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Discussion: U.S. Armed Forces Orienteering Team application open

in: Military Orienteering Championships 2016 (Nov 10–16, 2016 - Rio das Ostras, Rio de Janeiro, BR)

May 25, 2016 6:42 PM # 
The application for the U.S. Armed Forces Orienteering Team that will represent the USA in Brazil from 10-16 November is open at Use this link even if you're not Army; All Army Sports sponsors the team so it's handled through the Army portal.

All U.S. military athletes, regardless of rank or component, are welcome to apply. The delegation will consist of up to 7 male and 4 female athletes, a Coach, a Chief of Mission, and an Armed Forces Sports Team Leader. The Coach and Chief of Mission may also compete as athletes. All athletes must be approved by their respective Service's Sports office to participate.

You should apply now to ensure your application makes it through the approval process. If you will compete in events later in the summer, note the events and dates in your application so that we'll know to look for your results.

Members of the Orienteering USA national team selection committee will rank-order athletes by gender and discipline (sprint/middle/long) for Armed Forces Sports to consider in selecting the team. The committee already has national event results from the past year (available at If you do not have any nationally ranked races or if you have additional information you would like the committee to consider, include that in your application. For example:
-Results from Sprint/Middle/Long orienteering races not listed in the Orienteering USA rankings. Include a link to results or upload a copy.
-Results from 5K/10K/1 mile road or trail races
-Training log link or user name

The website currently lists 20 August as the last day to apply. We may move that date up to accommodate timelines to get orders approved and to allow for a September training camp in conjunction with the US 2-Day Classic Championship and NAOC. I will update this thread if that happens.

Let me know if you have any questions! Go USA!!
May 26, 2016 6:33 AM # 
I'm not from the US and I'm not in the military but I am applying for a position in the defence forces (the Australian equivalent). Can I apply?

Actually I'll be busy over that time period. Never mind.
May 26, 2016 10:14 AM # 
Well, tRicky, you could try to apply. However, the successful submission of an application by someone who doesn't have US military login credentials might draw some unwanted attention!

I don't believe the Australian Defence Forces attend CISM orienteering - think you could influence them to start?

Actually, you made me think of something I want to follow up on - other than the US orienteering community, which tends to be concentrated around areas with clubs (and which are frequently not near where many of our military orienteers are stationed), the only people I've met in the military that know what orienteering is and have more than Boy Scout merit badge experience have been our British and Australian exchange officers. Perhaps there's someone else out there as crazy about this sport as we are that we should be training with.
May 26, 2016 10:33 AM # 
Actually it's funny you should mention that. I do know that that the armed forces in Aus do have 'clubs' (e.g. cycling, triathlon, running, etc) and that you can join a club and then participate in those sports as part of your training or some such but at present there is no orienteering club, which probably explains why we're absent from the MOC. I know of at least two orienteers that are members of the armed forces and if I do get enlisted, I plan to try and form an orienteering club so that we can attend stuff like this, in addition to all our local (Aus) events.

In my opinion, orienteering (and rogaining) is more akin to defence force training than, say, rugby or cycling, but then they do have a heavy focus on team sports since it is a team environment.

I think you need some kind of senior officer to approve it though so that'll be the hard part.
May 26, 2016 11:15 AM # 
Awesome! Totally agree on sport relevance - and orienteering is one of the original CISM sports for that reason. I'll send you a note later with some links.
May 26, 2016 4:52 PM # 
@tRicky: Australia is a part of British Commonwealth (formerly British Empire), so Australians pledge loyalty to the Queen. Americans, who fought for independence from the Queen, would be naturally suspicions about your application, considering you as a potential spy.Those old wounds run deep.
May 26, 2016 5:13 PM # 
Ironically, I had just noted to tRicky that we haven't had any Commonwealth competitors in CISM Orienteering recently, although the US dropped out for nearly a decade so it's not like any of us have any institutional memory. In fact, it looks like there are not very many Commonwealth members of CISM.

Canada is a member, though. I hope we'll see a Canadian team one of these days!
May 26, 2016 7:12 PM # 
I know individual members of the Canadian Forces have tried to attend CISM and have been turned down. Outreach would probably have to come from Orienteering Canada to the right levels at DND.
May 26, 2016 9:23 PM # 
Bummer. Virginia DeBons is to thank for reinvigorating things on our end. We're grateful to OUSA for supporting us as we get the program reestablished!
May 26, 2016 9:46 PM # 
Ha! All I did was call armed forces sports every few weeks until they agreed to fund a team just to shut me up :) In all seriousness, though, the AFS folks were surprisingly receptive, and once they saw the sport for themselves, a few of them even remarked that the skills needed were far more relevant to military training than just about any other sport they funded. The relatively low cost (no specialized equipment to ship and reasonably inexpensive gear needed) was also a good selling point. And thanks to Jordan Laughlin for laying a lot of the ground work and telling me about CISM in the first place!
May 27, 2016 1:54 AM # 
Yurets, when Trump gets into power he will build a wall between America and Australia so you won't have to worry about infiltration.
May 27, 2016 11:17 AM # 
I should've guessed Jordan was involved. Well, if any of the Canadian orienteers are interested in giving it another shot, let me know. Given that we're planning to hold our training camp right before NAOC, perhaps we have an opportunity for our respective sports offices to collaborate. Combined training camps are encouraged in CISM, after all! While I can't promise anything (not even sure we'll be able to hold an official training camp, although I think a bunch of us will do it on our own if necessary), I'd be willing to explore starting that dialog if desired.
May 27, 2016 11:32 AM # 
I only have a fading memory of this but I think it was discouraging for some countries sending their military orienteering teams to CISM to realize that from some countries such as Switzerland the team members were orienteers first and soldiers second. That is the team members were the best orienteers in the country just happening to do their military service during the time of the CISM events. The USA teams - Bob Turbyfill and Don Davis for example were the best orienteers among the career military trying out that year.
For the US this year I hope you can talk Dave Ashley in to applying - has World MTB-O experience.
May 27, 2016 1:03 PM # 
Dash is on my distro! But yes, the competition with countries whose entire population is effectively in our National Guard equivalent makes it tough. It helps that two of our National Team members are military, but depth is a challenge to be competitive. We're working on it - better in 2014 than 2013, aiming for top half women and top 2/3 men this year. It gives us all something to train for, and I've been excited to see some college orienteers continue to stay with the sport because of CISM.
May 27, 2016 2:53 PM # 
Hey I've got world MTBO experience too but you still won't have me :P
May 27, 2016 9:59 PM # 
Ricky - I seem to recall some Australian presence at CISM in the 1980s, when there was a bit more orienteering in the Australian military than there is now. There was a club at the Australian Defence Force Academy in the late 1980s/early 1990s but the only one of them who was any good was a New Zealander. I think Arnold Simson would have been the last Australian orienteer with any real elite credentials who was full-time military although a few since have been in the reserves (Grace Crane the most prominent). No idea what would be involved in getting an Australian team there, assuming you could find some people to be in it.

The standard at CISM can be very high, especially if it doesn't clash with major events in Europe - last year's was almost World Cup standard at the top end. There were also performances from some countries outside Europe (Brazil, Ecuador and Chile for example) well in excess of anything those countries have achieved at WOC (e.g. two Brazilian women in the top 20).
May 28, 2016 12:36 AM # 
I'll just focus on getting in first and then think about the details later. Maybe Turnbull can focus his election strategy on mandatory service for orienteers and in return provide funding for our WOC teams.
May 28, 2016 4:57 PM # 
tRicky: MTBO experience is certainly a plus. You could be placed into a mounted reconnaissance unit. But ask yourself a question: Am I tough enough for the Army?
Army does not need those bleeding heart softies.
May 28, 2016 9:17 PM # 
Is CISM different than CIOR? Just curious because Chuck Ferguson has been having O' training camps every summer here in Vermont for one of those groups (CIOR?).
May 29, 2016 4:05 PM # 
Yep, different organizations with different membership/participation criteria and competition styles. The CIOR military skills competition (pentathlon) is a team event with a large orienteering component, the whole thing very military (compete in uniform, test other military skills, etc). The CISM competitions are sports events where the participants are in the military.
May 30, 2016 12:19 AM # 
CIOR is a NATO event purely for reserve officers (plus invited countries like Sweden). CISM I believe is open to all in the forces.
May 30, 2016 3:54 AM # 
Even after reading all this I still don't know what CISM stands for.
May 30, 2016 6:09 AM # 
Conseil International du Sport Militaire.
May 30, 2016 7:46 AM # 
Say what?
May 30, 2016 12:51 PM # 
Parle-vous fran├žais?
May 30, 2016 1:09 PM # 
C'est ouatte?

This discussion thread is closed.