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Released November 23, 2004

U.S. ARMY GOLDEN KNIGHTS TO PARACHUTE
INTO SOUTHERN MISS-CAL FOOTBALL GAME

HATTIESBURG - As a part of pre-game festivities for The University of Southern Mississippi's football game against California on Dec. 4, the U.S. Army Golden Knights, the Army's premier parachute demonstration team, will jump into M.M. Roberts Stadium.

The Black and Gold Demonstration Teams of the U.S. Army Golden Knights spend more than 230 days a year entertaining millions of spectators around the world. Over the past 43 years, the teams have performed more than 12,060 live aerial demonstrations at air shows and special events in all 50 states and over 47 countries, earning them the title of the "Army's Goodwill Ambassadors to the World."

"The team demonstrates skill, esprit de corps, team cohesion and discipline. We also represent the Army values and are role models to all," said Sgt. Maj. Michael R. Deveault, the Golden Knights' top enlisted soldier.

Being the goodwill ambassadors for the U.S. Army is a big job, one the U.S. Army Golden Knights thrives on, Deveault said. Members of the Golden Knights do their best work at 12,500 feet above the earth's surface, racing to the ground at speeds in excess of 120 mph before deploying their parachutes and executing their famous precision landings.

The Golden Knights have a threefold mission: to perform aerial demonstrations to the public and promote the Army and its recruitment effort; to compete in national and international parachuting competitions; and to test and evaluate new parachuting equipment and techniques for improved operations and safety. The team performs more than 27,000 jumps annually before an estimated 12 million people.

To boast the Golden Knights' proud heritage and ties to the Hattiesburg area, the community is proud to claim a former Golden Knights commander, retired Maj. Roy Martin, as one of its own. Martin received the Army's second highest award for valor and heroism, the Distinguished Service Cross, for service in Vietnam and was commander/executive officer for the Golden Knights from 1961-1965.

Before and during the game, the public is invited to visit the Golden Knights' display adjacent to the stadium to get autographs and information, climb the U.S. Army Rock Wall, see the Army HMMWV, and toss a football for prizes sponsored by the Hattiesburg area Army recruiting command.

For more information, contact Maj. Greg Hargett at 266-4460 or gregory.hargett@usm.edu or Lt. Col. Kevin Dougherty at 266-4456.

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November 23, 2004 4:35 PM