We look upon skydiving as a fun sport nowadays, but it all began as a military solution to a problem. If you read your history of skydiving, you will see many of the important milestones of the sport, but it all started in the army.
During World War II, the military had to deploy troops into inland areas to fight the enemy, sometimes even behind enemy lines. Needless to say, they could not just march up to the battle lines, they had to be put in some other way.
Paratroopers were dropped onto the ground from airplanes and this is the beginning of skydiving as a sport. Even though those initial divers did not have the equipment we have today to make the sport safer, many of these ex army guys decided they liked the experience well enough to continue it as a sport after their army duty was done.
As a matter of fact, there have been many teams of skydivers made up of former paratroopers who became more and more expert at this skill, and eventually joined competitions and added acrobatics in the sky to their jumps.
The Red Devils are one such team that became very famous through the years. They started in 1964 and have continually been skydiving and performing aerial feats at air shows throughout the world. The crowds just love their formations and other daredevil feats.
One of the things that makes them so good is the training they have had in the army. They are used to encountering danger, they are used to working as a close knit team, and they are used to each others communication style.
All of these qualities help on a skydiving team, since many times you have no verbal communication whatsoever, and team work can mean the difference between life and death. Many army skydiving teams are still in the army and put on shows voluntarily in their spare time.
In addition, because of the expertise they have developed in this sport, a lot of ex army paratroopers have made a career out of it and started skydive schools and centers, and even offer skydiving simulators as part of their curriculum. Since they learned from the best, they are best able to transfer that knowledge to their students. These schools are very successful, in part because of such a reputation. Most people feel much more confident learning from a paratrooper who has been doing it in the military for years.