Four U.S. Army logisticians will be on a special mission this month: competing in the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. All will be trying to earn a special service medal: an Olympic Gold.
Two are motor transport operators: Sgt. Nathan Schrimsher, a modern pentathlete, and Spc. Leonard Korir, a 10,000-meter runner. Watercraft engineer Spc. Daniel Lowe competes in the air rifle and three-position prone rifle competitions; and water treatment Spc. Paul Chelimo runs the 5,000-meter.The four logisticians are among 13 Soldiers who will be joining Gold Medalists Michael Phelps, Kevin Durant, and Katie Ledecky among others on the 555-person American Olympic roster.
And they follow in the path of military legends. Soldiers have competed in Olympic Games since 1896. In the 1912 games in Stockholm, then-2nd Lt. George S. Patton Jr. finished fifth in the inaugural running of the Modern Pentathlon, and went on to become one of the greatest leaders in military history.
Each of these Soldier-athletes represent the Army's best. They're ready, and they have the entire logistics community ready to root them on. Here is information about each one, from the Army's World Class Athlete Program.Schedule of Events:Specialist Paul Chelimo
Specialty: Water Treatment Specialist
Event: 5,000 meter
Schedule: August 17, 10:05 am EST, Round 1
August 20, 9:30 pm EST, FinalA native of Iten, Kenya, Chelimo came to America in 2010, and ran for the University of North Carolina, Greensboro. He finished his collegiate track and field career as a World University Games Silver medalist, two-time NCAA 5,000 meter runner-up, and five-time NCAA All-American. He joined the Army in 2014, and began his journey toward the Olympic dream as a member of the Army's World Class Athlete Program. He earned his ticket to Rio by finishing 3rd in the 5,000 meters with a time of 13:35.92 at the Olympic Track and Field Trials in Eugene, Oregon.Spc. Leonard Korir
Specialty: Motor Transport Operator
Event: 10,000 meter
Schedule: August 13, 9:25 pm ESTAlso a native of Iten, Kenya, Korir attended Iona College in New Rochelle, New York, where he was a two-time NCAA champion in the 10,000 and 5,000 meters. In 2015, he won the New York City Half Marathon in 1 hour, 1 minute and 6 seconds. He joined the Army last year, and entered the Army's World Class Athlete Program in January of this year. He earned his trip to Rio with a third-place finish with a time of 28:16.97 at the Olympic Track and Field Trials.Spc. Daniel Lowe
Specialty: Watercraft Engineer
Events: Air Rifle, Three-Position Prone Rifle
Schedule: August 8, 9 am EST, 10m air rifle, Qualification
August 8, noon EST, 10m air rifle, Final
August 14, 9 am EST, 50m rifle, 3 positions, Qualification
August 14, 1 pm EST, 50m rifle, 3 positions, FinalLowe will appear in his first Olympics. The Washington native finished second at the Olympic Trials to earn his way onto the team in the men's 10m air rifle. He also will compete in men's 50m rifle three positions. He is a member of the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit, and believes that to win he must be mentally tough and physically ready. "You can never work hard enough, you can never stop pushing," he says.Sgt. Nathan Schrimsher
Specialty: Motor Transport Operator
Event: Modern Pentathlon
Schedule: August 18 EST, 2:30 pm, fencing -- Ranking Round
August 20 EST, noon, swimming -- 200m freestyle
August 20 EST, 2 pm, fencing -- Bonus Round
August 20 EST, 3:30 pm, riding -- show jumping
August 20 EST, 6 pm -- combined Run/ShootAt age 12, Schrimsher began competing in the Pentathlon, a sport where all five of its components -- fencing, swimming, equestrian show jumping, cross-country running, and pistol shooting -- are held on the same day. In 2015, Schrimsher finished third at the Pan American Games in Toronto, Canada, to earn a berth in Rio. As a member of the Army World Class Athlete Program, he is well aware that he is following in the footsteps of Gen. Patton. "If I finish in fourth or hopefully medal at the Olympics," he says, "then I could say I beat Lieutenant Patton."