World Champions Timeout For Marines on July 4th

American300 Public Affairs-
Bridgeport, California - For over 150 years Bridgeport, has hosted one of the best small town nation's birthday celebrations in the country.   In this rural golden state town where cows outnumber people, July 4th traditions include everything from pancake breakfasts to a 6 block spectator lined main street parade.

Since 1951, the towns parade has featured Marines and their families, the result of the Department of Defense constructing our only Marine Mountain Warfare Training Center just 20 minutes north of town.

For Rodeo World Champions Lewis Feild, John Jones Jr and Super Bowl Champion Bear Pascoe, who is also a Wrangler 20x Cowboy,  along with United States Air Force Staff Sergeant Jenna Smeenk, a Miss Rodeo USA Florida, our nation's birthday is providing an opportunity to assist our countries only military special operations equestrian program.

Born out of the Marine Animal Packers program which has been around for decades at the training center, the Marines implemented a speciality horsemanship course several years ago.  The goal of the new program: to provide our special operations community of warriors the opportunity to familiarize and excel in horsemanship.  While visions of mounted calvary can easily come to mind, the new program couldn't be farther from these thoughts.  Instead service members are taught the basics of equestrian knowledge and then trained in all forms of terrain movement while on horseback.  "We want service members who come through this program to not only understand the ins and outs of horsemanship, but we want them to be able to ride in all types of terrain and look natural doing it." says Tony Parkhurst, a retired Marine Master Sergeant who serves as the manager of the program for the Marine Corps.

With only a few hundred acres of actual Department of Defense designated property, the Marine Mountain Warfare Training Center relies on public lands to fulfill it's training mission and this in part is why these celebrity Cowboys and Cowgirls are visiting over the 4th of July.

 "We bring guests to the Mountain Training Center 3-4 times per year, usually with a focus on subject matter expert interactions surrounding the Marines core training programs," says Robi Powers of American300 adding, "Last year while visiting the center with world champion hall of fame cowboys we realized that Bridgeport is a major cattle town, so we reached out to one of the premier livestock companies and asked if we could bring Marines, Cowboys and Cattlemen together to strengthen the training centers community relations."

The result was a relationship created between American300, the Marines and the Centennial Livestock Company.  "We love having the Marines on our ranch, they're always welcome," says Marcus Bunn, the manager for the Lacey and Wood Family owned Centennial Livestock Company, he adds "last year Robi and American300 guests visited us with Marines on several occasions, this year he has brought back Lewis and John along with Super Bowl Champion Bear Pascoe and a Miss Rodeo USA. They're going to be bringing Marines down to the ranch and participating in our annual Bridgeport Centennial Livestock Ranch Rodeo… the town is jacked up to meet these guys."

With designated time for the expert horsemen to spend time with Special Operations Horsemanship and Animal Packing Cadre members as well as two days worth of community interaction this years 'Wrangler American Mountain Cowboy Tour' is sure to be a total success.

"We've never had a Super Bowl Champion compete in our Ranch Rodeo, let alone take time out to play catch with the kids in town," says Marcus Bunn adding "This town loves the United States Marine Corps and all of our Services, but having American300 bring these guys in to help out our Marines and show such tremendous support to our town for supporting them is very special."

For more information on American300 visit: www.american300.org

For more on the USMC MWTC visit: www.29palms.marines.mil/mcmwtc/UnitHome.aspx

American300 is an all volunteer 501c3 nonprofit with a mission of increasing our Armed Forces resiliency and operations expertise.  No federal endorsement of sponsors or nonprofit is intended or implied.

USSA Athletes Meet US Army Helicopter Pilot at Rookie Camp

WASHINGTON, June 19, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Rookie national team athletes with the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA) will learn about resilience from a former Army helicopter pilot as part of the Military Mentorship Program, an innovative initiative of the USSA which brings together Olympic hopefuls and members of the U.S. military. On June 19, participating skiers and snowboarders with the rookie team, including two Olympic athletes, will meet at the USSA's Center of Excellence in Park City, Utah with Jen Housholder, a survivor of post-traumatic stress disorder who now works as a resilience trainer.
"In recent years, the U.S. military has done groundbreaking work in the field of resilience training," said Luke Bodensteiner, executive vice president of athletics for the USSA. "But these concepts don't just apply to the battlefield. As our athletes prepare themselves for years of rigorous emotional and physical training, we hope they can learn from the insights of service members who've worked in the field."
Sponsored by PenFed (Pentagon Federal Credit Union), the Military Mentorship Program was founded by Army veteran and former U.S. Ski Team coach Robi Powers. The program has already held several events including a meet-up in Utah with athletes preparing for the Olympic Games in Sochi who spoke with Purple Heart recipients one-on-one, as well as a meet-up at a military base in Louisiana where service members collaborated with Olympic and Paralympic athletes. 
A certified Master Resilience Trainer, Housholder currently works as a civilian flight tester at Edwards Air Force Base in southern California. In her off hours, she is the lead singer of Hous Band, performing original songs in venues such as the House of Blues about the challenges facing members of the military as they return to civilian life among other topics.
"Our nation's defenders and our top athletes both know that their biggest obstacles lie within," said James Schenck, PenFed president and CEO, and proud sponsor of the first ever Military Mentorship Program. "Whether trying to successfully complete a combat mission or win a gold medal, learning to be resilient in the midst of high-stress situations can mean the difference between success and failure."  
About the Military Mentorship Program
Founded by the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association in 2013, the Military Mentorship Program brings military personnel and elite athletes together to exchange and create meaningful experiences. The effort will take U.S. Olympic athletes to military bases nationwide and around the world and bring retired and active-duty U.S. military personnel, including officers, to the USSA Olympic training sites. The program will enable both athletes and military personnel to mutually benefit from each other. To learn more visit: http://ussa.org/military-mentorship-program 

About USSA
The U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA) is the national governing body of Olympic skiing and snowboarding. It is the parent organization of the U.S. Ski Team, U.S. Snowboarding and U.S. Freeskiing. To learn more about USSA visit: www.ussa.org 

Striving for Excellence in Life - Olympians perspective shared with Airmen

Barksdale Air Force Base-  US Ski Team three-time Olympian Emily Cook has traveled the world for decades competing on her sports highest stage.  After her third Olympic Games performance in Sochi, Russia the veteran freestyle aerials champion announced her retirement from the US Ski Team’s National Team and assumed a position on the team’s board of directors.  In announcing her retirement, Cook opened the door for the next generation of champions who have watched her image splashed across television sets and used in the ski team’s visual marketing campaigns for nearly twenty years.  Seeing new blood come into the sport is very important to Cook, who at age two lost her mother to a drunk driving accident. She was raised by her single father. “I was a wild child and he had his hands full... I owe him so much.” she shared with the Airmen. 

Until this past year, helping fellow USSA athletes get motivated and stay focused was the sole responsibility of the team’s coaching and support staff members who along with each athletes circle of family and friends would design individual programs to make individual athletes the strongest team players possible. 

All that changed this past winter when the USSA announced a whole new program designed around helping not only their team, but the largest team in the country... our United States Armed Forces.  

Called the USSA Military Mentorship Program presented by PenFed, and a mission of connecting our nations top athletes with the world’s greatest military, the USSA MMP has Olympians like Emily Cook traveling to bases all over the world with American300 a Veteran run nonprofit that specializes in resiliency programming. Once on bases,  athletes and service members connect in workspaces and get to know each other, learn from each other... far from the confines of a classroom or lecture hall the program is built around connectedness... power point and computer based learning isn’t allowed. With a relaxed and comfortable approach and led by military veterans who volunteer to host the olympians on base visits, service members and athletes are slowing things down and talking, sharing and enjoying each others company.

“So much of what goes into making an Olympic Team is based on duty, sacrifice and commitment to excellence,” says Jesse Stewart, a retired US Army Ranger wounded warrior who sits on the board of directors of American300, he adds “As service  members we are required to take countless online classes and attend lectures and briefings on professional development, these visits represent a means of putting a real life face on much of what is being taught within the DoD and more importantly igniting a passion for our service members to pay closer attention to the online learning requirements, have it all mean more.” 

Emily Cook agrees:  “Our military members are some of the most resilient people I’ve ever met, just look at what we as a nation have asked them to do over the past two decades alone, but the stress of always being perfect, always striving for excellence can take it’s toll on anyone. This program is about sharing lessons learned from people who have been there and can relate completely to one another’s struggles. Both the athletes and service members end up better for the experiences shared.” 

In 2011, after winning an Olympic silver medal in Vancouver, one of Cook’s closest friends and teammates committed suicide.  “We had worked through many scary moments with Speedy ( Jeret Peterson ) and he was actually doing so much better going into the Vancouver Games, but after the Games when he announced his retirement things started to slip again. I can’t stress the importance of talking about mental illness no matter what the trigger and sticking together as a team as much as possible - it’s about caring for one another as much as possible.” says Cook. 

In Peterson’s case, like that of a Barksdale Air Force Base Airmen who killed himself just days before American300 arrived on base with Cook and Paralympic Curling Captain Patrick McDonald, a Army Wounded Warrior who shares an amazing life history of never quitting, the outcome was the same.

“Speedy had reached out to us on several occasions and we’d managed to keep him from doing the unthinkable, but this one time he didn’t reach out and we couldn’t stop him. If there’s one take away that we all live with, it’s that we have to constantly take care of one another and get over the stigma associated with mental illness.” 

About American300 Tours - Visits to Barksdale AFB are sponsored by Air Force Global Strike Command and the 2nd Bomb Wing.  The nonprofit is also engaged with several other Major Commands throughout the DoD and Homeland Security and works regularly to support the USO and Armed Forces Entertainment Office of the DoD. American300 is an all volunteer 501c3 nonprofit. No federal endorsement of sponsors or nonprofit is intended or implied - American300.org

For more information about American300 Tours visit:  www.American300.org
For more on the USSA MMP visit: www.ussa.org/military-mentorship-program
For more on Air Force Global Strike Command: www.afgsc.af.mil 

Never Quit Series Makes Final Stop at 307th Bomb Wing

Story and Photos By Master Sgt. Greg Steele, 307th Bomb Wing
(BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE) - Resiliency is defined as the ability to recover, and whether physically or emotionally, we all experience times of hardship. In recognition of the challenges faced daily by the men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces, the American300 Tours was formed.
As part of the American300 Tour 'Never Quit Series', members of the 307th Bomb Wing were able to meet a couple of America's top athletes, 4-time Olympic skier Emily Cook and U.S. Paralympic Curling Team captain Patrick McDonald, during their tour of Barksdale Air Force Base, La., June 5, 2014.
"The mission of the American300 Tours is to increase the resiliency of our troops, their families, and the communities that they live and operate in," said Rob Powers, U.S. Army veteran and founder of the American300 Tours. "It's a great opportunity for us to show our appreciation for the dedication and sacrifices made daily by our military members."
The American300 Tours is an all-volunteer organization working in partnership with the Department of Defense to bring new forms of master resiliency programming to service members.
"The tour offers me an opportunity to tell my story and connect with military members who are faced with their own personal struggles, whether they be physical, emotional, or both," said Patrick McDonald. "It's important for them to know we care and are very grateful for their service."
McDonald faced his own personal struggle in 1991, after being involved in an accident while serving with the U.S. Army in South Korea. The accident left him paralyzed from the waist down, and he credits the support of family and friends for his recovery. Sports also played a key part in his rehabilitation, as he excelled in wheelchair basketball, swimming, golf, and table tennis, which eventually led to him earning a spot on the U.S. Curling Team and competing in the 2010 Paralympics held in Vancouver, Canada.
The Olympians spent two-days on Barksdale, visiting the different commands to talk to Airmen about their experiences and get a hands-on feel for what they do.
"Emily and Patrick are awesome. I've never met an Olympian before," said Senior Airman Trimaine Clemons, 307th Operations Support Flight aircrew flight equipment technician. "For them to come out to our shop and show such an interest and appreciation for what we do really means a lot."
Emily Cook's interest and determination were put to the test when she participated in the repacking of a B-52H Stratofortress drag chute, which is deployed from the tail of the aircraft to help slow it down after landing. The final repack is performed by an Airman jumping up and down on the folded chute to force it down into its container.
"I'm pretty sure I had the technique down, but I just didn't have the weight," said Cook laughingly. "When I met Rob and was told about the American300 Tour, I knew it was something I wanted to be a part of."
Cook has been through her own personal struggles. From the death of her mother when she was two years old, to battling an injury after making the 2002 Olympic Ski Team, Cook persevered when she achieved her Olympic dream by competing in the 2006 Winter Olympics in Italy.
As the American300 Tour came to an end at Barksdale, there was one obstacle yet to be overcome. "I want to climb into the cockpit of a B-52," said McDonald. For him to get into the cockpit, the first step would be the hardest.
With assistance from Powers and aircraft crew chiefs from the 307th and 2nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadrons (AMXS), McDonald made it up the hatch and after much determination, into the pilot's seat. "I climb in and out of this aircraft every day, so I know how hard it can be," said Tech. Sgt. David Bailey, 307th AMXS crew chief. "To see Patrick make it all the way into the pilot's seat is an inspiration and one of the coolest things I've been a part of."
The American300 Tour is relentless in its effort to include resiliency in their Themed Tours and then showcase the Troops through partnerships with corporate partners, media connections and great Americans who have connectivity to the same.
"I'm very proud to help connect servicemen and women with the people whose freedom they ensure," said Powers. "Americans honoring America's heroes…it's what we do!"

For more information on American300 Tours:  www.American300.org 

World Champion Pulls Off Circuit to Salute Service Members on Week-Long USO/American300 Tour to Alaska

American300 Public Affairs - Story by Mike Lane

For World Champion Bareback Rodeo Cowboy Kaycee Feild, taking his cowboy hat off for our nation’s troops has become a Memorial Day tradition.  The son of Hall of Fame World Champion Cowboy Lewis Feild, a legend in the sport, young Kaycee Feild grew up riding horses in Elk Ridge, Utah - a small ranching community south of Salt Lake City with the goal of following in his father’s boot steps.

Unlike his father, who retired from the pro ranks in 1991, the current world champion isn’t in the Cowboy Hall of Fame, but is certainly headed in that direction.  He just needs to finish up his career first and doesn’t have any intention of stopping soon. Ranked number one in the world as of Memorial Day 2014, the younger Feild has his eyes set on winning his fourth straight world championship title this year. 

“When Wrangler and American300 asked if I’d be willing to pull off the circuit back in 2010 and tour bases saluting our troops throughout the Memorial Day week, I knew it’d cause me to lose some valuable points,” says Feild, who is now married and has a young daughter.  He adds, “Back when we started doing the Wrangler National Patriot Troop Tour, I was just a college national champion so the pressure to put up world championship points wasn’t as great as it is now.”

Now, five years later, Feild just smiles when fans and fellow cowboys talk of his obvious absence from the pro circuit during the last week in May. “I attribute so much of what has gone into winning three straight world championships to the annual Memorial Day Troop Tour that I participate with American300 and now the USO each year.” says Field.  “To spend 10-14 days each year with our nation’s finest is the best mental training a cowboy can have.  Our troops have been and continue to be as much a part of my professional success as my family and friends.” 

With visits to Iraq, Afghanistan and the Pacific Command behind him, Feild and fellow USO Wrangler National Patriot Tour members: Annie Bianco Ellett, Maegan Ridley, Lucas Hoge and Jeff Chadwick, are focused on the United States Coast Guard during this year’s tour.

“We’ve spent a lot of time with the Marines, Army, Navy and Air Force over the past Memorial Day tours,” says Annie Bianco Ellett, a Cowboy Mounted Shooting Association Hall of Fame World Champion.  “To be able to focus on the Coasties this time really brings the five year experience into perspective. I mean we’re all fives this year; five years visiting troops, five cowboys and cowgirls and five branches of service visited and all equally important to our freedoms.” 

American300 volunteer tour leader John Bates agrees, “putting cowboy hats and boots and the champions that wear them on the decks and docks of the United States Coast Guard is as good as it gets, thanks to the USO and American300 for making it happen this year.”
   
#LONGLIVECOASTIES

For more information on the United States Coast Guard visit:  www.uscg.mil 

For more information on the USO visit:  www.uso.org 


Follow the tour on facebook at:  www.facebook.com/thewarriortours  ‘American300 Tours’ 

USO Wrangler National Patriot Memorial Day Tour

FOLLOW THE TOUR ON FACEBOOK:  'AMERICAN300 TOURS' and 'USO

Olympic Medalists Visit Joint Base Pearl Harbor - Hickam on USO Tour

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Laurie Dexter, Navy Public Affairs Support Element West, Det. Hawaii

PEARL HARBOR (NNS) -- Three-time Olympic medalist Kelly Clark, three-time Olympic medalist Steven Holcomb and two-time Olympic medalist Andrew Weibrecht visited Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, May 9, during a United Service Organizations (USO) tour of Oahu.

During the tour, the Olympians went aboard the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Chosin (CG 65) for a meet and greet with the Sailors.

One of the Sailors got to meet her childhood hero and inspiration.

"I've been snowboarding since I was 7 years old," said Operations Specialist 2nd Class Danielle Howard. "I've watched Kelly Clark for years and I can't believe I'm meeting her while being in the Navy. I've watched her since I was little and she's probably the reason why I snowboard today."

According to Clark, inspiration and morale is what it's all about.

"I've been inspired, to say the least, and that's really what I hope to achieve in snowboarding," said Clark. "I want to make sure I am inspiring people to be their best. It's amazing to hear that maybe someone would dare to dream and be inspired by what I've done."

American 300 Tours Founder and Managing Director Robi Powers explained a comparable connection between the Olympians and service members.

"Olympians and armed forces members work under the same premises: duty, sacrifice, commitment, honor and integrity, in everything they do," said Powers. "What we have found is that by bringing Olympians out, we're really just bringing individuals from a parallel universe. The time away from home, the commitment to training, the ability to take directions from coaches, is so parallel to what our armed forces do."

After their visit aboard USS Chosin, the Olympians conducted a meet and greet with members of the Air Force and observed demonstrations at the joint-services military working dog kennels.

The Olympians also participated in a Fitness and Wellness Fair at the Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam Fitness Center. The activities at the fair included a fire truck pull, bench press competition, aerobic workouts, health evaluations and informational booths from various organizations.

The USO plans and creates events around the world designed to lift the spirits of America's troops and their families. A non-profit, congressionally chartered, private organization, the USO relies on individuals, organizations and corporations to support its activities. The USO is not part of the U.S. government, but is recognized by the Department of Defense, Congress and President of the United States, who serves as Honorary Chairman of the USO. 

For more news from Navy Public Affairs Support Element West, Det. Hawaii, visit www.navy.mil/local/pacenhawaii/.

For more information on the USO please visit:  www.USO.org
For more on American300 Tours go to: www.American300.org 


Olympians and Troops…similarities in excellence!

Joint Base Pearl Harbor, Hawaii -  With the snow melting literally around them, US Ski Team and Snowboard Olympic Team members: Emily Cook and Alex Deibold charged through the Sochi Winter Olympic Games.

One came home with Olympic Bronze, the other with the satisfaction of a best Olympic result after 3 Olympic Teams and Games.

Now a little over a month after the Sochi Winter Olympic Games have come to a close the two Olympians are headed west to another seaside clime: Hawaii and Joint Base Pearl Harbor's Hickam Air Force Base and Marine Corps Base Hawaii.  While most Olympians take time off to recharge from an Olympic Games, Cook and Deibold are focused on spending time with American Service Members as part of American300's 'Heavy Medal Tour VII'.

American300 has rounded up Olympic athletes and asked them to share their personal life experiences with service members… and sweat with them too since 2009.   The first Olympian to tour with the nonprofit: Olympic gold medalist and hall of fame runner Frank Shorter, who traveled to Iraq.  "The parallels between pursuing a career of excellence as an amateur athlete and those of serving our country in the armed forces are surprisingly similar," says Mike Lane, a volunteer with American300 who has traveled on 2 Heavy Medal Tours, adding, "We would have stopped doing these themed Olympian Troop Tours had it not been for the feedback we receive from commanders and their teams on the ground. Troops just love meeting and sharing with Olympians."

Swapping personal life stories, providing encouragement and offering support is the foundation of American300 Tours resiliency programming which includes themed tours involving a wide array of individuals, from wounded warriors to extreme and professional athletes.

When Olympians are involved they travel under the themes of:  'Heavy Medal Tour' and 'Beyond the Games' each involving Olympians giving up their time and energy to connect with service members.  "We've had Olympians all over the world engaging with service members in everything from tactical exercises to demanding physical fitness tests," says Robi Powers, Veteran and founder of American300, he adds "but listening to the athletes and service members just talk is what gives us the biggest positive charge.  Once they get chatting away you can't tell who the Olympians are vs. the Service Members."

The two worlds of: duty, sacrifice and total commitment just aren't that far apart.   "I just can't wait to experience what these service members go through on a regular basis, they tell me I'm going to be doing a 15km combat gear run with the Marines next week," says Alex Deibold, a Sochi Winter Games Olympic Bronze Medalist in snowboarding boardercross, "I'm down for living in their boots literally, if that means trying out new things all the better."

Emily Cook, considered by most to be one of America's true Olympic Team ambassadors has always wanted to connect with service members.  When the opportunity to join the American300 Tours became available she jumped at it.  "It's incredible to think about and talk about the things that we have in common with our service members, our troops have faced so many obstacles that we can't even imagine, but there are similarities in how we overcome obstacles and that is what I'm excited to share next week," says Cook, a 15 year veteran of international elite athletics adding, "I've always wanted to be able to do this, now after 3 Olympic Teams I am and it's just fantastic."

For Cook, the journey to visit Air Force Airmen and Marines won't be the last of her volunteer duties with American300 this year. "We have Emily slated to travel with Army wounded warrior and 2x US Paralympic Team member Patrick McDonald, the 'Skip' of the USA Men's Curling Paralympic Team in June, they'll be visiting Barksdale Air Force Base on 'Heavy Medal Tour VIII'" says Lane.

Elite athletes and the world's greatest Armed Forces, similarities in excellence… let the sharing begin!

For more on American300 Tours visit:  www.American300.org

American300 is a all volunteer nonprofit 501c3 with a mission of supporting the Department of Defenses Comprehensive Service Member Fitness Programs.   No federal endorsement is implied or intended - American300.org




Astronaut Sends Thanks to Air Force Space Command Airmen

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE- American300 volunteers: Mike Lane, John Kohnke, Erik Powers and Robi Powers spend the day with Airmen from 21st Space Wing and 1st Space Wing at Schriever Air Force Base.  The American300 team was on deck to share stories about NASA Astronaut and fellow American300 volunteer mentor Astronaut Steve Swanson.   Swanson launched into space on International Space Station Mission 39 today.


video
For more on the visit please go to:  'American300 Tours'  

The Mountain Brotherhood… climbers and scout snipers

Marines and Mountaineers receiving FTX Orders
USMC Mountain Warfare Training Center, Pickel Meadows California -  “You've been issued 30 rounds of 5.56 ammunition, the exercise will be broken down into 2 skiing movements with 2 shooting stages,” the voice of the mountain warfare training center scout sniper cadre member could be heard echoing off the mountains along the Pacific Rim Trail, “Upon completion of this field exercise we’ll tally up the hits and deduct 1 minute for every round on target to determine the fastest finish time.” 

Eric Meyer, of Steamboat Springs, Colorado had spent enough time around nordic skiing as a US Ski Team Physcian to know that 30 hits would nearly wipe out the 5km total cross-country ski portion of this military style biathlon exercise.  He also knew that he along with fellow Himalayan climbers Chris Klinke and Chhiring Dorje Sherpa had their work cut out for them to keep up with the elite Marine Corps scout snipers joining them in the exercise.   

    “I never saw myself sitting around a fire pit in the middle of the night, 
talking about Everest Base Camp and Camp Leatherneck - Afghanistan 
in the same sentence.”    -   Eric Meyer M.D.  

Eric Meyer M.D. wraps up a course of fire
American300 Tours brought these renowned high altitude expedition leaders to the training center to assist the DoD with subject matter expertise. While the climbers had little familiarization with Marine Corps issued equipment and weapons, they did posses strategic and tactical operational experience in dealing with compartmentalized high altitude environs.  

Chris Klinke talks mountaineering with Marines
“We’re here because of American300, they (the nonprofit) are focused on exchange, whether in the form of subject matter resiliency experts or operational expertise,” said Eric Meyer M.D., adding “Chhiring has never shot a rifle in his life, but what he lacks in weapons knowledge he more then makes up for in mountain clime experience, he's been to the top of Mount Everest 12 times.”

As Chris Klinke adjusted the straps on his desert tan government issue rucksack, Chhiring Dorje was busy deciding which way he wanted to sling the M4 rifle over his back. “This is fantastic, we’ve spent the last 24 hours up here in the high Sierra’s with these combat hardened Marines, the entire experience has been an open two-way exchange of information and experience.” said Chris Klinke, the expedition leader for the Americans. 

Chhiring Dorje Sherpa
When the exercise was over, it came down to shooting expertise to determine the overall winner.  With no missed shots, Corporal David Thiessen, of the 3rd Battalion 3rd Marine Regiment came out on top. “I was just focused on my skis and not throwing up,” said Thiessen closing with, “Scout Snipers are a tight community, everyone knows everyone, it’s just like the mountaineer community and that makes for commonality and brotherhood which you need when operating in these climes.”

For more photos visit American300 on Facebook: 
American300 Tours
For more information about American300:  www.American300.org

American300 is an all volunteer 501c3 nonprofit with a mission of supporting the Department of Defense and Department of State with unique resiliency subject matter experts.  No federal endorsement of sponsors or nonprofit is ever intended or implied -   American300.org operates as a NGO/AVO. 





Perfection In All They Do… olympians visit nuclear missile and bomber base

Olympic Gold Medalist - Phil Mahre - US Ski Team
Minot Air Force Base, Minot North Dakota -   When Olympic Gold and Silver Medalists Phil and Steve Mahre, showed up for training they’d mentally prepared as best they could.  Their skis were waxed and sharpened by professionals... they were ready to strive for excellence. Throughout their careers as two of America’s greatest alpine ski racers they attained results that others only dreamed about.  

From Olympic gold and silver to world cup and world championship globes... they were simply the best.  How they trained had a huge part to do with their results, but they never had to achieve total perfection on a daily basis.  Race days provided the exam and in their case the scores where more times then not... perfect. 

This week, the Mahre brothers, will travel to this northern tear nuclear missile and bomber base to share life lessons learned and meet America’s nuclear force defenders and operators.   Joining them,  Olympian and X Games star Erin Simmons Nemec.   “I’ve been volunteering for American300 for several years now, they’ve had me on 2 nuclear bomber and 1 missile base so far, Minot has both and I can’t wait to share the experience with the Mahre brothers,” said Nemec, who like the Mahre brothers is now a parent and married, “ they’re going to be newbies learning about a mission that demands perfection on a daily basis.” 
Olympic Silver Medalist - Steve Mahre

Using on the ground personal life story telling and sharing is the mission of American300.  “We know that Airmen zoom through their mandatory computer based resiliency training.  Our goal is to bring aspects of the United States Air Forces Comprehensive Airmen Fitness program to life... put a face on it... make it relate-able.” says the nonprofits founder Robi Powers, of Steamboat Springs Colorado, a Veteran and retired US Ski Team coach. 

While the entire United States Armed Forces strive for perfection each and every day, the Air Force Global Strike Command bases along with other nuclear capable commands in the Navy have to achieve it or face being showcased on world and national news hours.   “We travel to bases all over the world supporting the DoD with resiliency training enhancement. We work with command problems, service members that make mistakes and accidents that occur as a result,” says Powers, adding, “It’s almost a luxury that some mission sets allow for minor mistakes to occur, Air Force Global Strike along with the rest of the DoD’s nuclear capable teams just can’t slip up.” 


“I believe the demands of what I did in the sporting world are nothing compared to what these service members go through regularly” - Steve Mahre 

Striving to be perfect each and everyday is something the hall of fame skiing Mahre brothers know a thing or two about.  “As athletes our training was where we found our limits and mistakes could be made without consciences.  It was only on competition days that perfection mattered.  These Airmen have to be perfect all the time, I hope they understand how special they are.” said Phil Mahre, his brother Steve adding,“I believe the demands of what I did in the sporting world are nothing compared to what these service members go through regularly.” 

Photos from the 'Beyond the Games Tour - Facebook: 'American300 Tours' 

For more information about American300 Tours:  www.American300.org

For more information on Air Force Global Strike Command: www.afgsc.af.mil

American300 is a 100% all volunteer 501c3 nonprofit ( NGO/AVO )  No federal endorsement of sponsors or nonprofit is ever implied or intended.   Media contact: mane@steamboat.com 

Beyond the Games… malmstrom air force base

MALMSTROM AIR FORCE BASE, Great Falls Montana-   As global sports fans everywhere are still celebrating the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games, two veteran Olympians are traveling to this Air Force Global Strike Command Air Base to share their life stories with Airmen. Their goal: showing today’s Airmen that they too are Olympic Team material. 

‘Beyond the Games’ is the themed named for this special engagement.  It’s arrival at the 341st Missile Wing is focused on helping the Department of Defense put a face on resiliency training.  “Our armed forces members whether serving on active duty, reserves or of veteran status need to see that they aren’t alone in their commitment to excellence,” says Mike Lane, communications director has brought the Olympians to Malmstrom AFB, adding, “the same sacrifices that Olympians make in pursuit of their sports dreams are experienced on a daily basis by our service members.” 

Connecting the two parallel universes has been the job of the all volunteer nonprofit American300 Tours.  Over the past 5 years the organization has brought olympic and professional sports athletes, wounded warriors and a wide array of unique guest mentors to bases all over the world.   With a mission of connecting amazing individual life stories with our service members to allow them to draw from other experiences.  “The past two decades have been brutal on our armed forces, our goal is to show them (military members) that they aren’t alone in dealing with adversity.” says Robi Powers, a veteran and retired US Ski Team coach, “We believe in growth through connecting individuals who have in some way shape or form been there and done that.” he added. 

There were times in olympic snowboardcross athlete, Erin Nemec’s life when she defined herself as an athlete and didn’t see beyond the next world cup let alone Olympic Games. “ All I can say is that it’s a whole new world being a mother of two and wife,” reflects the three-time X Games silver medalist, “We never had career planners, it was about living in the moment during my years of competition... now the olympic teams all have career advisors helping athletes plan for the future, it’s awesome.” 

Olympian Ann Battelle Ayad shares Nemec’s view: “the focus was always on competition, doing the ‘job’ of being an Olympian was what it was all about.  It wasn’t till after my 4th Olympic Team that I started to transition into what now seems like a whole different world, being a parent and wife.” 

For the next 3 days the Olympians will be at Malmstrom, engaging with Airmen from the full spectrum of air force specialty codes.  From missileers to the maintainers and security forces which keep our nations nuclear deterrence arsenal ready around the clock.  “Air Force Global Strike Command is constantly working to strengthen the human weapons system,” says Powers, adding “We’re simply putting a 'Olympic Face' on the comprehensive airmen’s fitness doctrine that helps guide them." 

For more information on American300 visit:  www.American300.org

For more information on Air Force Global Strike Command visit: www.afgsc.af.mil 

Media Contact:  Mike Lane -  mlane@steamboat.com 

Olympians Bring Gold to Thule Air Base Service Members

Olympians Sean Colgan and Dan Beery
By American300 Public Affairs - 2/4/2014

Thule Air Base, Greenland-   Located 750 miles north of the Arctic Circle, Thule Air Base represents the United States Armed Forces northern most base. 

With the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia, taking place nearly 4,000 miles away, two former U.S. Olympians are traveling to America’s most remote military base to share the Olympic Spirit and their personal life stories.  Behind their effort is the Department of Defense office of Armed Forces Entertainment and the nonprofit, American300 Tours. 

“I’ve made it a mission to share my personal Olympic story with troops,” says Dan Beery, whose USA mens 8 rowing team brought home gold and set an Olympic record during the 2004 Athens Summer Olympic Games. “My Olympic journey started because of a setback that ended my dreams of playing basketball in the NBA. Now I’m headed into the darkness and freezing temperatures of northern Greenland with an Olympic gold medal in my pocket. If you don’t quit on life, it’s amazing what the future can bring,” said Beery.  Joining Beery will be Hall of Fame rower and long-time mentor Sean Colgan.   

Congressional and Olympic Gold Medals
As a member of the 1980 U.S. Olympic Team, Colgan and his teammates had a choice to make: support President Carter and Congress with the boycotting of the Moscow Summer Olympics or become outspoken critics of the withdraw by the American team from the Games.  “We found out about the boycott and took a quick team vote,”  said Colgan. He quickly added, “the choice was clear, we were Americans and our country needed our support.”  

In the years after the Moscow Summer Olympics, Colgan and his teammates organized two rematches with the Soviet mens 8 Rowing Team that captured bronze.  The Americans won both rematches handily and to this day stay in touch with several of the Russian athletes. 

While not an Olympic Gold Medal, Colgan is honored by the Congressional Gold Medal that he and his teammates received for their united stance in supporting our government. “Hey, the troops we share our medals with always comment on how my gold medal is bigger than Dan’s, that’s good for something,” said a laughing Colgan.

Robi Powers - American300
Pulling amazing individuals together and having them share their personal life stories with service members is the work of American300 Tours, a volunteer nonprofit that has been hard at work putting faces on the resiliency effort for the Department of Defense . “Resiliency in the military is a complex issue, all we’re doing is putting a face on it with these guest mentors who are willing to go where the sun doesn’t shine on bases all over the world.” says Robi Powers, founder of the nonprofit and a veteran of both the Army and US Ski Team and Biathlon Team.  

While the sun won’t be visible during the first half of the Olympians week-long visit, weather permitting they should see the sun for a few minutes during their last few days on base.  No matter the amount of sun they see, the Olympians plan on making sure that the golden glow of their medals shines brightly above the Arctic Circle for all our service members to see.  
About American300 Tours:  The American300 Tours produce educational resiliency programs designed to serve the Department of Defense.  The nonprofit also produces ONETEAM Envoys for the Department of State.  With a mission of increasing the resiliency of our Armed Forces Members, their Families and the Communities which they live and operate in around the world. No federal endorsement of sponsors or nonprofit is intended or implied- American300.org 

American300 can be found on the worldwide web at: www.american300.org

The nonprofit also has a active facebook page:  ‘American300 Tours’ 

For more on the DoD office Armed Forces Entertainment: www.armedforcesentertainment.com 

Media inquiries can be directed to Mike Lane - mlane@steamboat.com 

Service with Honor Series - West Point USMA

Northern Vietnam, June 1967 -   As the F4 Phantom pilot struggled to save the plane, he could hear his backseat navigator repeating the words “We’re not going to make it.... not going to make it.”   Moments later, the world’s greatest fighter pilot surrendered to the failing aircraft and gave the command to eject... the date was June 14, 1967.   

Before the two US Air Force Pilots parachutes fully deployed, the F4 Phantom slammed into the ground.   USAF Lieutenants Ed Mechenbier and Kevin McManis had missed certain death by less then two seconds.  

Unfortunately, for the two this wasn’t a training mission.  As they descended their chutes nylon fabric was torn by small arms fire from below... they had a welcoming committee forming up directly below them.  

After nearly six years of confinement, torture and near death experiences the fighter pilots along with nearly 600 other prisoners of war came home.  Their fight in Vietnam was over. 

Fast forward to Monday, January 27, 2014.  Edward Mechenbier, the longest serving armed forces member from the group of Vietnam P.O.W.‘s was fully engaged in sharing his life story.  From the number of steps it took to empty his ‘honey bucket’ each day to the approximate number of individual rice kernels in an average daily meal.  Listening intently were America’s future U.S. Army leaders. 

The purpose of the engagement - to share the experience, put a face on resiliency and provide hope and connectedness between the hardships of past conflicts and the promise of obstacles which will face our future leaders. 

Once again, American300 Tours was at work providing face to face exchanges between real life resiliency subject matter experts and service members.  

For Major General Edward Mechenbier and Robi Powers, founder of American300 Tours, it was another opportunity to share, to connect.   Something that American300 Tours does on a monthly basis every month of the year at bases all over the world.
Major Davis with Robi Powers and
MajGen Mechenbier - USMA

“Resiliency in the military is complex, to increase (it) we need to do everything we can.  One very basic thing we can do is show our service members that there is hope... light at the end of life’s difficult tunnels,” says Powers adding, “ you don’t get more light at the end of the tunnel then hearing General Mechenbier’s life story and meeting the man up close.” 

General Mechenbier is one of many resiliency mentors that American300 has reached out to and asked to share their stories.  Together the Veteran’s travel the world to bases on resiliency tours under the themed name “Service with Honor”.    

Special thanks to United States Military Academy Superintendent  Lieutenant General Robert Caslen and his entire staff and cadet corps for the amazing visit to West Point. 

Serve with Honor! 

For more on American300 Tours visit:  www.American300.org

Facebook Users can visit:  ‘American300 Tours’ 


American300 is an all volunteer nonprofit 501c3 with a mission of increasing the resiliency of our Armed Forces Members, their Families and the Areas in which they live and Operate in around the world.  No federal endorsement of nonprofit or sponsors is ever intended or implied - American300.org. 

New Program Connects Military with Olympians

USMC Wounded Warrior with Emilia Wint 
by American300 Public Affairs 

Park City Utah - (1/20/14) - When Emilia Wint was named to the first ever U.S. Freeskiing Team it couldn’t have come at a better time.   Freeskiing was just added as the newest Winter Olympic event and the young 19 year old from Denver, Colorado, was one of our countries best in slopestyle skiing. 

Like all US Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA) national team athletes, Emilia, who goes by  ‘Meels’, was pushing the envelope in training to prepare for the upcoming Sochi Olympics. Misfortune derailed her ambitions when she blew out her knee in training this past November and had to undergo surgery.   

Standing with crutches and watching her fellow national team members along with some new comers round out the inaugural Freeskiing Olympic Team’s ranks during final trials in Park City, Utah this past weekend was tough.  However, unlike previously injured USSA athletes, Meels was apart of a new and innovative style of programming.  

Enter the all new USSA Military Mentorship Program sponsored by PenFed and military mentors Colonel John Bates, a 3x Purple Heart United States Marine Corps veteran of 3 wars and Colonel Danny McKnight of the U.S. Army Rangers, the ground force commander during the battle of Mogadishu, made famous by the movie ‘Black Hawk Down’. Who together along with American300’s Robi Powers, also a Veteran were on hand for this past weekends competitions.

“Emilia, like all of these athletes is a world class individual, that also happens to be one of the best at what she does athletically,” said Bates, “When they push themselves to do these amazing gravity defying feats on snow, there are going to be times when they come up short and become injured-wounded. I know what it’s like to get wounded and love sharing my lessons learned with these elite athletes.” 

Being able to connect elite athletes with elite service members so that personal life learning can foster positive growth is one of the primary missions of the USSA Military Mentorship Program. 

“We are combining two of the best organizations in the world and allowing the synergies of excellence to foster positive growth,” says program creator Robi Powers, a former US Ski Team athlete and coach who is also a military veteran. “Initially we had planned to roll out this program  in full force  after the Olympics, but PenFed came in and made this pre-Olympic engagement possible.” 
Colonel's John Bates and Danny McKnight
with Olympian Todd Lodwick - USSA COE

For five-time Olympian Todd Lodwick of Steamboat Springs, Colorado, the visit to the USSA Center of Excellence couldn’t have come at a better time. The world champion and Olympic silver medalist had crashed in France while ski jumping the previous week, sustaining injuries to his shoulder.  While qualified for his sixth Olympic Games, his  ability to compete is uncertain.  

“I’m pretty busted up, but I’m training hard and going through hours of rehab daily and  only time is going to tell whether it’s enough,” said Lodwick, who has traveled to Iraq and combat locations with Powers to share motivational messages with Armed Forces members since winning his Olympic silver medal in Vancouver.  “Today two amazing American heroes stopped by to give me a pat on the shoulder, which means more to me then I can explain right now.”   

With USSA athletes like Lindsey Vonn, Wint and possibly Lodwick sidelined from competing in Sochi, having a network of service members on call to assist athletes in facing adversity is just one aspect to this new program’s full mission. 

“We are going to bring wounded warriors to USSA Training Camps and connect USSA athletes to bases all over the world to ensure that these two elite teams share, grow and become stronger- together,” says Powers. 

Like the military, the US Ski Team, Snowboarding Team and Freeskiing Team communities are tight knit.  As word spread of the PenFed sponsorship and involvement, alumni athletes Phil and Steve Mahre stepped forward to lend a hand. 

“Phil and Steve Mahre are headed to Minot Air Force Base to visit with the United States Air Force, 5th Bomb Wing and 91st Missile Wing Airmen right after the Olympics,” confirmed Mike Lane, American300’s Public Affairs Director who works full time as Steamboat Ski Resort’s Public Relations Director, “The Mahre brothers are legends in the ski community and personify excellence in sport and life, the Minot Tour is going to be amazing coming right on the heels of the 2014 Games.” 

USSA Military Mentorship Program underway at
USSA Center of Excellence - Park City, Utah
As the days of interaction between wounded warriors and athletes came to a close at the USSA Center of Excellence in Park City last week, Colonel Bates smiled as he imparted these closing remarks on a group of national team athletes on the second floor of the center’s sprawling complex, “No matter if you go to Sochi or not, always remember that you’re representing America and that is the true honor… so be bold… be an American in everything you do." 

About American300 Tours:  The American300 Tours produce educational resiliency programs designed to serve the Department of Defense.  The nonprofit also produces ONETEAM Envoys for the Department of State.  With a mission of increasing the resiliency of our Armed Forces Members, their Families and the Communities which they live and operate in around the world through peaceful relations. 

Media inquiries can be directed to Mike Lane - mlane@steamboat.com 


About U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA): The U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA) is the national governing body of Olympic skiing and snowboarding. It is the parent organization of the U.S. Ski Team, U.S. Snowboarding and U.S. Freeskiing. Developed to facilitate participation in national and international competition, the Olympic sports organization provides structure for competitive skiing and snowboarding. From grassroots programs to governance of sport, management of rules, competitions and athletic rankings, the USSA oversees athletic pipelines for development in the sports. With a vision to make the USA the best in the world in Olympic skiing and snowboarding, the USSA provides leadership and direction for tens of thousands of young skiers and snowboarders who share an Olympic dream while maintaining a strong adherence to core values. The USSA, established in 1905, operates out of the national training and education facility, the Center of Excellence, in Park City, UT. For more information about USSA and its programs visit www.usskiteam.com and www.ussnowboarding.com.