Team V Airman selected for Tops in Blue
By Jennifer Green-Lanchoney , 30th Space Wing Public Affairs
/ Published February 16, 2012
VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- The United States Air Force is known to boast air and space superiority to achieve the mission.
One Vandenberg Airman's skill set has been chosen for another elite Air Force mission beyond air and space.
Airman 1st Class Alex Allred, a 614th Air and Space Operations Center knowledge operator will be joining Tops in Blue as an instrumentalist for 2012.
Tops in Blue is a 35-member group of active duty Air Force members who tour the world and provide entertainment to those stationed stateside and abroad.
Allred competed against more than 80 blue suiters at the annual Air Force Worldwide talent search held at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas.
This was not the first time that Allred had tried out.
"I first applied when (Tops in Blue) came out (to Vandenberg) in September for audio engineer and piano," said Allred. "They didn't pick me, but kept my record on file."
He was asked by Tops in Blue to audition in their worldwide talent search in December.
"I auditioned on piano and violin and they accepted me on as their piano player," said Allred.
The Utah native has been involved with music for most of his life.
"My mother started me off on piano lessons," said Allred. "I was (also) classically trained in violin."
Although Allred will be primarily playing piano while performing with Tops in Blue, he can also play many other instruments to include guitar, bass, drum, violin, cello and viola.
"While at home I played in several youth symphonies," said Allred.
After hearing of his acceptance into Tops in Blue, Allred let his family know of his success.
"I talked to my parents over the phone," said the 23-year-old. "I couldn't see their faces, but they sounded ecstatic."
Hailing from a musical family, Allred and his brother have collaborated from time to time over the last four years.
"I am excited for this opportunity for him," said Spencer Allred, Alex's brother and fellow musician. "I hope that he will gain appreciation for the work and being on the road. It will be hard work."
While Allred has years of musical experience in the civilian sector, this will be his first within the military.
"It's definitely a different mentality in Tops in Blue," said Allred. "You have the standards of the military behind you and it puts a lot more pressure on you (to perform well)."
Allred will report to Lackland in March to begin his 60-day training period.
"It is what I love to do," said Allred. "This is a great opportunity. I'm excited for it."