— Official News Release, Minot Air Force Base —
by Senior Airman Kristoffer Kaubisch
The origin of the title Rough Riders comes from the first voluntary cavalry unit in the Spanish-American War. The Rough Riders are inextricably linked to the 26th President of the United States, Theodore Roosevelt, who organized the Rough Riders in 1898.
Today the men and women of Minot Air Force Base’s 91st Missile Wing carry the title of Rough Riders, and they recently had a visit from Teddy himself, after a fashion.
Joe Wiegand performs as President Roosevelt for various crowds of all ages. Joe began performing as President Roosevelt in 2004.
He has performed at the White House and Teddy Roosevelt’s New York City birthplace. He has been featured as President Roosevelt in “The Men Who Built America” on the History Channel, served as the model for the newest Teddy Roosevelt sculpture at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, and has a feature role in “Wild America”, a film about our national parks, due in IMAX theaters in January 2016.
Joe’s performance tour is highlighted every summer by a daily matinee at the Theodore Roosevelt National Park in Medora, North Dakota.
With support of the Teddy Roosevelt Medora Foundation, Joe performs for seniors, schools, and the United States military.
Wiegand performs as President Roosevelt, telling his life story and dressing and talking just as Roosevelt did.
During his visit to Minot Air Force Base, he performed for the students at North Plains Elementary school and Dakota Elementary school as well as visited with the Military Affairs Committee, Uniform-01 Training Facility, and the 91 Missile Wing Headquarters.
At each location he stopped at, Wiegand performed as President Roosevelt and put on a show for all to appreciate.
Wiegand ended his presentation at North Plains Elementary school with great words for the students.
“I want to let you young boys and young girls know, that the entire nation is so grateful for the service that your mothers and your fathers give to this country; your parents whose serve in the United States Air Force, your parents who work for the Department of Defense here on this Air Force base. Each and every one of your parents is a hero to the American people, for helping us sleep safe in our beds at night, knowing that we are protected by Minot Air Force Base, where the Rough Riders are the big stick for the United States,” said Wiegand. “I hope that each and every one of you knows that it’s very important that you be good citizens and listen to your teachers and parents, and to treat each other kindly by the golden rule, to do unto other what you would have done to yourself.”
Wiegand is making plans to come back and visit MAFB soon to put on his performance for the whole base to enjoy.
image: President Teddy Roosevelt, portrayed by Joe Wiegand, learns about the 91st Missile Wing mission at the Uniform-01 Training Facility on Minot Air Force Base, N.D., May 7, 2015. Wiegand visited Minot AFB to perform at the Military Affairs Committee luncheon and the Elementary schools. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Kristoffer Kaubisch)