For many vocalists, having the opportunity to sing the national anthem in front of a crowd of thousands of people and a national television audience is a dream come true.

1st Lt. Michael A. Kipp, an armor officer with 3rd Squadron, 73rd Cavalry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, has now lived that dream twice. On Nov. 10, Kipp sang the nation’s anthem for a second time while standing center ice at Madison Square Garden to open a New York Ranger’s hockey game.

Even though Kipp said he’s never had any formal vocal training, he said the song just comes naturally.

“It is one of the hardest songs to sing just because of the ranges,” Kipp said. “But to tell you the truth, it’s just amazing singing that song and being able to sing it for the public; being able to make that connection between our life, the military side, and being able to see myself and the color guard out there on the ice.”

Kipp sang as a child growing up in Staten Island, N.Y., but he has always viewed singing as a hobby. His dream was to serve in the Army, so he pursued that route and graduated from the U.S. Military Academy as a commissioned officer. While studying at West Point and participating in the academy’s glee club, Kipp said he had his first opportunity to sing at a Ranger’s game.

While the armor officer said that he has enjoyed singing for national audiences, he has no plans to pursue an alternate career path.

“The Army’s my job,” Kipp said. “I’m an armor officer and I’m looking to go … to Ranger School and hopefully knock that out of the park and come back and take a platoon hopefully.

“It’s all about mission-focus (and) having that mindset,” he continued. “Singing is a great hobby but at the end of the day, we all have our jobs to do.”