Schriever Airmen train like Broncos
By Staff Sgt. Debbie Lockhart, 50th Space Wing Public Affairs
/ Published August 11, 2015
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- Eight Airmen from Schriever Air Force base trained like National Football League players during a Denver Broncos Military Combine practice Aug. 7, at the Broncos' Dove Valley Fieldhouse in Englewood, Colorado.
The event was sponsored by USAA as a way to show appreciation for military members and their service.
"It is very important for us at USAA, being a military life company, to show support and appreciation for the military all year round, and the partnership with the Broncos helps us do that on a very intimate and unique level here in Denver," said Brian Eaton, USAA director of sponsorships.
The military combine provided participants from Schriever, Peterson and Buckley Air Force Bases as well as Fort Carson the opportunity to train like NFL players under the direction of Denver Broncos' football-greats K.C. Jones and Mark Cooper.
"I'm a big football fan, and there is a good atmosphere here with the coaches," said Senior Airman Byron Brown, 50th Space Communications Squadron. "It felt good being out there with them because I was going to play football in college, but I got hurt, so being able to do this is a good opportunity for me and gives me good experience."
Participants showcased their skills in five events - bench press, vertical jump, broad jump, shuttle run and a 40-yard dash.
"There are some talented guys out here," said Mike Simmons, Denver Broncos military combine coach. "I ran the broad jump; we saw a 10-footer out here, and a couple nine foot jumps, so the athleticism definitely showed out here."
Brown achieved one of the highest scores in the broad jump, with a score of 9 feet 8 inches.
"I'm just trying to do my best," said Brown. "Everyone is doing good, but I want to be on top."
The coaches and sponsors were so impressed with some of the participants of the military combine they put them on par with participants from the NFL combine. One participant logged a 42-inch vertical jump, which ranks better than half of the NFL combine participants this year.
"There are some very impressive physical fitness skills that are prevalent among the military that I think the American public doesn't know about, so this is a great opportunity to have a great morale boost for the military community and also showcase that we've got the fittest fighting force out there," said Eaton.
This marks the third year USAA has partnered with the Denver Broncos to host the military combine and the pair hopes to continue the tradition in years to come.
"It's core to USAA's and the Denver Broncos' values to showcase appreciation for the military," said Eaton. "We're just happy we were able to [host this event]."