US Army Soldier Show: Kaiserslautern corporal makes homecoming curtain call

by Rick Scavetta
U.S. Army Garrison Kaiserslautern

Early one cold January morning, as Cpl. Tiffany Ruff drove her black Honda Civic down the autobahn to a weekend Army Reserve drill, she wasn’t thinking about entertaining fellow Soldiers in Kaiserslautern.

Yet, a few months later, Corporal Ruff was doing just that – singing and dancing with the U.S. Army Soldier Show, a traveling troupe of enlisted entertainers who performed June 8 in Vogelweh, the final stop of the show’s European tour.

For Corporal Ruff, 26, who serves with the 406th Human Resource Company at Daenner Kaserne, the Kaiserslautern show was a special performance, she said.
“This is my dream,” she said. “I’m fulfilling my dream.”

By age 5, Corporal Ruff began singing in church back home in Memphis, Tenn., where her family was known for musical talents. But Corporal Ruff also had aspirations to become a Soldier, she said. After high school, she joined the Army and was assigned as a cook with the Ansbach, Germany-based 2nd Battalion, 159th Aviation Regiment.

While in uniform, she sought opportunities to perform. In 2007, while deployed to Balad, Iraq, she sang at the base chapel. Upon returning to Germany, she joined the Army Reserve and in 2010 auditioned for the Soldier Show. 

The eight-month tour began April 29. The European leg began in mid-May and included stops in Grafenwöhr, Schweinfurt, Wiesbaden, Baumholder, Oberammergau, Heidelberg, Ansbach and Stuttgart. By the tour’s end, the Soldiers will have performed more than 100 times at U.S. Army garrisons worldwide.
The show’s carnival-like atmosphere wowed the crowd at the Vogelweh gym. Musical numbers ranged from covers of Charlie Daniels’ “Devil Went Down to Georgia” to Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance.” Performances also included international songs from Africa, Latin America, Nepal and Samoa. 

Denise Miller, deputy to the U.S. Army Garrison Kaiserslautern
commander, was very impressed with the performance, especially the variety of music, singing and dancing, she said.

“This show was absolutely awesome,” Ms. Miller said. “It always amazes me how much talent we have in the Army — Soldiers from all walks of life. They put on a first class Broadway show.”

Toward the end of the show, when Corporal Ruff announced she was from Kaiserslautern, the audience roared with applause.

“My heart started racing,” she said. “It felt wonderful to come back home to a crowd of warming people. I was ecstatic.”