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 | March 10, 2024

Vermont National Guard Biathletes compete in the World Cup at Soldier Hollow

By Mr. Marcus Tracy

It has been five years since the United States played host to the International Biathlon Union World Cup and three of the Americans competing in Soldier Hollow are Vermont National Guard Soldiers.

Sgt. Deedra Irwin, Spc. Sean Doherty and Pfc. Maxime Germaine participated in six races over three days against biathletes from across the globe here in the U.S., an infrequent opportunity for a U.S. biathlete.

Doherty remembers those previous races and sees a significant growth in the home crowd. “I was here for the World Cup five years ago also,” said Doherty. “We had a lot more fans and a lot more of a home feel.”

Doherty and the men’s relay team started the U.S. weekend with a historic performance during the Men’s 4x7.5km Relay. Doherty raced the second leg skiing fast while avoiding penalties on the shooting range. The team was in range of the podium until a late fourth-leg penalty loop essentially pushed them out of top-three contention. Even then, they held off a strong Swedish team to finish 4th, the U.S. Biathlon’s best finish in the event since 1980.

“That was a historic performance for our men’s relay team,” said Doherty, “The relay means a lot to me, and it's really cool to share that with everyone. I’m really proud to have been a member of that team.”

Irwin, who holds the best individual performance for an American in Olympic Biathlon, enjoyed her own special moment as the races in Soldier Hollow provided a unique and exciting first for her.

“It was really incredible. It was the first time that I was able to compete in front of my family, which was just insane,” said Irwin. “It was really amazing just being able to ski up that last climb and hear such a big group of people chanting my name. It gave me a lot of motivation and energy.”

Germaine also got to celebrate a first. After bouncing between the World Cup and IBU Cup teams this year, Germaine landed his first pursuit of this World Cup season. Pursuit qualification is based on the outcome of sprint races earlier in the weekend, and all three U.S. soldier-biathletes qualified for their respective pursuits.

“It was huge, my first pursuit of the year. It was a great note to finish on and shows we are a strong house in the USBA (United States Biathlon Association),” said Germaine.

The efforts and results of the three biathletes add a chapter to the storied history of the military and biathlon. National Guard Biathlon Program Coordinator Maj. Anthony Lucia is always eager to celebrate that history and the performances of his athletes, saying, “Biathlon began as a military sport, and in the U.S. the partnership between the National Guard and the USBA emphasizes that historic relationship. Watching our athletes compete at this level is truly inspiring and exemplifies that civilian-to-military connection that still exists in the sport today.”

Doherty echoes that appreciation for the connection between the military and biathlon adding, “It was really cool to represent the country with that relay result, but it also means a lot to represent the guard and all the support they have given me over the years. It’s allowed me to continue the sport as a professional.”

Maj. Gen. Gregory Knight, adjutant general of Vermont, attended the races to celebrate the moment and his soldiers.

“I couldn’t be more proud of our biathletes. What they do out there is incredible; the training and determination to compete on this stage is astounding and they truly earned this chance to represent their country with a home crowd,” said Knight.

These races and results on “home snow” bolster the efforts of the National Guard Biathlon program and breed excitement for the future.

“I think it already shows we have a lot of athletes looking at the military route into joining biathlon when trying to figure out their next step in their skiing career,” says Irwin. “I have had a lot of people asking questions and wondering how the guard works, and I can say one hundred percent I would not have gone to the Olympics, and I would not be the biathlete I am today without the National Guard and the Army.”

National Guard News
Cabo Verde military leaders pose for a picture with Airmen from the 157th Air Refueling Wing at Pease Air National Guard Base, New Hampshire, May 9, 2024. The State Partnership Program exchange enabled Cabo Verde leaders to learn more about the wing's mission and where the partners can work together as Cabo Verde explores a military aviation program.
New Hampshire Guard Welcomes Cabo Verde State Partners
By Tech. Sgt. Victoria Nelson, | May 17, 2024
PEASE AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, N.H. - Cabo Verde military leaders visited New Hampshire National Guard Airmen at the 157th Air Refueling Wing for a three-day State Partnership Program exchange May 7-10.“These visits continue...

U.S. Air Force cyber operators and maintainers with the 103rd Air Control Squadron, Connecticut Air National Guard, unload a Tactical Operations System-Lite kit from a U.S. Army CH-47 Chinook assigned to Company B, 1st Battalion, 169th Aviation Regiment, Georgia Army National Guard, at Townsend Bombing Range, Georgia, May 15, 2024. As part of exercise Sentry Savannah, the 103rd ACS was the first National Guard unit to deploy and establish a cloud-based radar and radio connection from an austere, remote location using the TOC-L.
Connecticut Guard Deploys Cloud-Based Radar/Radio Connection
By Master Sgt. Morgan Whitehouse, | May 17, 2024
SAVANNAH, Ga. - Airmen from the 103rd Air Control Squadron, Connecticut Air National Guard, became the first National Guard unit to deploy and execute a cloud-based radar and radio connection of the Tactical Operations...

U.S. Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt IIs from the 104th Fighter Squadron, assigned to the Maryland Air National Guard, and support personnel participated in Desert Flag 2024 May 9, 2024. The exercise included 10 countries and 12 separate airframes to build upon a cohesive fighting force in the defense of the Arabian Peninsula.
Maryland Air Guard Participates in Desert Flag 2024
By Tech. Sgt. Mercedee Wilds, | May 17, 2024
UNDISCLOSED LOCATION - U.S. Air Force F-15E Strike Eagles from the 335th Fighter Squadron at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in North Carolina and U.S. Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt IIs from the 104th Fighter Squadron, assigned...