If you're into sports — and we're guessing that you are, considering how the military attracts avid athletes —there's a place for you to compete, or at least get a fix from the sidelines or sofa, no matter which sport is your thing.
From bowling and chess to tae kwon do and wrestling, service members are competing at all skill levels, from amateur to all-star.
To find out more about military sports, here are a handful of useful links:
• The best place for Defense Department-wide competitions is the DoD sports Web site, http://www.armedforcessports.com/">SportsLink, where you'll find the 2007 armed forces sports http://www.dod.mil/armedforcessports/calendar07.html">calendar, news stories, team and event photos, competition results, information on how to get involved in competitions and more.
• The http://www.cism-milsport.org/eng/welcome.html">Conseil International du Sport Militaire (or International Military Sports Council) is an international military sports federation that organizes about 100 sports events per year for 127 member nations, including the U.S.
• Service members also compete on the international stage through the Olympic games. Find out more information about Olympic teams http://www.olympic-usa.org/">here.
• Some service members compete full time through the http://www.armymwr.com/portal/recreation/sportsandfitness/program/">Army World Class Athlete Program, http://www.afsv.af.mil/AFSports/WCAP.htm">Air Force WCAP or other such programs, while others do so while also holding down a full-time job specialty. For information on how to get involved in military sports competition outside of the WCAP, check out the armed force sports site http://www.dod.mil/armedforcessports/formsrules.html">here.
• Each service branch maintains its own sports Web site, where you can find out about competitions below the all armed forces level:
Fans of the service academy sports teams are a unique and passionate breed. Not sure what we mean? Watch the annual Army-Navy football game in December and you'll see what we mean. To keep up with the academies' sports teams, check out their sites:
Army: http://www.goarmysports.com/">U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y.
Air Force: http://goairforcefalcons.cstv.com/">U.S. Air Force Academy at Colorado Springs, Colo.
Navy, Marine Corps: http://navysports.cstv.com/">U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, Md.
You'll also find general information on service academy athletics at these sites:
http://www.nadn.navy.mil/athletics.htm">Navy, Marine Corps
http://www.cgasports.com/">Coast Guard Academy at New London, Conn.
http://www.usmmasports.com/">Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point, N.Y.