The Golden Knights is the U.S. Army's extreme skydiving team - these are the guys who jump out of airplanes for a living. They are the best of the best, and ABC News' Pentagon reporter Luis Martinez recently got to take a ride with them.
The skydivers serve as ambassadors of the Army - performing at air shows, in competitions, and taking people on tandem jumps. President George H W Bush has jumped with the Golden Knights several times, most recently for his 85th birthday.
Sgt. 1st Class Aaron Figel says he has a "normal" job, with medical benefits and a decent paycheck. Except his job is to jump out of airplanes several times a day. By his count Figel estimates he has about 3,075 parachute jumps under his belt, roughly 650 of them tandem jumps.
"It's a dream job. You saw, what did my office look like? I get to travel around the country and meet interesting people, and represent the Army," said Sgt. 1st Class Aaron Figel.
Also accompanying Martinez on his tandem jump was Staff Sgt. Reece Pendleton, who gave ABC's camerawoman a run for her money. Pendleton jumps alongside tandem jumpers with both a video camera and a still camera strapped to his helmet. He aims the video camera by using a sight in front of his right eye. At the same time he snaps still pictures by flicking his tongue against a shutter button located on the back of his teeth.
If you're going to jump out of a plane at 13,500 feet, or two and a half miles above Earth, these are the guys you want to do it with.
Check out this week's Political Punch for more on this elite skydiving team, and to catch a bird's eye view of the trip down.
ABC's Sunlen Miller and Richard Coolidge contributed to this report.
- Politics & Government
- President George H W Bush