HONOLULU - After being named ’Best Rookie’ on two teams during her Army career, Tripler Army Medical Center’s Staff Sgt. Glennis Kanae-Rodrigues was invited to play for the All-Army Women’s Rugby team, the winners of this year’s Armed Forces Rugby Championship.

Staff Sgt. Glennis Kanae-Rodrigues awaits her championship medal with her team
Staff Sgt. Glennis Kanae-Rodrigues awaits her championship medal with her team (Photo Credit: Staff Sgt. Glennis Kanae-Rodrigues) VIEW ORIGINAL

“In rugby, you’re only as fast as your slowest player,” says Kanae-Rodrigues.

To apply for the team, Kanae-Rodrigues had to submit her results for the Bronco test a shuttle run developed in New Zealand that consists of running 20 meters and back, 40 meters and back, and 60 meters and back - five times apiece.

Her at-home fitness regimen prepared Kanae-Rodrigues for team practices – a grueling schedule of two practices a day, eight days in a row – under the summer sun, including weight lifting.

A Honolulu native, Kanae-Rodrigues currently serves as the noncommissioned officer in charge of TAMC’s COVID Operations Integration Cell (COIC), responsible for COVID -19 disease surveillance and emergency response for the Hawaii Military Healthcare System.

“Staff Sgt. Kanae-Rodrigues is a highly-motivated, results-driven, and future-focused Soldier that is an asset to any team, on or off the field,” says Maj. Nancy Patrick, the COIC officer in charge.

Kanae –Rodrigues was instrumental in coordinating COVID testing for deploying and redeploying units, arranging COVID vaccinations for beneficiaries, and monitoring COVID vaccine shipments and distributions across all MTFs on the island.

While she is a certainly a star at her current duty station, Kanae-Rodrigues’s favorite part of this experience was bonding with and learning from female athletes across the military, she says.

“All the women here are incredibly athletic and talented, which makes for very violent but fun scrimmages,” says Kanae-Rodrigues of the All-Army team, which is made up of 12 women, officers and enlisted.

All-Army Women's Rugby Team 2021 Athletes
All-Army Women's Rugby Team 2021 Athletes (Photo Credit: Armed Forces Tournament) VIEW ORIGINAL

"She brings positivity, focus, grit, and sometimes much-needed laughter to long hot training sessions" says Kaitlyn Kelly, Head Rugby Coach for All-Army, of Kanae-Rodrigues.

Athleticism has played a huge part in Kanae-Rodrigues’ life; she played softball for the University of Hawaii-Hilo, played basketball in high school, and grew up boxing.

“Rugby is by far my favorite; I wish I had discovered it sooner!” she says.

Now in her fourth season of competition, Kanae-Rodrigues began playing rugby in 2017. She currently plays for Honolulu’s South Shore Rugby Football Club and previously played for the Frederick Women’s Rugby Football Club while stationed at Fort Detrick, Maryland.

The annual Armed Forces Women’s Rugby Championship, featuring teams from the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force (with Space Force personnel), and Coast Guard was held June 24-28 in Wilmington, N.C.

All-Army Women's Rugby Team post-match
All-Army Women's Rugby Team post-match (Photo Credit: Staff Sgt. Glennis Kanae-Rodrigues) VIEW ORIGINAL

This was the second championship to date, as last year’s games were cancelled due to COVID-19.

In the opening match, Army posted a 17-5 win over Air Force, despite a torrential downpour right at kickoff. The All-Army team ended up taking home its second consecutive title as champions after going undefeated in all matches over the weekend.


More Armed Forces Sports action continues in August with Armed Forces Softball and Men’s Rugby. Visit www.armedforcessports.defense.gov for complete schedules and information.