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399TH ARMY BAND
 FORT LEONARD WOOD, MISSOURI -

Army Band drummer Staff Sgt. Michael Joseph is Fort Leonard Wood’s Rising Star

By Melissa Buckley
399th Army Band

News story photo
Photo credit: Melissa Buckley
Staff Sgt. Michael Joseph rocks the house with a soulful version of “Home” by Marc Broussard. Joseph won Fort Leonard Wood’s Operation Rising Star vocal competition Oct. 24 at the John B. Mahaffey Museum Complex.
Staff Sgt. Michael Joseph, a 399th Army Band drummer, put down his sticks and picked up a microphone to become Fort Leonard Wood’s 2014 Operation Rising Star winner.

Army Entertainment is celebrating the 10th season of Operation Rising Star this year with a “Soldier for Life” theme. The Fort Leonard Wood Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation hosted the competition Oct. 23 and 24 in the John B. Mahaffey Museum Complex.

Finishing in second place was Sgt. Rebecca Padgett from the 14th Military Police Brigade, and third place went to Staff Sgt. James Clark from the Maneuver Support Center of Excellence.

Staff Sgt. Michael Joseph rocks the house with a soulful version of “Home” by Marc Broussard. Joseph won Fort Leonard Wood’s Operation Rising Star vocal competition Oct. 24 at the John B. Mahaffey Museum Complex.

Judges critiqued and provided feedback following each performance. Audience members were provided ballots to cast their vote for their favorite contestant.

Contestants sang one song acapella the first night and two songs of their choice on the second night of competition.

Joseph’s first song choice was “Home” by Marc Broussard, which he sang accompanied by his guitar. The second song he performed was “What a Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong.

Joseph won $500 and the chance to compete in the worldwide finals in San Antonio. Second place received $250 and third received $100.

A $300 Spirit Award was given to the unit that came out in full force for their favorite contestant — this year’s winner was the Maneuver Support Center of Excellence Headquarters and Headquarters Company.

Because the time for local competitions is short, two “wild card” active-duty service members will be selected from online video submissions to compete in the finals.

A panel of judges will select the wild-card winners and one garrison winner from each of the four regions — Europe, Atlantic, Central and Pacific. The finalists will be announced Nov. 12 at www.OpRisingStar.com.

Finals week is scheduled for Dec. 6 to 12, at the Fort Sam Houston Theatre, home of Army Entertainment. Shows are recorded with a live audience Dec. 6, 8, 10 and 12.

They can be viewed at www.OpRisingStar.com, on Dec. 7, 9 and 11, beginning at 9 a.m., each day.

Viewers will have 24 hours to vote for their favorite performers after each round. The winner will be revealed Dec.13, at www.OpRisingStar.com, where the contest rules also are posted.

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