SFS Airman selected for Tops in Blue
By Airman 1st Class Melissa L. F. Taeu, 355th Wing Public Affairs
/ Published March 26, 2007
Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz. --
A member of the 355th Security Forces Squadron was selected as one of the newest members of the Air Force Tops in Blue and is set to report to Lackland Air Force Base, Texas this month.
Airman 1st Class Jesse Cox, a native of Dayton, Ohio, auditioned for the judges after hearing about the Tops in Blue while at Basic Military Training.
"While in BMT, I was at clothing issue and was humming in line when the manager of the store heard me," Airman Cox shared. "She made me come to the front and sing in front of all of my fellow trainees and the staff members. She later told me about Tops in Blue."
The Tops in Blue program, "serves as an expeditionary entertainment unit to provide quality entertainment from within Air Force resources for the Air Force family, with priority to Air Force personnel stationed worldwide at remote and deployed locations while simultaneously promoting community relations, supporting recruiting efforts and serving as ambassadors for the United States of America and the United States Air Force," as stated on the group's Web site.
Soon after his arrival to D-M, Airman Cox decided to follow the advice of the manager and looked into the Tops in Blue program.
"When I arrived at D-M, my first sergeant, Master Sgt. Pacquin White, worked some magic and got the information necessary," he said. "I then submitted an audition video and was invited to Lackland Air Force Base to audition."
Airman Cox auditioned not for recognition purposes, but for the good of his fellow troops.
"I auditioned because I knew Tops in Blue was an elite family of performers and I wanted to improve my craft and be there to lift spirits when our troops' morale is low," he said. "I think that this is one of the most critical things our troops need. I know what it feels like to be somewhere that seems unreachable, and my spirits are low."
As the requirement for the audition, the 355th SFS member had to prepare a musically diverse show.
"We had a vocal audition, dance audition and a specialty audition," Airman Cox said. "I had to perform at the base theater so I worked closely with many of the vocal coaches to prepare for my show."
Airman Cox's musical training began at an early age with the help of a family member.
"My uncle, Daniel Greene, is a professor of music and has trained me since I was young," he said. "He gave me musical training in classical and contemporary music."
After a brief hiatus from training, his passion for music was rekindled upon completion of high school.
"I have been singing all my life. However, I didn't start doing it hardcore until I got to college," he said. "Then I participated in a college show choir. I also took part in numerous theater classes and performed in many productions, such as, The Christmas Carol and Children of Eden."
His training has proven useful as he joins the renowned group touring the nation and overseas bases.
"I could not believe I made it," he said. "I was overwhelmed and humbled that I was selected. I am grateful for this chance of a lifetime."
Airman Cox admits he could not have done this himself, but with the help of his family, fellow Airmen and friends he was able to accomplish his goal .
"The 355th SFS was very supportive of the whole idea, my first sergeant, the commander and my whole flight really helped and encouraged me to go for this," said Airman Cox. "I want to give a special thanks to God, and special recognition to Senior Master Sgt. Lauren Barboza, Master Sgt. Pacquin White and Tech. Sgt. Allen Guest at the 355th SFS for their prayers and support. They are my mentors and have truly left a mark on me and the U.S. Air Force."
For the 2007 Tops in Blue tour schedule, visit their Website at www. topsinblue.com.