General Joseph F. Dunford, Jr. Embarks On His First-Ever USO Holiday Tour as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

Accompanying America's highest-ranking military officer are Elizabeth Banks, Sydney Castillo, Chris Daughtry, Heath Hembree, Kyle Jacobs, Brett James, Billy Montana, David Wain and Steven Wright


ARLINGTON, Va., Dec. 8, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- WHAT: USO Holiday Tour led by Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joseph F. Dunford, Jr.

WHO: Emmy nominated actress, producer and director, Elizabeth Banks
Stand-up comedian, actor, producer and writer, Sydney Castillo
Frontman of the four-time Grammy-nominated rock band Daughtry, Chris Daughtry
Boston Red Sox pitchers, Heath Hembree and Steven Wright
Songwriters, Kyle Jacobs, Brett James and Billy Montana
Co-creator, executive producer and director of Netflix' Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp, David Wain

WHEN: December 2015

Various locations

Notes.  1) For security reasons, the country names and tour dates cannot be released at this time.  2) For a link to USO photos visit

WHY: General Joseph F. Dunford, Jr. is kicking off his new appointment as the 19th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on a joyous note as he leads his first-ever USO holiday tour abroad.  Accompanying the Boston native on his six-day, five-country trip are Emmy nominated actress, producer and director Elizabeth Banks; stand-up comedian, actor, producer and writer Sydney Castillo; frontman of the four-time Grammy-nominated rock band Daughtry, founder Chris Daughtry; Boston Red Sox pitchers Heath Hembree and Steven Wright; songwriters Kyle Jacobs, Brett James and Billy Montana; and co-creator, executive producer and director of Netflix's Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp David Wain.  This trip marks the sixth USO tour for Jacobs and third for Daughtry – who have collectively visited 12 countries and entertained more than 29,500 service members and their families since '10 – and the first for the rest of the group.

General Dunford continues a long-standing tradition of partnering with the USO and leading a group of actors, musicians, comedians and athletes to visit, entertain and bring a touch of home to service heroes and their families abroad.  A legacy, which began 15 years ago when the USO first partnered with the Office of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, this year's tour is scheduled to visit six military bases, host five variety show style concerts and bring cheer to virtually every branch of the US Armed Forces.   

Sworn in as America's top military officer on Sept. 25, General Dunford is the principal military advisor to the President, Secretary of Defense and National Security Council.  Prior to officially becoming Chairman on Oct. 1st, he served as the 36th Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps. 

 Attributed to J.D. Crouch II, CEO and President, USO:

"Nearly 200,000 of our nation's service men and women are overseas, separated from their family and friends, and all the comforts of home this holiday.  I am honored to join General Dunford and the amazing talent on this year's Chairman's USO Holiday Troop Visit who have volunteered their time to help us bring a touch of home to those who deserve our appreciation, the men and women of the armed forces." 

Attributed to Daughtry:

"It is amazing each and every time we get a chance to go out and do something for our troops.  They have the real job. They do the hard work and we get to have fun and play music for a living because of them.  So, anytime I can link up with the USO to visit and perform is always awesome and is our way of saying thank you."

Attributed to Kyle Jacobs:

"This trip marks my sixth USO tour in five years and the first time without my lovely wife, Kellie Pickler.  She really wanted to be with me and visit our troops but couldn't make it out this time; so I am accompanying songwriter friends Brett and Billy.  We are really looking forward to continuing to having some jam sessions with our troops." 
About the USO

The USO strengthens America's military service members by keeping them connected to family, home and country, throughout their service to the nation. At hundreds of locations worldwide, we are united in our commitment to connect our service members and their families through countless acts of caring, comfort, and support. The USO is a private, non-profit organization, not a government agency. Our programs, services and entertainment tours are made possible by the American people, support of our corporate partners and the dedication of our volunteers and staff.

In addition to individual donors and corporate sponsors, the USO is supported by President's Circle Partners: AT &T, the BNSF Railway Foundation, Clark Construction Group, LLC, The Coca-Cola Company, Johnson & Johnson, Kroger, NFL and Four-Star Partners: BIC, ConAgra Foods, FedEx, GEICO, JCPenney, Lockheed Martin, Microsoft, Procter & Gamble, Starbucks, TKS and the Wawa Foundation. We are also supported through the United Way and Combined Federal Campaign (CFC-11381). To join us in this important mission, and to learn more about the USO, please visit

A photo accompanying this release is available at:


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