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20 military athletes who are also Olympians

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Cale Simmons, Air Force:

1 st Lt. Cale Simmons Air Force contracting officer, World Class Athlete Program member and 2016 Summer Olympian. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Cory D. Payne)

Air Force 1st Lt. Cale Simmons is a contracting officer, an Air Force World Class Athlete Program member and a 2016 Summer Olympian. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Cory D. Payne

1st Lt. Cale Simmons, 25, of Rocklin, California, is a 2013 graduate of the Air Force Academy, where he excelled at pole vaulting as a four-time All-American. He made the Olympic team after finishing second at the pole vault finals in early July (just behind Army 2nd Lt. Sam Kendricks). He cleared the bar at 5.65 meters (18 feet, 6.4 inches).

Simmons spent his first two years out of the academy with the 700th Contracting Squadron at Kapaun Air Station, Germany. About a year ago he was assigned to the Air Force World Class Athlete Program. According to USA Track & Field, he’s ranked 36th in the world in men’s pole vault.

Apparently his skills run in the family – both of his siblings, Rob and Rachel, are also in the Air Force and also grew up as competitive pole vaulters.

The following five athletes are all members of the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit who will compete on the U.S. shooting team:

Glenn Eller, Army:

glenn-eller-560x350Five-time Olympian Sgt. 1st Class Glenn Eller is shown at Fort Benning, Georgia, where he trains for national and international shotgun competitions. Army photo by David Vergun

Sgt. 1st Class Glenn Eller, 34, of Houston, Texas, has some impressive titles — five-time Olympian and 2008 gold medalist. He’s one of the U.S. team’s most experienced shooters. This year, he’ll look to win gold again in the double trap shotgun contest (that’s shooting at two clay disks that are flung into the air simultaneously, for those who don’t know).

After the 2012 London Games, Eller, who has been in the Army since 2006, worked as a marksmanship instructor while deployed to Afghanistan. He began shooting at age 8 and started his career in 1999, but in high school, he was a pole vaulter.

Michael McPhail, Army:

michael-mcphail-finalMichael McPhail will compete in Rio in the 50-meter rifle prone. Army photos by Tim Hipps, Michael Molinaro

Sgt. 1st Class Michael McPhail, 34, of Darlington, Wisconsin, isn’t a newbie to the Olympics – he was part of the 2012 shooting team, too, and just barely missed the finals in the 50-meter rifle prone. This year, he and Eller both earned automatic spots on the team thanks to their high standings on the international competitive shooting scene.

McPhail, who has been a competitive shooter since 1996, enlisted in the Army in 2004. Consideringall of his accomplishments, he was assigned to the AMU the following year.

Dan Lowe, Army:

dan-lowe-finalU.S. Army Spc. Dan Lowe aims downrange during the 2016 Air Olympic Trials, where he won an air rifle seat on the U.S. Olympic Shooting Team June 5. DoD photos by Brenda Rolin

Spc. Dan Lowe, 23, of Olympia, Washington, will be competing in two shooting events at his first Olympics: the men’s 10-meter air rifle and the 50-meter three-position rifle. He’s been in the AMU for two years.

Joshua Richmond, Army:

joshua-richmondArmy Sgt. 1st Class Joshua Richmond earned the last double trap seat on the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team. Army photo by James Steers

Sgt. 1st Class Joshua Richmond, 30, of Hillsgrove, Pennsylvania, will be joining Eller in Rio for the double trap shotgun competition. It’s his second Olympic appearance.

Richmond joined the Army in 2004 and is part of the AMU’s demonstration team, which helps with recruitment. In 2011, he deployed to Afghanistan as part of a team that trained and helped Afghan National Army soldiers and coalition forces in marksmanship.

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