The Strategic Army Command Parachute Team, or STRAC, was formed in 1959 by Airborne Soldiers from various military units. Brigadier General Joseph Stilwell Jr. gathered these soldiers with the original intent to compete during the Cold War effort. This new U.S. All-Army team swept the international competition circuit in what was then the Soviet dominated sport of skydiving. Later that year on November 1st, this newly formed team performed their first demonstration in Danville Virginia.
The “Golden Knights” weren’t son-named until 1962 after the team had earned its reputation for bringing home gold medals. ‘Golden’ symbolizes the ability to bring home the gold while ‘Knights’ refers to how the team had “conquered the skies” while portraying the team members as champions of a specific set of ideals and principles that the Army values. For over 50 years the Golden Knights have been wowing audiences at air shows and competitions. The Golden Knights have two demonstration teams, the Black and the Gold teams. They also have two competition teams, Four-Way Formation” and “Style Accuracy.”
The parachutists on the team are chosen from U.S. Army Paratroopers who have demonstrated excellence in their parachuting skills. The team is a part of the U.S. Army Accessions Command’s Accession Support Brigade, and is stationed at Fort Bragg, NC. The team tests and evaluates new parachuting equipment and techniques in order to improve the safety and efficiency of the military freefall teams.