SEPTEMBER 14, 2023 – 1st Infantry Division Soldiers participated in a joint service enlistment and reenlistment ceremony at the Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Kansas, on Sept. 10, 2023.
The Soldiers of the Big Red One received public recognition for their unwavering service and dedication to defending the nation.
“Representing the Big Red One at the Kansas Speedway allowed me to share my Army experiences with those in attendance,” said U.S. Army Sgt. Angelica R. Gonzalez, a satellite communications systems operator assigned to Signal, Intelligence and Sustainment Company, Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, 1st Inf. Div. Artillery, 1st Inf. Div. “Seeing the continuous outpouring of appreciation towards our service members is heartening.”
Local communities interacted with Soldiers and experienced hands-on learning as crowds gathered around the Buffalo (mine-resistant ambush protected) vehicle and Joint Light Tactical Vehicle.
“I think the military presence is always great,” said Dirk Huston, a former media operator for the Kansas Speedway. “Having the service members come out to Kansas City shows how much they care about the community.”
After the recruiting event ended, the service members participating in the enlistment and reenlistment ceremony made their way into the stadium. The service members marched onto the field as the crowd cheered their arrival.
“I have never experienced a public reenlistment before, much less in the pit of NASCAR,” Gonzalez said. “It is something unique to stand beside my brothers and sisters in arms to share a moment like this.”
As the clapping subsided, the military personnel raised their right hands. Brig. Gen. Niave F. Knell, 1st Inf. Div. and Fort Riley deputy commanding general of support, led them in reciting the Oath of Enlistment, marking the beginning of the next phase of their careers. After the ceremony, service members gathered their friends and family to watch the race.
The event highlights the 1st Inf. Div.’s commitment to developing exemplary leadership by recognizing exceptional performance.
By Spc. Dawson Smith