U.S. ARMY GOLDEN KNIGHTS
The Strategic Army Command Parachute Team, or STRAC, was formed in 1959 by “Airborne” Soldiers from various military units. Brigadier General Joseph Stilwell Jr. gathered these soldiers with the original intent to compete during the Cold War effort. This new U.S. All-Army team swept the international competition circuit, in what was then the Soviet dominated sport of skydiving. Later that year on November 1st, this newly formed team performed their first demonstration in Danville, Virginia.
The “Golden Knights” weren’t called the “Golden Knights” until 1962 after the team had earned their reputation for bringing home gold medals. “Golden” symbolizes their ability to bring home the gold, while “Knights” refers to how the team had “conquered the skies” while portraying the team members as champions of a specific set of ideals and principles that the Army values. For 50 years the “Golden Knights” have been wowing audiences at air shows, competitions and most recently, with high profile tandems. The “Golden Knights” have two demonstration teams, the Black and the Gold Team. They also have two competition teams, “4 Way Formation,” and “Style Accuracy.”
The parachutists on the team are chosen from U.S. Army Paratroopers who have demonstrated excellence in their parachuting skills. The team is a part of the U.S. Army Accessions Command’s Accession Support Brigade, and is stationed at Fort Bragg in North Carolina. The team tests and evaluates new parachuting equipment and techniques in order to improve the safety and efficiency of the military freefall teams.