The Golden Knights are the U.S. Army's elite skydivers. Their roots trace back to 1959, when the Army tired of Soviet domination in skydiving competitions. Since then the Golden Knights have distinguished themselves with thousands of competition awards and hundreds of skydiving world records.
While most Golden Knights have active duty combat experience, their involvement with the parachute team is mainly for public relations and recruiting purposes.
Team members come from a variety of Army backgrounds, from infantrymen to cooks, according to team member Dan Cook. New members are accepted each fall during an evaluation period, and those accepted are expected to stay at least four years, in order to pay back the intensive training.