Vermont National Guard Biathlon Program

Spc. Vaclav Cervenka, a carpentry and masonry specialist with Det. 1, Headquarters Company, Garrison Support Command, Vermont Army National Guard, practices firing a Biathlon rifle during practice at the Camp Ethan Allen Training Site in Jericho, Vermont, on Nov. 2, 2021. Cervenka, a native of Grand Rapids, Minnesota, has competed in six world championships since 2016 and is on Team USA's 2021-2022 X Team. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Don Branum)Since 1973, the Vermont National Guard has maintained a dedicated biathlon program at the Ethan Allen Firing Range in Jericho, one of the oldest Biathlon facilities in the United States.

Solders named to the U.S. National Biathlon Team are placed on year-round full-time orders. Most of the training is conducted at CEATS where biathletes reside in an athlete's barracks complete with a specialized exercise area configured for biathlete training.

Biathlon training involves cross-country skiing between rifle ranges. Participants engage targets at 50 meters at each range. The exercises help Soldiers to shoot accurately after moving quickly across snow-covered terrain.

The Vermont National Guard's Biathlon program has grown steadily from its establishment in 1973 by Maj. Gen. Reginald Cram, the state adjutant general at the time. Vermont hosted national championships from 1975-1977, with the Vermont Biathlon team winning each year. National Guard personnel helped plan for and conduct the 1980 Olympic Biathlon competition in Lake Placid, New York. 

Vermont Soldiers selected for the 2022 Winter Olympics are Spcs. Sean Doherty, Leif Nordgren, and Deedra Irwin. Spc. Vaclav Cervenka was selected as men's alternate. Vermont has sent more than a dozen Guardsmen to Olympic Biathlon teams since 1992.

Vermont's Biathlon Program in the News

Jan. 11, 2022

Vermont National Guard Soldiers make 2022 Olympic Biathlon Team

Three Vermont National Guard biathletes will compete in the 2022 Olympic Games in Beijing as part of the U.S. Biathlon Team with an additional member named as the men’s alternate.

Oct. 21, 2021

Biathlon opportunities attract Washington native

Serving in a dual capacity, Pfc. Eli Nielsen’s days are fully occupied. An M-Day, 15 Tango, Black Hawk helicopter maintainer with Detachment 2, Charlie Company 1st Battalion 224th Aviation Regiment, Nielsen is also a member of the Guard’s Biathlon team.

June 10, 2021

Vermont National Guard biathletes eye 2022 Beijing Olympics

Three Vermont National Guard biathletes are training hard in anticipation of attending the 2022

Press Resources

Vermont Guard Olympic Biathletes