Pro Watercross announced that the U.S. Army has signed on to sponsor the 2017 Heyday Pro Watercross National Tour presented by Broward Motorsports.
While the arrangement between the U.S. Army and Pro Watercross is the first of its kind for the U.S. Army, Captain John G. Halbert, company commander, said the partnership with Pro Watercross is a logical step, considering the similarities between the people drawn to the sport and the caliber of individuals the U.S. Army seeks to recruit.
“The U.S. Army is looking for physically qualified individuals and people that are committed to doing something, in general,” Halbert said. “These (Pro Watercross competitors) are all athletes, so we know they are physically qualified, and they are all committed to something that they are willing to work hard for to achieve the goals they set out for themselves. These are the people we want, and the (fans) that attend these events are going to share those same attributes as well.”
In addition to providing supporting sponsorship, Halbert’s recruiting company will be bringing a new tradition to the Pro Watercross series; Halbert will hold an official swearing in ceremony — a formal event where new recruits, or “future soldiers,” as Halbert terms them, will raise their hand in an oath of service, “reaffirming that they are, and why they are, going into the service,” Halbert said.
“This is a partnership we are very excited about, and very proud of,” said Pro Watercross CEO AJ Handler, a U.S. Army veteran himself. “Not only does this continue our efforts to reach beyond the normal, in-industry relationships and to grow the sport, but it emphasizes our support to our country and our commitment to our flag and what it stands for. We open each the Pro Show on Saturday and Sunday at 11 a.m. with the National Anthem, and although we have racers from many countries participating in our tour, I never fail to see due respect shown by both athletes and fans.”
That atmosphere, and the adventurous spirit naturally found in many extreme-sport athletes and fans, is part of what makes Pro Watercross a perfect platform for the U.S. Army’s message, Halbert said.
“The military is not necessarily for everyone, but don’t discredit the opportunity it can provide; if someone wants to enlist for two years, or for a lifetime, the U.S. Army is a great way to jump-start your career,” he said. “Whether you’re working towards money for college, or just need a steady job, the important thing is being willing to raise your right hand and pledge to serve.”