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News | April 18, 2024

III Armored Corps rolls into Fort Worth for Meet Your Army events

By Sgt. Jose Escamilla III ARMORED CORPS

 III Armored Corps brought unprecedented support to Texas Motor Speedway and Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Fort Worth, April 12-14, as part of Meet Your Army events at NASCAR race weekend and the Wings Over Cowtown Air Show.

Soldiers and equipment from four Army installations–Fort Cavazos and Fort Bliss, Texas; Fort Carson, Colo.; and Fort Sill, Okla.–came to Fort Worth to introduce members of the public to the Army.

“The U.S. Army is an all-volunteer force, which means it is incumbent upon us to show the American public why serving can be professionally and personally rewarding,” said Maj. Gen. Kevin Admiral, 1st Cavalry Division commanding general, who was the honorary starter for Sunday’s AutoTrader EchoPark Automotive 400. “You can hear about the Army on a commercial or read about it in the news, but there’s nothing like shaking hands with a Soldier and having a face-to-face conversation.”

Before the races and air demonstrations kicked off, III Armored Corps hosted hundreds of area high school students and Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps cadets for a science and technology event at Texas Motor Speedway, April 11. The students were able to get hands-on demonstrations of military equipment and an opportunity to speak with Soldiers about their jobs in the Army.

“Talking to the Soldiers may ignite that passion in them to serve in one of our branches of the military service,” said retired U.S. Army Lt. Col. Richard Crossley, Fort Worth Independent School District JROTC program director. “They gain an understanding of what our military does, not just something they see on TV. They actually have a conversation and a relationship with service members and what it is that they do, so it’s invaluable.”

Over the course of the weekend, approximately 300,000 people attended NASCAR race weekend and the air show. Many of them visited the III Armored Corps’ displays and met with Soldiers.

“(Fort Worth) is very, very welcoming,” said Sgt. Nicole Roney, an automated logistics specialist assigned to 15th Military Intelligence Battalion. “They’re very loving. I even saw a little boy who wanted to take a picture with me, and it made me very proud.”

At Texas Motor Speedway, III Armored Corps displayed an M2A3 Bradley Fighting Vehicle, Joint Light Tactical Vehicle, explosive ordnance disposal robot and MQ-1C Gray Eagle from Fort Cavazos and a M270 Multiple Launch Rocket System from Fort Sill. The displays at NAS JRB Fort Worth included six aircraft from Fort Bliss and a military police patrol vehicle, Army signal equipment and a field dental unit from Fort Cavazos.

“Participating in the Fort Worth events this weekend was a great way to display the 502nd’s unique capabilities,” said Spc. Ricardo Lugo, a preventative dentistry specialist assigned to 502nd Medical Company Dental Area Support. “I am grateful to have been able to share the Army’s dental capabilities as well as my own military experiences with prospective Soldiers, other service members and the general public.”

The 250 CRAFTSMAN Truck Series race on Friday and Andy’s Frozen Custard 300 Xfinity Series race on Saturday kicked off with a flyover by three 4th Combat Aviation Brigade AH-64 Apache helicopters from Fort Carson. The 1st Cavalry Division Honor Guard supported all three NASCAR races.

Before Sunday’s race, Maj. Gen. Admiral administered the oath of enlistment to a group of over 30 Soldiers and enlistees.

“It’s always an honor to preside over these ceremonies, but it adds a lot of weight getting to do it in front of tens of thousands of members of the American public,” said Admiral. “Hearing that massive crowd go silent to show respect for the ceremony was a powerful moment.”

For Staff Sgt. Chiquaya Tucker, this reenlistment was especially meaningful as she reenlisted indefinitely.

“When it’s something that you love, it’s not work for you,” said Tucker. “Do it every day, show up, have fun, protect the country.”

As Meet Your Army weekend came to a close, engines started to roar as Admiral climbed into the starter stand and waved the green flag to signal the start of the race.

“The fans at Texas Motor Speedway were incredible,” said Admiral. “Our Soldiers couldn’t help but leave feeling recharged after feeling all the support from the race fans all weekend.”