Tag Archives: Tops in Blue

Week in Photos, Jan 4, 2013

Staff Sgt. Delia Marchick

Air Force Public Affairs Agency

This is how our Airmen across the globe ended 2012 in the new year’s first Week in Photos.


A C-130 Hercules taxis to its parking spot in Southwest Asia, on Dec. 28, 2012. Snow removal teams used specialized equipment to clear the runways and taxiways after an overnight snowfall covered the flightline with more than three inches of snow. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Chris Willis)


Tops in Blue auditions – cherish, remember each day

By Senior Airman Chadwick McGuire

Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas

An early morning and eventful day comes to an end. A sense of accomplishment and anticipation fills the air for more reasons than one.

Today we got a taste of what the stage will be like on the night of the performance upon completion of our technical rehearsal and preparation with the band.

For some, this was an all too familiar feeling, but to others it was an experience like no other. Fine tuning is the key to the ultimate performance, and the days are flying by as our schedules are filled with appointments, rehearsals, auditions and other preparations.

The highlight of the evening was the evaluation of the contestants’ dancing abilities.

At first, some contestants seemed uncomfortable, but as the music plays and they hear the other contestants rooting for them, they loosen up and break out of their shells. Bonds are being created, friendships are in the making, and a chance of a lifetime is within each contestant’s grasp.

Time will tell what the future holds for each of us, but each day here will definitely be one to be remembered and cherished for a lifetime.

PHOTO: Senior Airman Chadwick McGuire, Goodfellow AFB, Texas, poses for a portrait during the Air Force Tops in Blue audition.  Senior Airman McGuire is one of many instrumentalists auditioning for the 2011 Air Force Tops in Blue worldwide tour. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Vernon Young)

Tops in Blue: It’s not just singing, dancing we do


Pre-show setup












By Airman 1st Class Jette Warnick

I had no idea what I’d be getting into when I joined Tops In Blue for their 2010 tour.

As a fairly new Airman in a family where the last of us to enlist joined when the draft was still in effect, I knew basically nothing about the military as a whole.  A few months after I arrived at my first duty station, Cannon Air Force Base, New Mexico, I noticed signs posted all over the base with a picture of a girl singing and the word, “Audition.”  A music major before I joined the Air Force, I couldn’t resist trying out.

After sending in a video audition and going to the worldwide competition in January, I was surprised and overjoyed when I made it into Tops In Blue.  At this point I’d seen the 2009 team perform and thought I knew what Tops In Blue was all about.

Staging, a three-month process, showed me the work and dedication that was needed to put this tour together.  Performers not only do a show, but are also the roadies.  Before each show, we unload 64,000 pounds of equipment from the trucks and then spend roughly four to five hours setting up the stage.  Each member of Tops In Blue has a specific job to do during this time.  For instance, my area of responsibility is audio, which has me running power cables and setting up speakers.

When the stage is fully set up, we sound-check, and the performers find their own little corner to get ready for the show.  For the females, this can be somewhat of an ordeal initially.  Makeup has to be flawless, and our hair has to be huge in order for the entire audience to see all of us clearly.  Eleven women in what is usually a fairly crowded space, with limited outlets for irons, can be an interesting time.  However, we have never had any trouble with teamwork and looking out for each other.  One way or another, everyone always gets show-ready.

Next is the performance, which is roughly about 1 hour and 45 minutes.  Tops In Blue is a high-energy show with lots of dancing and audience interaction.  We put our all into making our choreography precise and all of our movements big, so that the people sitting in the back of the audience can get just as good of a show as those in the front row.  It can feel like a workout a lot of the time, but for the most part it’s just as much fun as it looks.

After the show, we grab a bite to eat, start tearing down the stage, and load all the equipment back into the trucks.  This takes about another three hours.  We usually end up going home to the hotel around 2 a.m. to catch a few hours of sleep before waking up the next morning and traveling to the next city or base where we will be performing.

We just got done with four shows in a row where we traveled to a different state each morning for another show.  I don’t know how we did it, but the last night, when we were very sleep deprived, was our best show out of the four.

Being a part of Tops In Blue is the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life.  It is mentally and physically exhausting, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything.  I enjoy making people happy, and one of the purposes of this program is to improve morale for those men and women serving in the military and for their spouses and family that support them.  I like being able to impact so many people’s lives in such a positive way by doing something I love.

PHOTO: Members of the Air Force’s Premier Entertainment Showcase, Tops In Blue, set up a stage in preparation for the June 11, 2008, show at Soldier Field. (Photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Steven L. Shepard)

AF Week Day 3: The Day Airmen Were Like Celebrities

The Kennedy Space Center is a pretty cool place, and we made it even cooler. Exactly how, you ask? By making some cameos! The Wings of Blue dropped by– er, I mean down– into Kennedy Space Center. An HH-60 Pave Hawk flew in and landed to support the pararescue static display for Air Force Day, which the crowd loved (thanks to the 920th Rescue Wing pilots who were the ones that flew it in). The AF Honor Guard performed throughout the day, and the crowd must have loved them because they wanted autographs. Tops in Blue and Max Impact also performed to some crowds. It was boiling hot today, but people still enjoyed the entertainment. Of course, Airmen and families had fun hanging out at the KSC too. That’s it for today, but I’m sure tomorrow will be pretty fun as well.

PHOTOS: (Top) Air Force displays and attractions were set up throughout Kennedy Space Center, such as the famous Air Force A-10 Monster Truck.
(Second from top) The 920th Rescue Wing’s HH-60 Pave Hawk flies into Kennedy Space Center.
(Second from bottom) The Air Force Honor Guard performs for a Kennedy Space Center and Air Force Week crowd.
(Bottom) The Air Force Parachute Team, Wings of Blue, jumps down into Kennedy Space Center.
Photos courtesy Auburn Davis, 45th Space Wing Public Affairs