The M1 Abrams Battle Tank armor personnel will be on site to discuss military careers

Nashville – The U.S. Army joins the ninth Annual Red White and Boom Fireworks Spectacular showcasing a 70-ton Army tank July 4 at the Putnam Country Fairgrounds in Cookeville.

An M1 Abrams Battle Tank, armor personnel and maintainers will be talking about their careers as M1 armor crewmembers, who operate, drive and maintain the weapon system. The Abrams is the Army’s primary ground combat system.

“I look forward to showing the tank to excited citizens and the capabilities it can do,” said Sgt. 1st Class Matthew Zimmermann, an armor crewmember instructor with the U.S. Army Armor School at the Maneuver Center of Excellence at Fort Moore, Georgia, (formerly known as Fort Benning).

Zimmerman, with 23 years of service with the U.S. Army, has witnessed the M1 Main Battle Tank evolve across different variants, which enhanced its digital capabilities with upgraded networking technology, a command-and-control system to provide commanders with vital information about their location in relation to friendly forces, a Common Remotely Operated Weapon Station (CROWS) with improved thermal vision, the ability to operate machine guns, and fire programable munitions.

More than a century ago, tanks replaced horse-mounted cavalry with an armor-mechanized force leading into World War I. The current M1 Abrams Battle Tanks have been the weapon of choice since it proved its worth in the Gulf War, weighing 70 tons with a 120-milimeter main gun able to fire up to 3,000 meters. It has a turbine engine capable of up to 1,500 horsepower at a cost of $9 million each vehicle.

Local U.S. Army recruiter Staff Sgt. Dakota Tallent is a 2012 graduate from Cookeville High School who has served in the Army for 10 years. He said the tank would be well received by those attending the fair.

“We’re pretty far from any military base,” Tallent said. “I think they’ll like it.

“A lot of people don’t grasp how big they really are until they see it up close.”

Tallent said the tank would arrive late morning and be on display until 11 p.m. He urged those interested to stop by to see the tank and meet the Soldiers who operate it.

For more information, contact Wilson Rivera at or 615 871-4172.

Photo courtesy of the U.S. Army.

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