DVIDS – News – MSCPAC Reserve Program Director sails with US Armed Forces Sailing Team at World Military Championship

Lt Cmdr. Trisha Kelly, a surface warfare officer who serves as director of the reserve program at Military Sealift Command Pacific, brought her nautical skills to Brest, France, where she served as chef de mission and as a teammate surprise for the US Armed Forces Sailing Team. , at the 53rd International Military Sports Council (CISM) World Military Sailing Championship.

According to Kelly, his selection as team leader came from years of experience as a competitive sailor. As a child and teenager, she sailed off Long Island where she was raised. Later she sailed as a Midshipman at the United States Naval Academy and then with the Armed Forces Sailing Team, where she competed in three World Championships.
“It was a natural progression for me,” Kelly said. “I was really looking forward to taking on a leadership role and overseeing team members, and helping them excel as a team.”

As leader, Kelly’s duties included taking care of all aspects of the team, including team meetings, events, schedules, and even coordinating uniforms for events. Additionally, she was the “face” of the team; represent the team at conferences and special events.

“There’s so much more to being part of a sailing team than just going out on the boat,” Kelly remarked. “When I was sailing, I didn’t always have the big picture, so this experience was really eye-opening. I think it made me more complete as a sailor, and it made me appreciate the sport even more.

The American team was made up of five mixed members, all officers, who serve throughout the navy. Two members were veteran sailors with three new to the US Armed Forces athletic program. The team came together from sailing events around the world, with the competition in France being the first time they had sailed together as a team. This meant a learning curve of several days, where the sailors got to know each other, their strengths and weaknesses and perfected their techniques on the boat.

The Navy teaches flexibility, even adopting the unofficial motto, “Sempra Gumby: Always Flexible.” In France, Kelly found herself endorsing this motto, while her job as a chef turned into a teammate, since she found herself in the crew, on the boat!

“Due to unfortunate health issues, the team captain had to drop out, so I stepped in!” explains Kelly. “I love sailing, so it’s on the boat that I prefer to be. I really wanted to give the youngsters a chance and I was happy to be back in a management position, but when the opportunity to sail presented itself, I jumped at the chance.

In competition, the team competed in Match Racing with teams from Canada, Spain, Denmark, Greece, Poland and France. Each country played their opponents one by one in a qualification phase which determines the ranking, followed by a quarter-final, a semi-final and a final. Through a valiant effort, Team USA placed fifth, with Team France taking first place.

While the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat are part of competitions like these, the real goal is to foster friendships and working relationships between countries.

“The goal of the Armed Forces Sports program is friendship through sports,” Kelly explained. We create friendships with all countries; meet in sport rather than on the battlefield.

According to their website, the sports programs of the Armed Forces include 18 Armed Forces Championships, 7 Championships and 20 International Championships within the International Military Sports Council. The program’s goals include promoting goodwill through sport; promote the positive image of the armed forces through sport; encourage physical fitness by promoting a highly competitive athletic program; and providing opportunities for military athletes to participate in national and international competitions.

The Armed Forces Sports Program is under the direction of the Armed Forces Sports Council, an executive arm of the Ministry of Defence. The council is responsible for the overall management and operation of the sports activities of the armed forces, national and international. The AFSC consists of one representative from each of the five services, Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard.

“It’s been an invaluable experience and opportunity for me,” Kelly said. “I can’t wait to see where it takes me next. It might be Greece for the World Championship next year!

Date taken: 15.06.2022
Date posted: 15.06.2022 13:55
Story ID: 423061
Location: WE

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