GOLDEN KNIGHTS BLACK DEMONSTRATION TEAM PARACHUTES AT JEFFERSON DAVIS HIGH SCHOOLBy Cadet/2LT Hazelkia House
Cadet/Lieutenant Colonel Pricilla Tejada, her cadet staff, more than 1,000 Davis High School cadets, students, faculty, and community members watched the United States Army Golden Knights Black Demonstration Team parachute from approximately 3,000 feet from a C-31A Troopship Aircraft. For cadets, students, and community members on the Northside of Houston, the opportunity to see a parachute team land on the 50 yard line of their high school football field comes once in a lifetime. Several individuals deserve credit for making this memorable event happen including SSG Robert Eichelberg (Station Commander), SSG Kimberly Robb (Area Recruiter) and SSG Jeffery Chimaw of the Memorial Recruiting Station, Dr. Julissa Alcantar-Martinez, Principal Jefferson Davis High School, CPT Cooper and Fire Team A of the local fire station, MSG (Ret) Angela Byrd and SFC (Ret) Jon Jacob, Davis High School JROTC Instructors. When first approached about the event, Davis High School Principal, Dr. Julissa Alcantar, PH.D responded, “Absolutely, the Golden Knights may perform!” She further stated that this may be the only chance for some of her students to witness a parachute jump, much less the opportunity to observe the Army’s Golden Knight Black Demonstration Team. During the pre-jump coordination visit, the Golden Knights came to the high school survey their landing points. During this meeting, the Davis High School Cadet Battalion Commander, C/LTC Pricilla Tejada, suggested that the JDHS Marching Band should play the National Anthem as the parachute team landed with the national colors. JDHS Band Director, Mr. Eric Jimenez was extremely honored to have the JDHS Marching Band perform.
On the day of the jump, the cadet leaders coordinated to have a local fire department and ambulance present from a local fire house. The Cadet Battalion Technology officer C/2LT Pablo Martinez, assisted in setting up public address system for the Golden Knights Narrator, SGT Thomas Downing. The Jefferson Davis High School Marching Band played “Happy,” by Pharrell to warm up the crowd of onlookers. With more than 1,000 spectators, the C-31A Troopship began its approach around the high school. As SGT Downing narrated, Band Director, Eric Jiminez was given the signal to begin the drum roll for the National Anthem. Carrying the American and Texas Flags, the Golden Knights Black Demonstration Team successfully parachuted on to Davis High School football field. More than 800 cell phones could be seen in the air recording the event. After the team landed safely, cadets, students, and faculty were spoke with the Golden Knights learning about parachute equipment, gear, and training. Cadet 2nd LT Roberto Castillo said, “Even though I was at Present Arms when the team came in, it was an awesome experience to be a part of this historical event.”