Retired 1st Sgt. to represent USAG-HI at ‘Operation Rising Star’ semifinals

| November 11, 2010 | 0 Comments

Rob McIlvaine
Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation Command Public Affairs

Tracy Ross, a retired first sergeant, will represent USAG-HI at “Operation Rising Star” Armywide semifinals at Fort Belvoir, Va. Ross won first place at the garrison-level in September. The DVD of his performance was judged against 31 other garrison-level first-place winners. (Vickey Mouzé | U.S. Army Garrison- Hawaii Public Affairs)ALEXANDRIA, Va. — A retired first sergeant from Hawaii will represent U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii in the semifinals of the 2010 “Operation Rising Star” singing competition, here.

Tracy Ross won first place in the USAG-HI competition held at the Tropics Recreation Center, Schofield Barracks, in September.

Based on vocal talent and stage presence, Ross, along with other Armywide semifinalists, was selected by 10 professional judges who viewed DVDs of the winners’ performances from 31 installations, and then decided who would perform live at Fort Belvoir’s Wallace Theatre.

Local contests were held at garrison Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation facilities, worldwide, during August and September.

GeNienne Samuels, captain of the Washington Wizard girls’ basketball team and a member of Sweethearts for Soldiers, a volunteer-led nonprofit organization that makes variety tours, will host the finals, a three-night competition.

The winner will be crowned during the final show. The first night, all 12 contestants will compete for six spaces. On the second night, six competitors will go down to three, and the final night, three will compete.
At all competitions, singers will be evaluated by a panel of celebrity judges, including Debra Byrd, “American Idol” voice coach; Michael Peterson, country music singer; and Jack Tilley, retired sergeant major of the Army.

Joining the judges throughout the competition are Josh Gracin, a recording artist and “American Idol” season two veteran; Kandi Burruss, a Grammy Award-winning recording artist and star of “The Real Housewives of Atlanta”; and Bonnie-Jill Laflin, the first NBA female scout for the L.A. Lakers and the actress-model who founded Hounds and Heroes.

“Operation Rising Star is a program of the U.S. Army Entertainment Division, whose motto is ‘For the Soldier, by the Soldier,’” said Tim Higdon, executive producer. “All of our programs, including the Army Soldier Show, are designed to highlight and present the other talents of our men and women serving, and in many cases, their families, as well.

“Operation Rising Star demonstrates, as do all of our programs, that Soldiers and their families are people just like you and me, with talents worthy of recognition and praise,” Higdon continued. “In a lot of ways, programs like this are even more effective in boosting morale because they include Soldiers entertaining Soldiers.

“They’ve been providing entertainment for each other since the days where they sat around a campfire, the night before a battle, telling stories to one another,” Higdon added. “Entertaining each other has always be an integral part of Soldier camaraderie.”
Shows will be aired on the Pentagon Channel and at www.armymwr.com, Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday and Nov. 20 at 8 p.m., EST. Voting will be open for two hours after each performance is aired. 


Category: Community

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *