Sgt. Steven Peterson
10th Mountain Division Journalist
The cast and crew of the 2013 U.S. Army Soldier Show visited Fort Drum on Aug. 28 to showcase the "Ready and Resilient" on their tour of installations across the nation.
Hundreds of Soldiers, Family Members and Fort Drum community members packed Magrath Gym for the show.
The 75-minute song-and-dance production by active-duty, Army Reserve and Army National Guard Soldiers uses music to put an entertaining spin on how Soldiers and their Families maintain readiness and resiliency.
"We had to take a good look at what the Army says makes troops and their Families ready and resilient and what mechanisms the country and the world in general are offering to help with resilience," said Victor Hurtado, Soldier Show artistic director. "You know there's a good chance that you're going back out again, so you better be ready."
The show included a number of well-known songs that the Soldier Show cast put an Army spin on. This performance explored what it means to be ready and resilient in today’s Army as a Soldier, spouse, Family Member, survivor, retiree and Civilian.
"The show is very much about illustrating not only ways to get away and be resilient, but also illustrating overarching solutions to certain issues that are facing the military today," Hurtado added.
The show's troops were focused on accomplishing the mission and providing quality entertainment at the same time.
"The material makes sense with the messaging, and it also makes sense to them," Hurtado said. "We're also going to be entertaining. We're going to be singing songs just because they are on the radio."
The cast also introduced SARGE, or Speech Activated Reconnaissance Gathering Entity, which is to the Soldier Show what Siri is to an iPhone, an application that delivers information to electronic devices, such as cellphones, pads and tablets. Throughout the show, Soldiers would lean on SARGE for information about how to deal with everyday life, and like a good Soldier, SARGE always delivered.
"SARGE is a representative of a knowledgeable entity that would be able to lead people in a purposeful direction," said Sgt. 1st Class Henry Slaughter, noncommissioned officer in charge of the group. "He has the Army answers and the human answers."
The crowd of people clapped and cheered for each and every song. With each new topic the show addressed, the actors portrayed events seamlessly by switching the stage and costumes with military precision.
“A lot of practice goes into each show. We have to set up the stage for each installation we visit so that the audience gets a unique experience,” said Pfc. Alberth J. Madrigal, a Soldier from Fort Drum who is attached to the Soldier Show. “It’s really nice to be able to show friends from Fort Drum what I have been working very hard at since I joined the Soldier Show.”
When the show was finished, the Soldiers received a plaque as a token of appreciation from Maj. Gen. Stephen J. Townsend, Fort Drum and 10th Mountain Division (LI) commander, after which the cast went outside to meet the eager crowd. They signed autographs, took pictures and answered questions from audience members.
After greeting the public at Fort Drum, Soldiers packed up and headed for the next installation, where they would highlight readiness and resiliency through song and dance for another group of service members and their