An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Vermont National Guard Logo News
News | Oct. 21, 2021

Biathlon opportunities attract Washington native

By Joshua Cohen Vermont National Guard Public Affairs

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

Growing up in Washington State, with exposure to outdoor winter sports, Nielsen developed an interest in Biathlon. Attending college in Montana, Nielsen said that "school and working part-time while trying to pursue Biathlon was expensive, time-consuming, and things just were not adding up.”

Participating in numerous Biathlon events, Nielsen met several members of the Vermont Guard biathletes. “I raced against the Vermont team.”

Interested in joining the military since he was young, Nielsen said “none of the team ever directly asked me if I wanted to join the Vermont Guard, but it was always out there.”

Nielsen said that “enlisting in the Guard was a kind of a no-brainer, it was a really good opportunity where I could gain skills working on helicopters, have my school tuition paid for, and I could serve the country while pursuing Biathlon with an awesome team here in Vermont.”

Nielsen said he had little military knowledge before enlisting. After signing up on June 12, 2020, he was sent to the Vermont Guard’s Biathlon training facility at the Camp Ethan Allen Training Center in Jericho.

“I was at CEATS living and training with the Vermont National Guard Biathlon Team until October when I left for basic training at Fort Jackson in South Carolina and then advanced training at Fort Eustis in Virginia.”

“With the team at CEATS, it got to the point where I heard so many stories and pieces of advice that I was ready to go to basic training and have my own stories, my own experience.”

Nielsen said his decision to enter the military was not only for Biathlon.

“I joined for the opportunities the Guard presented, to take Biathlon to the next level of international competition, my goal is to become a member of the US Olympic Biathlon team, but that’s not the only reason, my father served as an Army Ranger and I’d like to attend Ranger School at some point.”

Vermont National Guard Biathlon Coordinator Maj. Kevin Elmer said Nielsen is a very professional and diligent Solider, "he’s always seeking to improve himself both as a Solider and biathlete.”

“Joining the Guard was a big decision for me, it took a while to weigh the options and now I am so happy that I joined, the team has a super coaching staff, however, it is a professionally military organization held to a higher standard, people on the outside can see that,” Nielsen said.

National Guard News
Sgt. 1st Class Samuel Ryder and Lt. Col. Nathan Wall, command team for the 746th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, case the unit colors during a transfer of authority ceremony with 68th Division Sustainment Support Battalion at Forward Operating Site Powidz, Poland, Nov. 22, 2022. The casing of the colors is an Army tradition symbolizing proper relief of the outgoing unit.
Cal Guard’s 746 CSSB Hands off Mission to Colorado’s 68 DSSB
By Capt. Lena Witham, | Nov. 25, 2022
POWIDZ, Poland - The 746th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion furled their colors during a transfer of authority ceremony with the 68th Division Sustainment Support Battalion Nov. 22. The 746 CSSB, known as the...

Air Force Senior Enlisted Advisor Tony Whitehead, the SEA to the chief of the National Guard Bureau, attends a red carpet screening event of “Devotion” Nov. 17, 2022. The Georgia National Guard helped support production of the film from March 27-29, 2021.
Guard Wing Supports Film Production of First Black Naval Aviator, MOH Recipient from Korean War
By National Guard Bureau | Nov. 23, 2022
ARLINGTON, Va. - “Devotion” details the heroic efforts of Navy Capt. Thomas Hudner Jr., who purposely crash-landed his own aircraft in an attempt to rescue downed fellow naval aviator Ensign Jesse Brown during the Korean...

Service members from the Pennsylvania National Guard's 3rd CBRN (Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear) Task Force drill through concrete during a Homeland Response Force collective training exercise Nov. 18, 2022, at Fort Indiantown Gap, Pa.
Pennsylvania Guard Conducts Homeland Response Force Exercise
By Brad Rhen, | Nov. 23, 2022
FORT INDIANTOWN GAP, Pa. – Pennsylvania National Guard members of the state’s Homeland Response Force conducted a training exercise Nov. 17-20.Almost 400 Soldiers and Airmen from Army and Air National Guard units from across...

Master Sgt. Jamie Bethune tows a U.S. Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker, assigned to the Iowa Air National Guard’s 185th Air Refueling Wing, on the ramp in Sioux City, Iowa, Nov. 22, 2022. The unit’s aircraft returned to Sioux City this week after operating from Topeka, Kansas, during a runway construction project.
KC-135 Operations Resume at Reopened Sioux City Runway
By Senior Master Sgt. Vincent De Groot, | Nov. 23, 2022
SIOUX CITY, Iowa – Military aircraft operations returned to the Sioux City airport this week with the completion of a substantial runway improvement project.While the construction was underway, Iowa Air National Guard members...

New York Air National Guard Tech Sgt. Jeremy Miter, right, a member of the 274th Air Support Operations Squadron, is congratulated by the chief of Brazil’s world-famous Jungle Warfare Training School in Manas, Brazil, Nov. 17, 2022, after completing the international course. Miter attended the course as part of the State Partnership Program agreement between Brazil and the New York National Guard.
New York Air Guardsman Completes Brazil Jungle Training
By Eric Durr, | Nov. 22, 2022
MANAS, Brazil - For New York Air National Guard Tech Sgt. Jeremy Miter, adapting to the heat and humidity of the Amazon basin was the toughest part of the six weeks he spent at Brazil’s jungle warfare school from the end of...