By MC2 Timothy Schumaker
NPASE Detachment Southeast
China was awarded the gold medal while the U.S. took home silver during an awards ceremony that finalized the 18th Conseil International du Sport Militaire (CISM) World Military Women's Volleyball Championship at Naval Station (NAVSTA) Mayport, Florida June 9.
The tournament also featured teams from Canada, Germany and The Netherlands, with Team Germany taking home the bronze. The teams competed June 4-9, while promoting peace activities and solidarity among athletes.
"It was a fabulous week full of great competition," said Capt. David Yoder, commanding officer of NAVSTA Mayport. "Everyone seemed to have a really good time and enjoyed the service on base."
The 12 members of the U.S. women's team were selected based off of individual performances during the 2016 U.S. Armed Forces Women's Basketball Championship tournament earlier this month. Players from the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard are represented on the team.
"We weren't quite sure how to play with each other in the beginning, and had to fight through that," said Capt. Maiya Perich, a U.S. player and Air Force Intelligence Officer. "I couldn't be more proud of how we ended up doing."
"They did great," said Yoder. "We're all very proud that they were able to come in here and earn a silver medal against some incredible athletes."
"I'm really proud of how we did," said Ens. Kirsten Kelso, a U.S. player and Navy nurse. "We came out not really knowing what to expect from any of the teams, just that the competition level was going to be very high."
Founded in 1948, CISM's 135 member-nations makes it the largest military
organization in the world and the second largest multisport organization
after the International Olympic Committee, organizing approximately 20 Military World Championships in 30 different sports per year.
The Armed Forces Sports program sets up tournaments such as this to encourage and arrange ways for U.S. Service Members to engage with CISM member nations. The United States joined CISM in 1951 and is currently one of its most active members, hosting similar events one to two times every year.
As service members and athletes, the participants represent the highest level of military athletic competiveness. It is common for the athletes to also be renowned as Olympians and world champions.
With the tournament at an end, the teams shared day together during a cultural trip to St. Augustine, Fla. June 10, providing another positive way for the players from participating nations to connect.
"We've been able to taste some local seafood and see some of the beaches," said Perich. "We're very excited to get to go down to St. Augustine and explore."
Players and coaches flew back to their respective homes and duty stations on June 11 with the hopes of returning next year, when Canada will host the tournament.
For more information, please visit www.armedforcessports.com. You can
view photos and video from the U.S. Delegation throughout social media using the following hashtags: #CISMUSA, #CISMVolleyball, #ArmedForcesSports, #CISMWVB2017