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
Articles
News | May 18, 2022

Guard Biathletes receive medals for Olympic showing

By Joshua Cohen Vermont National Guard Public Affairs

On May 14, four Vermont Army National Guard soldiers, members of the National Guard Biathlon Program, received medals and recognition for their participation on the US Biathlon Olympic Team during the 2022 Olympics held last February in Beijing.

“Forty-nine years ago, the Army Biathlon Program became the National Guard Biathlon Program, since that transition, we have maintained a proud history of sending Soldiers to represent the United States at the Olympics, a tradition that continues as we recently sent four Soldiers to Beijing for the 2022 Olympics,” according to Maj. Kevin Elmer, National Guard Biathlon Program Coordinator.

During the ceremony, held at the Ethan Allen Firing Range in Jericho, Sgt. Deedra Irwin, Spc. Sean Doherty, Warrant Officer Candidate Leif Nordgren and Spc. Vasek Cervenka received medals for exceptional achievement while on the 2022 US Olympic Biathlon and 2022 World Cup Teams.

Elmer said that by placing 7th in the Woman’s Individual, Irwin now holds the record for the best finish by an American Olympic Biathlete. In addition to receiving the Meritorious Service Medal, during the ceremony Irwin received a promotion to Sgt.

“This was my first Olympics, I had five races, 7th place was my highest score, now I’m just going to continue doing Biathlon and I’m going to push for the 2026 Olympics,” Irwin said.

Doherty, who was also awarded the Meritorious Service Medal, said he is looking forward to a future as a biathlete in the Vermont National Guard.

“The new training year has started and we’re going into another Olympic cycle, now we’re just rebuilding and restructuring the team, preparing for the next World Cup season, I am also working on getting into the Basic Leaders Course so I can get promoted,” he said.

For Nordgren, also a recipient of the Meritorious Service Medal, the 2022 Olympics marked the end of his biathlon career and the start of a new path. Nordgren, a 15P aviation operation specialist in his traditional guardsman role, has long eyed becoming a rotary-wing pilot and will soon attend Warrant Officer School followed by rotary-wing training.

“My long-term goal was always to become a pilot, and I do intend to remain in the Guard as my career,” Nordgren said.

Elmer said that in addition to receiving the Army Commendation Medal, Spc. Vasek Cervenka deserved special mention.

“Spc. Cervenka, who attended the Olympics as the men’s alternate had the difficult task of always being ready if called upon, due to COVID his role was more important than any other alternate in history, fortunately, the American team remained healthy, so Spc. Cervenka never had to step into the breach, but I am confident he was ready and fully capable if called upon,” Elmer said.

“I served as an alternate in case there was a COVID outbreak or an injury for the relay, I was there for a week in the middle of the games,” Cervenka said.

Cervenka said he initially joined the VTNG for the biathlon program and plans to continue with biathlon.

“I can see myself with a career in the Guard, I am interested in engineering, joining the Guard was the best decision I ever made,” he 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...