By Scott Prater
Capt. Jeremy Brown was recently named Schriever’s Athlete of the Quarter for the first quarter of 2009.
Aside from his duties as an engineer for the 4th Space Operations Squadron, Captain Brown fills his days as a player and coach for 4th SOPS in a multitude of sports. This spring he is a co-captain for the squadron’s volleyball team. During the winter he helped 4th SOPS earn second place in the intramural basketball tournament and he played and coached for 4th SOPS’ racquetball team.
This year, he’s already competed in January’s Bench Press/Deadlift competition, February’s Lazyman Triathlon and March’s St. Pattie’s Day 5K Run.
“I’m extremely competitive, so I like to stay involved,” Captain Brown said. “Sports is one way I get my competitive fix, so to speak. These intramurals are a great avenue for that.”
The fitness center director, the Schriever sports director and four recreational assistants choose the athlete of the quarter based on several criteria: participation and placement in Schriever sporting events, participation and placement in on-base intramural sports, coaching or volunteering for youth sports in the community and participation in prestigious events like All-Armed Forces competitions.
The panel then ranks nominees from high to low to decide the winner. In the event of a tie, the Force Support Flight Chief decides the winner. Seth Cannello, fitness center director, said he’s experienced only one tie in the history of the award.
“There were several other nominees that had impressive areas in their nomination packages, but nobody else covered as many sections as Captain Brown,” Cannello said. “For me, the choice was easy.”
Captain Brown grew up in Florida, where he wrestled and swam in high school. The grandson of military veterans, he says he dreamt of entering the Air Force from the time he was a toddler.
He enlisted in the Air Force right out of high school then earned an appointment to the Air Force Academy. Holding an astronautical engineering degree from the Air Force Academy, Captain Brown began pilot training during 2002. Though the pilot program didn’t work out for him, he began his Air Force career at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., where he spent two years before moving to Colorado.
He arrived at Schriever during 2005 and is now the lead engineer on the Extremely High Frequency Constellation Integration Program with 4th SOPS.
“Four EHF satellites will be joining the Milstar Constellation, so we’re working to make sure 4th SOPS is ready when that happens,” he said.
As a competitive athlete, Captain Brown is keenly aware of how fortunate he is to be stationed here.
“Schriever is unlike any base I’ve been to – the intramurals happen during the duty day,” he said. “Typically, most people will drive home and then come back after their duty day to play intramurals. To be able to do it this way is a novel idea. Sometimes it’s difficult for squadrons to make it because of their work schedules, but I’m lucky to be in a squadron that encourages participation in intramurals and events.”
Captain Brown also enjoys competing in triathlons and adventure races. Something he’ll take up again this summer.
“I don’t do the full triathlons, mostly just sprints, but I’m interested in doing half Ironman distances in the future,” he said. “We’ll see what happens there, but what I really like to do is adventure races.”
Adventure races are like sprint triathlons, in that they always include running and cycling. The adventure comes in the form of a mystery event.
“Sometimes, events will include rappelling, kayaking or rafting,” Captain Brown said. “I even did one with an archery component. A lot of the events involve navigation as well. Organizers will give you a map and you have to get to a point, with check points along the way.”
Towns in Colorado like Pagosa Springs and Leadville host adventure races during the summer months, but competitions are held around the country. Captain Brown competed in an adventure race last year in Atlanta, Ga., along with his brother and an Air Force Academy classmate.
Living in Colorado and working at Schriever allows him an opportunity to chase many athletic endeavors. The intramural sports feed his desire for competition, and the adventure sports provide the fun.
“I’ve been told at times that I’m maybe too competitive,” he said. “But for me, and a lot of others, athletics provides that motivation to stay in shape, especially as we get older. And in the Air Force we have the fit-to-fight standard, so all these sports are good things to do.”