By USAPT Public Affairs Office
June 21, 2016
The United States Army Parachute Team, the Golden Knights, is divided into demonstration, tandem, and competition teams that perform more than 240 parachute shows and tandem jumps each year.
They compete in national and international level competitions in seven categories: style, accuracy, free-fall formation, canopy piloting, canopy relative work, free flying, and vertical relative work.
The Knights have won 490 national championships, 130 world championships, 50 national and 10 world team titles, and have broken 350 world records, including military records held in the Counsel International du Sport Militaire.
In the last three years, they've won 150 gold, 77 silver, and 34 bronze medals making them the most successful DoD sports team and parachute team in the world.
The Knights are the Army's ambassador of good will.
Wearing their distinctive black and gold uniforms, the team represents the "Band of Excellence" and the "Warrior Ethos." Members tell their Army stories, which consist of many different Military Occupational Specialties and various deployments.
The GKs mission is threefold: to demonstrate, compete, and support the recruiting efforts of U.S. Army Recruiting Command, Cadet Command, and the U.S. Army Marketing Research Group through the Army's Tandem Orientation Program.
For recruiting purposes, the Knights are scheduled to perform tandem jumps with Centers of Influence or for sky diving performances on tactical support days at air shows, high schools, colleges, and Future Soldier functions.
Things to consider when scheduling the Knights:
- It costs $4,000 per day to cover the cost of hotel rooms and rental cars for team members.
- Tandem teams are limited at air shows by air space availability.
- Requirements to host the team begin with aviation needs. The Golden Knights have two C31 aircraft. The C31 (Fokker F27 "Troopship") is a high wing, dual engine, turboprop, tri-gear, transport aircraft manned by a 3-person crew. The fuel for a C31 must be JP4/JP5/JP8 or Jet A (approximately 500 gallons daily) priced at the government contract or contract rate. The plane also needs a staging area.
- Check EMM to find out where and when demonstration teams are scheduled.
- Requests should be scheduled at least 30 days in advance.
- Communicate with the recruiter liaison officer and schedule training support days early. This gives the team a chance to understand your objectives and goals.
- Communicate with the GKs to devise a solid plan.
- Operational support is crucial. The show should be well-planned and well-rehearsed. All parties involved with the show and training support day - from the advertising and public affairs chief to the newest recruiter - need to be aware of the plan. The support requirements for the GKs are critical, so become familiar with them. They can be found on the team website http://www.armygoldenknights.com under the 2016 Support Manual Link.
- The GKs have trained free-fall photographers who take digital videos and still photos of COIs tandem jumps.
- Recruiters must be involved. A good table set up with recruiting publicity items and personal presentation items helps with leads ready to commit.
Golden Knights POCs:
U.S. Army Parachute Team
BLDG 3-3327 Butner Rd.
Fort Bragg, NC 28310
Scheduler - Sgt. 1st Class J.D. Berentis
Comm. (910) 907-3207
Event coordinator - Darrin Grim
Comm. (910) 432-9433
Operations NCOIC - 1st Sgt. Dustin Peregrin
Comm. (910) 907-3206
Operations officer - Capt. Darren Ekey
Comm. (910) 907-3131
Media relations director - Donna Dixon
Comm. (910) 396-7423
Senior operations NCO/USAPT liaison - Master Sgt. Winston Castillo
Comm. (270) 300-5714
USAPT liaison - Staff Sgt. Richard Young
Comm. (910) 432-9464