FORT BELVOIR, Va. – Dozens of Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines from across the country and around the world, recently spent four days here competing in a physically demanding and challenging 72-hole Armed Forces Championship golf course to see who among their ranks would rise to the top of the competition and claim victory over their peers.
Two of those vying for top honors this year were Army Reserve soldiers who represented the All-Army Women’s Team and were up against Navy and Army teams from the air.
Leading the charge was Colonel Sunny Mitchell, officer in charge of recruiting and retention for the US Army Reserve Command and captain of the All Army Golf Team. A week before the All Armed Forces Golf Competition, Mitchell clinched first place in the All Army Women’s Golf Tournament after completing 72 holes of a tough competition. It was the 15th time she had competed in All Army Golf tournaments in the past 22 years.
“The last two weeks here have been phenomenal,” Mitchell said. “In the first week, I was able to compete and win the All Army Women’s Golf Championship for the eighth time in my career. I can’t even express how lucky I was to represent my unit and to represent the army.
Mitchell’s teammate this year was Capt. Eraina Manor, a military intelligence officer assigned to the 647th Regional Support Group based in Wichita, Kansas. Manor, who once competed in the All Army Golf Tournament, was thrilled to have the opportunity to represent the Army and compete again this year.
“It’s been such a privilege to be able to compete at this level with the various departments,” Manor said. “Making friends and seeing the professionalism on the course here has been really, really great to be a part of.”
The first day of competition began with a two-hour delay caused by pouring rain and threatening dark skies. Mitchell and Manor both finished the day with 86, 13 strokes over par. In contrast, the USAF women’s team came out in top form, finishing their first day with one member shooting par and one with just three shots over par, setting a winning pace early on.
The All-Army men’s team concluded its first day of competition with two of its six members shooting under par, highlighting them as one of the best competitors heading into the competition.
After four days of drives, chips, putts and the constant pressure of competition, the final scores were tallied. For women’s teams, the Air Force came out on top, taking first place with a combined total score of 596, followed by the Navy team with a combined score of 633.
For the men’s teams, the Army took the podium to take first place. The top two soldiers had the lowest overall scores with a 277 and a 290. U.S. Army Sgt. Steve Lim stood out high above the crowd, blowing away the competition, shooting 15 under during the tournament.
Although the Army women’s team did not win gold this year, the Army Reserve soldiers were happy to have had the opportunity to participate in this multi-service competition.
“My favorite part of this competition was being able to represent the military at this level and merge two lives into one,” Manor said. “Having the honor and privilege of being an army officer and being able to combine this career choice with my passion for golf has been a great opportunity for which I am truly grateful. It’s such a great time. competition and it really means something. It makes you feel good and it’s just a great way to represent the Army.
“The All Army Sports program is just fabulous,” Mitchell said. “It’s a great way to represent your unit, it’s a great way to represent the Army. All in all, it’s a great way to compete and showcase the best talent in the military. It’s been a phenomenal experience and a blessing every time I play. »
Mitchell went on to say that All Army Sports competitions like this are important for a variety of reasons. “It’s important because that’s who we are as an army, and that’s what we recruit, academics, athletes and leaders. Athletics, whether individual or team competition, is a team building event. Even in golf where you compete individually, you are still part of a team. Even if you hit a bad shot, you need to stay in the game and think about how to minimize your mistakes to make sure you give your team the best chance of winning.
Although this year’s competition is in the books, Mitchell is already looking for interested soldiers to try out and compete in next year’s tournament.
“We’re trying to get the message out, especially in the Army Reserve, that we’re constantly recruiting new talent and trying to bring back talent from previous years,” Mitchell said. “The competition is open to all ranks; officer, warrant officer or enlisted. A lot of people think you have to be on active duty to compete in any army sport and you don’t. It’s active duty, guard or reserve, and I know we have a lot of talent in the army reserve. We want to get the message out, especially to our junior soldiers to get out there and participate, not just for All Army Golf, but for all sports.
Manor also had some advice for anyone considering trying All Army Sports. “Just try to prioritize that and advocate for you to be at those events,” she said. “I know it can be difficult for the military to take time out, but if anyone wants to participate in golf or any other sport, I encourage people to do so. It’s a great opportunity and a great time. fantastic.
Next year’s All Armed Forces Golf Tournament is scheduled to be held in San Diego in July. Manor is already planning to be there.
“I will definitely come back next year if my unit allows me to compete,” she said with a smile. “I think I will train a bit more before I come back, but I will absolutely come back if I have the chance.”
|FORT BELVOIR, Virginia, USA
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