After receiving the notorious DD214, the stress of the Army starts to fade away. From the never-ending details to the early no reason work calls, this trivial stress becomes something of the past. As the new chapter of life begins, and that beginning will swiftly occur no matter how many “chill” months you take, you start to miss some things. This wave of nostalgia hits with the thoughts of the friends made, the community formed, and believe it or not, the jumping. While sitting in class nodding off to your math teacher droning on about the Pythagorean theorem you will start daydreaming about the wild times you had with your friends. While at your office job listening to some suit talk about nothing you will start thinking about your platoon on some FTX. While driving in the car on the way home, you’ll look at the smog-filled sky and think about the views jumping Malemute. Smile. It is ok that you moved on to the next chapter, but what if you could still jump and be a part of the community?
That is exactly what Round Canopy Jump Team (RCPT) aims to do. They conduct demonstration jumps at airshows across the US annually and typically conducts 2 training and proficiency events each year (March and October) in Palatka, Florida. These commemorative airborne operations reinforce the worldwide memory of the Paratroopers of our past while inspiring others to take up the canopy themselves. Recently, my good friend Daniel Sharp, known to everyone as @pop_smoke_official, received the opportunity to jump with @rcpt_usa and had an absolute blast. Here is what he had to say:
“The Airborne community is much like the Marine Corps. Fiercely loyal to their history and are fanatical in its application. I’m very lucky that I received a glimpse behind the curtain and was able to hang my knees in the breeze with the men who jumped into Panama and Normandy.” - Dan Sharp (@pop_smoke_official)
RCPT is one of the many jump teams out there and I encourage everyone to look and see if they have anything local. Dan and I both believe that the best way to help with the transition is to find a way where you can still be involved in the community without impeding on your next chapter. Round Canopies' Motto is "more than just a jump" which I think speaks directly to how our community is, though we form around the application of Airborne operations, that is not all there is to us.
Go check them out at @rcpt_usa or www.rcptusa.org