U.S. Women Win Bronze at Military Sports Games

The U.S. women's sailing team celebrates after receiving their bronze medal in the women's division of the fleet sailing event. Pictured are, from left to right, Coast Guard Lts. Elizabeth Tufts and Nicole Auth, Navy Ensign Emily Frost and Coast Guard Lt. Krysia Pohl. Not pictured on the team is Marine Corps Maj. Frances Clemens. DOD photo by Fred W. Baker III

By Fred W. Baker III
American Forces Press Service

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil, July 23, 2011 – The U.S. women’s sailing team took home the bronze medal yesterday here at the 5th International Military Sports Council’s World Games.

This is the third medal that U.S. teams have garnered in the competitions, all earned by female teams.

The team, made up of Navy, Coast Guard and Marine Corps service members, has only sailed together for a total of 11 days, including the competition. The group met during their training week in Annapolis, Md., before flying here for the July 16-24 competitions.

Boats line up for the first day of sailboat racing at the 5th International Military Sports Council's World Games in Rio de Janeiro. Courtesy photo by Navy Cdr. John Gordon

“We sailed an awesome regatta. The girls came together really well during the practice week,” said Coast Guard Lt. Krysia Pohl, skipper of the five-woman team. “We just got better every day. We stayed confident. We never got down when we made mistakes.”

The team’s medal will be one of only a handful the United States expects to earn at these competitions, which often times pits U.S. troops coming from duty stations around the world against athletes from other countries who are already Olympic medalists.

Pohl said she was proud to compete at this level against some of the world’s top sailing athletes.

“I think it’s really important that we continue to support athletes in the military to attend events like this because it does more for unity among the countries,” she said.

The United States has 141 troops from all of the services competing here. Officials here don’t break the athletes down by service, but the Army and Navy make up the largest contingent of the group. Of the athletes 79 are men and 62 are women.

The games offer more than 20 venues, including the popular track and field, boxing, swimming, volleyball and basketball. It also features equestrian events, parachuting and orienteering.

You can read the full Armed Forces article HERE.

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MacDill Air Force Base Marks an Early Memorial Day

MacDill Air Force Base personnel remembered their fallen comrades during an early Memorial Day ceremony.

By Alex Cook

Memorial Day isn’t until Monday, but members of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, and Marines held a ceremony on MacDill Air Force Base Thursday honoring those who have died serving their country.

The mood was somber as the military formation gathered under the American flag. A 21-gun salute pierced the silence, followed by a lone bugler playing Taps.

Colonel Lenny Richoux, commander of the 6th Air Mobility Wing, led the tribute by presenting a wreath in honor of those who gave their lives for their country.

“All who have worn the uniform know we swear to support and defend the Constitution and we’ll pay the ultimate price – make the ultimate sacrifice,” said Richoux during his speech. “These great Americans and thousands like them who heard the calling of their nation gave all they had so that we can enjoy this beautiful day in Tampa Bay in the great state of Florida, in these United States, the greatest nation on the planet.”

A steel beam salvaged from the World Trade Center sat on display as a reminder of the terrorist attacks of 9/11. The conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan have claimed the lives of almost 6000 service members over the last decade.

You Know You’re a Civilian When …

As kids we often said “turn around is fair play.” Recently, contributor Jackie Dorr shared her take on the theme: You know you’re a military spouse when

So, here are a few of my revelations despite being married to a Navy veteran of WWII and Korea with a father-in-law who was a career Army officer and is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

You know you’re a civilian when … :

– You’re surprised (pleasantly so) when a child answers “Yes mam” or “Yes sir” .

– You don’t catch the nuanced difference between the Air Force abbreviation for sergeant, Sgt., and the Army abbreviation, SG.

– You display the American Flag, but only on holidays.

– You have to subtract 12 from military time.

– You consult a DOD chart to learn that the Army, Marine Corps and Air Force rank of Captain is equivalent to a Navy Lieutenant and a Navy Captain is equivalent to a Colonel in the other services.

– You have to look it up to find out that a brigade is larger than a battalion.

I’m pretty certain I’m not the only civilian who has experienced one of these moments. Hit the comment link below and share one of yours. Or, if you’re military, do you have a favorite observation for when you knew someone was civilian?

*Note: an earlier version of this blog post had an incorrect equivalent to the Army vs. Navy rank of captain. That is because the source material from online is incorrect. Apendix M: Military Rank/Civilian Pay Grade Abbreviations and Service Agency Names.

Military Branches Send Joint Video Christmas Card

Thanks to the Coast Guard crews at Florida’s Clearwater Air Station for turning me onto this video. It might just bring you a smile – it certainly looks like the Sailors, Soldiers, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guard members had fun making it.

If you’ve got a favorite video you’d like to share, send me an email or post the link on the comment page. And, Seasons Greetings to all and to all a good day.

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