Sibling Gospel group The Martins are joining the U.S. Army Recruiting Battalion Nashville list of tandem jumpers as the Army Golden Knights return to Middle Tennessee April 10-13. The singers are scheduled to jump on Wednesday, April 11, entering a list of past jumpers that include names like Darryl Worley, Craig Morgan, Kellie Pickler and members of Little Big Town.
"We have spent our entire lives together," says Judy Martin Hess. "With only three years between us, we have always been close as siblings. While sharing a music career since we were children, we have literally accumulated a lifetime of memories. So it only makes perfect sense that we would jump out of an airplane together!"
The singer says the group feels extremely honored to be selected as jumpers, "The Golden Knights are a group of brave people who keep all of us safe every day by defending our country," Hess shares. "We are eternally grateful for the sacrifices they make. Now we are putting our trust in them to give us an experience of a lifetime!"
Anticipating the event, Lt. Col. Kevin M. Polosky, Commander of the U.S. Army Recruiting Battalion Nashville, says, "We're excited to have one of the U.S. Army's elite units back in the middle Tennessee area this year. Our event last year was quite successful, and we're grateful to have another opportunity this year."
Polosky says tandem jumpers are nominated by local Army recruiters. The jumpers are a diverse group of educators, entertainers, civic leaders and sports figures. Last year, Christian performers Gary Chapman and Brandon Heath both jumped, and due to their popularity, the battalion reached out for a more traditional group.
"We had initially hoped we could get one member of The Martins to jump," Polosky says. "We quickly learned that The Martins are a package deal, and all three were willing to participate."
Tandem jumpers are attached to an experienced Golden Knights' jumper. The pair will exit the aircraft from up to one mile off the ground and then land on Clarksville's Outlaw Field.
The United States Army Parachute Team was founded in 1959. By 1962, the team earned the nickname the "Golden Knights." The color "Golden" signified the gold medals the team had won while "Knights" alluded to the team's ambition to conquer the skies.