EDITOR'S NOTE: An earlier version of this story incorrectly reported the proper general's rank for Maj. Gen. LaWarren Patterson.
From special versions of Christina Aguilera’s Stronger to Lady Gaga’s Marry the Night, the U.S. Army Soldier Show used pop songs reimagined for a patriotic audience during an energetic show at Fort Gordon on Monday.
In an early VIP performance for high-ranking Fort Gordon officers and soldiers in Advanced Individual Training, the Army showcased its most talented active-duty officers in a show dubbed “Army Strong.”
“It was a job well done,” Maj. Gen. LaWarren Patterson said.
He said the show brought a few things to mind, including duty, education, reaching for the top and that “people are at the center of what we do.”
The show opened with Spc. Franz Fabricante, who was stationed in Hawaii, beatboxing to get the crowd of a few hundred soldiers warmed up. The performers, who were all pulled from active duty for a year to tour the world performing, showcased talents ranging from dancing to singing and rapping.
The set had a large video screen that provided the background for each number. When the screen turned into a simulated barracks and the performers came out in physical training uniforms, the audience laughed and cheered.
Sgt. Drake DeLucca took the stage at the beginning of the show and explained that each performer is “a professional soldier first.”
He said their dedication and hard work help make life a little lighter for each audience of soldiers.
“That’s the heart and soul you will only get from a soldier,” he said.
The show, in its 29th year, drew on familiar experiences for soldiers, including sad goodbyes and joyous reunions.
“It was full of energy,” said Kenya White, of Columbia, who was visiting to see her friend, Staff Sgt. Felicia Mitchell, perform. “It made me want to join the Army.”