JBLM Soldiers Start Preparing for Warrior Games With Hard Training
1 / 2 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Capt. Blair Marshall trains for Army Trials and DoD Warrior Games at the Joint Base Louis-McChord Soldier Recovery Unit (SRU) in Washington state. (Photo courtesy of David Iuli) (Photo Credit: Courtesy) VIEW ORIGINAL
JBLM Soldiers Start Preparing for Warrior Games With Hard Training
2 / 2 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Capt. Blair Marshall trains for Army Trials and DoD Warrior Games at the Joint Base Louis-McChord Soldier Recovery Unit (SRU) in Washington state. (Photo courtesy of David Iuli) (Photo Credit: Courtesy) VIEW ORIGINAL

ARLINGTON, Va. – The DoD Warrior Games 2022 may be months away, but the Soldiers of Task Force Phoenix at Joint Base Lewis-McChord Soldier Recovery Unit (SRU) in Tacoma, Washington already are deep into an intense training regimen in the hopes of securing some shiny hardware this August in Texas.

The SRU has lots of volunteers for the games this year due to their growing familiarity with the tournament as well as staff support in the Soldiers’ training. DoD will hold Warrior Games at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort from August 19-28, and JBLM began preparing early in January. Participating athletes are well-rounded in this multi-sport event which features archery, track and field, rowing and wheelchair basketball, just to name a few.

“We pitch the Warrior Games to [the Soldiers] as a goal,” said David Iuli, adaptive reconditioning program specialist at the SRU. “I tell them about my own personal experiences – how [the SRU] really helped me out in my recovery.”

The Soldiers are more than confident in their abilities due to the SRU staff providing them with consistent coaching. Preparation from the official team allows the SRU to nominate individual contestants for a chance to perform in the Army Trials at Fort Bragg, North Carolina in May. Once there, individuals will face off for a spot on Team Army for the Warrior Games.

Capt. Blair Marshall plans to compete in swimming, powerlifting and wheelchair basketball. She gives the SRU a lot of credit for her recovery and for the chance to perform in the Army Trials. “In high school, I was a nationally ranked athlete,” she reminisced. “In college, I worked with athletes and loved their energy and the environment.

“The Army gave me some of that feeling back that I missed after I stopped competing,” she continued. “I thought after high school I would never get the chance to be a competitive athlete again.”

Marshall further revealed how much she appreciated the ample opportunities to connect with other Soldiers who’ve had similar experiences to her own. Through these connections and one-on-one coaching, Marshall found new strength and a sense of who she used to be. She declared that pushing herself during every training session is “helpful and exhilarating.”

“The possibilities that may come from this could help me one day achieve my childhood dream of competing on an international level,” she added.

Soldiers also had the opportunity to train at Schofield Barracks in Oahu, Hawaii. In early spring, a special training camp will be held for a week at JBLM and then another for the following week at Schofield. While in Hawaii, Soldiers will have access to all sports facilities, the gym, swimming pool and the local golf course.

“We might start off with 15 volunteers,” Iuli said. “We try to have as many people as we can. So out of the 15, we may send 10 or more to train in Hawaii. After we recommend the names for the official team, the Command makes the final decision for who goes [to Hawaii].”

Sgt. Nicole Crane is another athlete who possesses a strong drive and consistent work ethic. She will compete in archery, powerlifting and wheelchair basketball. It’s her first visit to Hawaii.

“For me, it’s pretty exciting,” she said. “Originally, I thought I only had to meet certain requirements to stay in the program, complete my treatments, etc. And then next thing I know, I’m being told that I’m wanted to compete in the Warrior Games. This was definitely unexpected, but I’m not complaining!”

The roster currently has 16 Soldiers, but that number will potentially dwindle down as some of them receive orders to transition out of the SRU before the camp and Army Trials. However, they can always attend the trials and Warrior Games as Veterans.

The Army Warrior Care and Transition Program is now the Army Recovery Care Program. Although the name has changed, the mission remains the same: to provide quality complex case management to the Army's wounded, ill and injured Soldiers. Visit our website at https://arcp.army.mil