By 1st Lt. Bryce Land (2-14 CAV)April 27, 2013
SCHOFIELD BARRACKS -- In 2007, while stationed in Kitzingen, Germany, Sgt. Brian Guinn's platoon received an early release for completing all assignments before lunch.
Guinn and a small group of those Soldiers were not quite ready to go home, so they decided that they would spend some time at the bowling alley.
"It was almost an immediate decision that I really enjoyed what I was doing. I began spending more and more time in the bowling alley just rolling for hours," said Guinn, a 2-14th Cav. electric warfare officer.
He quickly came to the realization that he was quite good, so a couple years later, when he was stationed at Fort Hood, Texas, he started bowling competitively. He has since continued to better himself and his bowling skills.
Guinn has become an excellent bowler placing in multiple doubles tournaments, throwing 11 strikes in a row, three times, and barely missing a perfect game by two pins.
He has maintained a 205 league average, which is considered to be better than most.
Spc. Brock Jacobs has been bowling since childhood.
"My father taught me to bowl," said Jacobs, a squadron promotions noncommissioned officer. "Bowling served as my family's way of spending quality time together."
As he grew up, bowling changed for Jacobs. The game went from being a family event to a way to have fun with his friends. Bowling served only as a source of entertainment until he was stationed on Schofield Barracks.
Guinn and Jacobs met soon after Jacobs' arrival to the island. They quickly realized that they were both avid bowlers. The two of them began bowling together in their off time.
Jacobs said, "When I got here, Sgt. Guinn took me under his wing, teaching me how to become a better competitor in the world of bowling."
Guinn shared his knowledge of bowling taught to him by years of competitive bowling.
"Spc. Jacobs was a fast learner; he took everything I taught him and made it his own immediately," Guinn said.
Guinn convinced Jacobs to try out for the All Army Hawaii Bowling Team. The tryouts were a grueling two straight days of bowling.
Guinn made the team, but Jacobs did not initially make the cut. Due to rule changes, Jacobs was allowed to join the team as a substitute.
Once on the team, the two began to learn from a new mentor, Sgt. Maj. Kenneth Reynolds. Jacobs learned so much in this time that his skill level improved drastically.
The team was to participate in the Hawaii All Military Bowling Competition. They practiced relentlessly in preparation for the competition. Guinn and Jacobs continued to increase their skill levels.
Jacobs felt his skills had improved tremendously, and he was ready to play in his first real competition. Sadly, it looked as if he was not going to get his chance. The All Army Hawaii team was full, and it was not going to need his substitution.
Someone on the team recommended Jacobs fill an open slot on the Retiree Team that was going to compete. The recommendation worked, and the retirees selected him to bowl on their team.
The Hawaii All Military Competition was a four-day competition held on Schofield Barracks; at Marine Corps Base Hawaii, Kaneohe Bay; and at Pearl Harbor. There were teams representing each branch of the military, including retiree teams.
During the tournament, both Guinn and Jacobs bowled excellent games. Guinn maintained a 192 average, helping Army place 4th overall. Jacobs bowled his highest series of three games ever with a 724. Jacobs helped the Retiree Team place 2nd overall in the competition and 3rd in the Odd Doubles competition.
It was bittersweet for Jacobs taking 2nd place with the Retiree Team. However, he was incredibly proud of how well he bowled.
Even though they bowled on separate teams, Guinn and Jacobs cheered each other on, encouraging the other to do his best.
Both Guinn and Jacobs have big plans for their future in bowling. They both plan on competing in the Hawaii state tournament and trying out for the All Military traveling team.
The tryouts are being held next month. Both Soldiers have begun preparing themselves to ensure selection.
Jacobs hopes to one day join the All Army Bowling team; however, they will both continue to grow as bowlers learning from each other and those around them.
Guinn paraphrased a quote from Bagger Vance: "Bowling is a game that can never be won, only played."
Neither Soldier has the desire to become famous, but both of them said they "hope to be remembered as someone who played the game well."