When the soldiers get on stage, they trade their Army fatigues and boots for dancing shoes.
Each has a rank and a story, but for the 90 minutes the soldiers are in front of a crowd, their mission is to entertain.
The 2011 U.S. Army Soldier Show is made up of enlisted soldiers who use their talents to entertain fellow soldiers on bases across the country.
On Sunday, the group stopped at Fort Gordon for a show attended by about 800 soldiers and civilians after two performances held Saturday.
“It’s really a break from our routine,” said Pvt. Dwayne Strickland, 22, as he walked into the auditorium in Alexander Hall.
The performance is an ongoing mix of dancing, singing, and musical acts, with a carnival theme.
At the beginning of the show, performers sang a version of hip-hop artist B.O.B’s Nothin’ on You before a group of women in dresses and sunglasses took over singing Katy Perry’s California Gurls.
“We train hard and we fight hard, so when it comes time for a little R&R, we relax with our friends and family,” a performer dressed as a circus ring master said, screaming over the crowd.
Fort Gordon Installation Entertainment Director Steve Walpert said the performance is a stress reliever for soldiers on post.
“It’s for the soldiers and their families, and it’s also a great way for the soldiers and them to interact with the community,” Walpert said.
“It shows the public that soldiers are more than marching in boots and shooting guns.”
Enlisted soldiers in the Soldier Show are chosen each year through auditions and applications by the U.S. Army Family and MWR entertainment program, Walpert said.
The soldiers get permission from their units to travel with the group across the country and abroad but must keep up with physical training and other Army requirements.
The group is responsible for unloading and loading the tractor-trailers full of production equipment, along with holding performances.
“It’s not an easy job,” Walpert said.
“They’re always working.”