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JBSA continues Fiesta tradition, announces new 2024 Military Ambassadors

  • Published
  • By Olivia Mendoza Sencalar
  • 502nd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO, Texas -- The Military Ambassadors have been around for decades, playing a distinctive community outreach roll as the military’s front-line ambassadors during Fiesta in San Antonio.

“The Military Ambassador Program is one that acknowledges service-members who represent the best in all of us: patriotism, diversity, community engagement, teamwork and inspiration,” said Rey Feo LXXV John McFadden Sr., one of the Fiesta royalty and a retired Air Force lieutenant colonel who has logged thousands of hours as an instructor and fighter pilot..

Each year, units from all services across Joint Base San Antonio select Military Ambassadors to represent their service component professionally and educate the public about the value of serving the country.

“It was an honor and a pleasure to accompany Brig. Gen. Russell D. Driggers to notify our JBSA Air Force Ambassadors in person this year," said Chief Master Sgt. Gilda Alexander, JBSA and 502nd Air Base Wing Command Chief. "The members selected are phenomenal representatives of their respective services and will serve as excellent Military Ambassadors.”

The 2024 Military Ambassadors are:

  • Army Sgt. Benjamin Smith
  • Army Staff Sgt. Jessica Kuhau
  • Marine Sgt. William Hoskins
  • Marine Lance Cpl. Kristen Gonzalez
  • Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Yvette Martinez
  • Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Michael Camacho
  • Air Force Tech. Sgt. Amanda Algueseva
  • Sgt. Edgar BravoAir Force Staff
  • Coast Guard Petty Officer 2nd Class Makinly Cramer
  • Coast Guard Petty Officer 2nd Class Audrey Porter

“To have the ambassadors participate in Fiesta as we celebrate our heritage and culture is testament to them as well as to their leaders who allow them the time to do so,” McFadden said.  “We are proud to support and endorse them as the literal linkage between the civilian and military communities in Military City USA.”

“For Fiesta 2024, we celebrate 'Fiesta for All,'” said Richard Sparr, 2024 Fiesta San Antonio President. “I look forward to sharing the Fiesta experience with them as they actively participate in Fiesta’s opening ceremony, Military Days at the Alamo, historic parades, and many other events that support community and help showcase San Antonio as Military City USA!”

Military Ambassadors will actively be involved in parades, cultural events, food tastings, battle reenactments and other activities during the 11 days of Fiesta and other events throughout the year.

“Although the initial intent of the program was for these ambassadors to represent our services during Fiesta events, the program has evolved into a 12-month commitment to represent our military services in the communities surrounding JBSA throughout the year,” Alexander said.

Every year the event continues to grow in popularity with the military’s presence. To date, the event has grown to more than 2.5 million attendees from across the nation.

Fiesta San Antonio continues to party with a purpose with its oldest tradition by honoring the Alamo Heroes, celebrating the U.S. Armed Forces and San Antonio’s rich cultural history to include diversity and inclusion.

In 1891, Fiesta San Antonio started as a one-parade event called the Battle of Flowers Parade to honor the memory of the heroes of the Alamo and the Battle of San Jacinto.

“My favorite event was always the Battle of the Flowers Parade. I remember watching the beautiful floats and people celebrating Heroes of the Alamo wondering what it would take to be in their shoes celebrating the rich culture of San Antonio,” Algueseva said.

“I'm excited about the countless opportunities they will have to engage with our communities’ members and partners of Military City USA,” Alexander said. “These engagements for some will be their first interaction with our service members. I'm confident this group of ambassadors will serve to strengthen our community relations and partnerships.”