Alumnus makes final parachute jump in 75th anniversary demonstration event

By Patrick Bray
DLIFLC Public Affairs


 

Sgt. 1st Class Sunnydale Hyde in 2015 prepares to execute a freefall jump during Operation Toy Drop at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. The operation is the world’s largest combined airborne operation and allows soldiers the opportunity to help children in need everywhere receive toys for the holidays. (U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Sharell Madden/Released)

Sgt. 1st Class Sunnydale Hyde in 2015 prepares to execute a freefall jump during Operation Toy Drop at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. The operation is the world’s largest combined airborne operation and allows soldiers the opportunity to help children in need everywhere receive toys for the holidays. (U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Sharell Madden/Released)

MONTEREY, Calif. – Master Sgt. Sunnydale Hyde will be returning to the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center for the third time Nov. 4, only this time he will jump from the sky as a member of the Black Daggers, the official U.S. Army Special Operations Command parachute demonstration team.

“Being back at DLI as a representative of USASOC is an incredible honor and it is especially significant since this is my last jump as an Army parachute demonstrator,” said Hyde.

The demonstration jump is part of the Institute’s celebration in November of its 75th anniversary as the provider of culturally-based foreign language education, training and sustainment for the Department of Defense dating back to 1941.

Hyde graduated in 1999 from the Basic Persian-Farsi Course at the Institute. Then he returned in 2005 to serve as an initial entry training Drill Sergeant until 2007. Like many alumni, he has fond memories of his time at the Institute.

Golden Knights candidate Sgt. 1st Class Sunnydale Hyde spots his target for a precision landing during his sixth week of tryouts for the U.S Army Parachute Team the Golden Knights in Laurinburg, North Carolina. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. David Meyer, 49th Public Affairs Detachment/Released)

Golden Knights candidate Sgt. 1st Class Sunnydale Hyde spots his target for a precision landing during his sixth week of tryouts for the U.S Army Parachute Team the Golden Knights in Laurinburg, North Carolina. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. David Meyer, 49th Public Affairs Detachment/Released)

“DLI taught me the value of teamwork and the importance of interpersonal relationships.  As difficult as DLI may be, working together is a vital key to success,” said Hyde. “The teamwork I learned as a private at DLI is a pivotal point to success in the world’s greatest special operations environment.”

Hyde went on to use his Persian-Farsi language skills in Army special operations units. He continued his education by completing a Bachelor of Arts in Middle Eastern Languages and History, and is currently working on a master’s in leadership.

After winning the 2013 Special Forces NCO of the Year Competition, Hyde was rewarded with a tandem skydive with the Golden Knights, the U.S. Army’s official aerial parachute demonstration team.

“When I landed, I knew that was what I needed to do. I immediately went out and got my skydiving license. From there, I attended the Golden Knights Assessment and Selection Program with only 35 jumps,” said Hyde. Typically the minimum jumps required is 100.

Hyde made it to the end of the Golden Knights skydiving course, but was not selected for the team.

“That instilled a determination within me to learn and show that I could it. So, I kept training on my own,” said Hyde.

The All Veteran Parachute Team saw his determination and invited him to join their team where he continued to get training.  Later, during the summer of 2014, the Black Daggers invited him to join their team.

Through his determination, Hyde did briefly become a Golden Knight.

Sgt. 1st Class Sunnydale Hyde in 2015 holds a Mickey Mouse stuffed animal that he parachuted with before donating to a child in need as part of Operation Toy Drop at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. The operation is the world’s largest combined airborne operation and allows soldiers the opportunity to help children in need everywhere receive toys for the holidays. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Timothy Koster/Released)

Sgt. 1st Class Sunnydale Hyde in 2015 holds a Mickey Mouse stuffed animal that he parachuted with before donating to a child in need as part of Operation Toy Drop at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. The operation is the world’s largest combined airborne operation and allows soldiers the opportunity to help children in need everywhere receive toys for the holidays. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Timothy Koster/Released)

“In 2015, I attended the Golden Knights Assessment and Selection Program again and was selected to represent the Army as a Golden Knight. However, I was promoted to Master Sergeant and, unfortunately, the maximum rank you can possess to travel with the Knights is Sergeant First Class,” said Hyde.

Still, Hyde is grateful for the opportunity to become a Golden Knight and has enjoyed this portion of his career as he served with the Black Daggers. He has participated in the annual Operation Toy Drop at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, a way for Soldiers to give back to the local community by donating toys to underprivileged children during the holiday season, along with numerous other demonstration events.

“I started my career at DLI and am ending my demonstration parachutist career at DLI,” said Hyde, who reports to Fort Bliss, Texas, as a First Sergeant also in November.

For 75 years the Institute has supported the joint force worldwide and the greater DOD community with its language needs. Resident instruction is provided in 23 languages at the Presidio of Monterey with the capacity to instruct another 65 languages in Washington, D.C., graduating more than 220,000 linguists since 1941. In addition, multiple language training detachments exist at sites in the U.S., Europe, Hawaii and Korea, spanning all the U.S. geographic combatant commands, in support of the total force.



Posted Date: 17 October 2016