Soldiers assigned to the 1st Infantry Division took part in a mass reenlistment ceremony Sunday ahead of the NASCAR Cup Series AdventHealth 400 race in Kansas City, Kansas, the service announced.
After Master Sgt. Jennifer Champagne’s singing of the national anthem, Brig. Gen. Dean Thompson, commanding general of the 353rd Civil Affairs Command, officiated a group of soldiers in reciting the oath of office.
“I believe it’s important for divisions to lend as much support to the U.S. Army recruiting mission as possible,” Champagne, who serves as operations sergeant for the 1st Infantry Division band, said in an Army press release. “From having our recruiters out here to meet locals; to having our [s]oldiers interact with civilians, both entities inform the local populace about the many positive aspects of joining the Army.”
Soldiers arrived at the Kansas Speedway track early Sunday morning in the lead up to one of NASCAR’s biggest races. Attendees were able to interact with static military displays and speak with explosive ordnance disposal technicians, members of the military police and their four-pawed counterparts — military working dogs.
“Opportunities like this provide an incredible chance for U.S. Army [s]oldiers to redisplay their commitment to their country while connecting with the local Kansas City community,” Pat Warren, the president of Kansas Speedway and a Fort Riley Distinguished Trooper Award recipient, said in the release.
“This event is special for our re-enlistees, as their friends and family who are not here can watch the event on national television. I’d like to believe that this is special for those in the stands watching.”
Zamone “Z” Perez is a rapid response reporter and podcast producer at Defense News and Military Times. He previously worked at Foreign Policy and Ufahamu Africa. He is a graduate of Northwestern University, where he researched international ethics and atrocity prevention in his thesis. He can be found on Twitter @zamoneperez.