A recently redeployed Soldier, Sgt. Anthony Wallace, with the 40th Mobility Augmentation Co., was named the winner of this year’s local Operation Rising Star competition, beating out seven other contestants during the second round competitions held at the WSMR Community Center, Oct. 24.
“I wasn’t expecting this, this is awesome,” Wallace said when he was announced the winner.
Wallace received the $500 grand prize and will be entered for consideration to perform in the national competition. Wallace’s live performance and a pre-recorded a cappella performance will be submitted to the national Operation Rising Star competition judges in San Antonio, Texas where 12 finalists will be chosen to compete in two rounds. The national competitions will take place at Joint Base San Antonio at the same time as the Soldier Show auditions. If chosen as the all around winner, Wallace will be awarded an all expense paid trip to a recording studio, $1,000 spending money, and an opportunity to win an in-studio experience.
Prior to deploying, Wallace was also recognized during the BOSS Talent Show Competition, where he received a third place award for the instrumental soloist category. Wallace said he discovered he had a talent when he was in high school and credits Fleetwood Mac and The Dave Matthews Band as the music that inspires him.
“I really haven’t thought about where to go from here, but it definitely made my day when they told me,” Wallace said, in an earlier interview.
This year marks the ninth season for the national Army event. The events began locally on Oct. 17 where eight performers were chosen to return to the final round competitions. The winners were chosen in part by a panel of three judges and by the audience’s ballots. Second place winner, Staff Sgt. Douglas Watts, and third place winner, Allison Hoy, were also recognized during the event. A $300 Spirit Award was also presented to the 573rd Clearance Co., the unit with the most spirit throughout the two day competition.
“This is by far the closest knit group I’ve seen out of the 15 months I’ve been here,” said 2nd Engineer Battalion Command Sgt. Maj. Devardy Arnold. “You all deserve a round of applause for coming together as a family.”
The top 12 Army-wide performers will be announced on Nov. 12.