titles earning a BA degree at the University of Nebraska at Omaha; MS University of Southern MS., Elder Ellisville Presbyterian Church ,President Military Officers Association Pine Belt Chapter, President Mississippi Vietnam Veterans Memorial Committee, Past President Jumping Mustangs Association, Life Member: DAV, VFW, PH, MOA and active member of Ellisville Lions Club.

Roy always attended and thoroughly enjoyed the Team reunions and was sure to stop in at the headquarters facility any time he was in the Fort Bragg area to tell stories and reminisce about the “days of ole.”

Roy was married to the love of his life, Martha Jo Sellers Martin that was always at his side supporting him for over 59 years and had three children he cherished, Rickey, Randy and Michelle and a proud grandparent of five granddaughters: Connie, Kayla, Lauren, Kelsey and Madison.

Funeral services Roy Dophele Martin, 81 of Ellisville, MS will be held at 10:30 a.m., on Friday, July 6, 2012 at Ellisville Funeral Home in Ellisville, MS with Rev.Benjamin P. Glaser officiating. Burial will be in Gandy Cemetery.

Roy you will be greatly missed and we know that you greeted with open arms by many of your old team mates and by Dan Williams who just passed with cancer on 24 June, 2012.

 “Blue Skies, Roy We love you!”  

 

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