2014 Warrior Games

Head Coach

Retired Staff Sgt. Jessie White shares a unique connection with the Warrior Games athletes he coaches: he is a wounded warrior and Warrior Games medalist himself. This shared experience inspired him to join the Army team once again— this time as the Archery coach.

White sustained severe injuries in Iraq in 2006. Finding recovery challenging, he attributes his physical and emotional improvement to participating in adaptive reconditioning sports and activities at the Army Warrior Transition Brigade at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.

“It gave me other things to focus on other than my injuries,” said White of participating in adaptive reconditioning activities. “It gave me a chance to continue as a competitive person and feel better about myself.”

White took that competitive drive to four Warrior Games, leaving the 2010 event with two silver medals in shot-put and sitting volleyball. He took home silver again in 2012, this time for archery.

A husband and father, White also draws inspiration from his Family. “My wife and kids have been amazing in their support. They tell me all of the time how proud they are of me and that they know I can do anything,” he said.

“To be able to coach is the next step in working with other wounded Soldiers and getting them involved in sports. They can continue to do things even though they’re injured,” said White.

His next goal is to represent the United States in the 2016 Paralympics.

Assistant Coach: Thomas (TJ) Pemberton


Master Resilience Trainer - Performance Expert

Susan Goodman’s favorite part about working with wounded, ill and injured Soldiers and Veterans is getting to see someone’s “A-Ha” moment when he or she opens up and sees how performance and resilience skills impact their life in a positive way. “I love when I bump into a Soldier who has taken our Phase II Goal Setting Class in the past and tells me how he or she has ‘paid it forward’ by teaching others, such as Family, friends, and co-workers, the same skills,” said Goodman.

Goodman considers working with the athletes competing in the Warrior Games a privelage. “These individuals have taken a life-altering situation and turned it into an opportunity to develop themselves as world-class athletes. It is inspiring to hear the athletes’ personal stories and how adaptive sports have impacted not only their recovery but also their whole lives. Warrior Games athletes have a camaraderie among each other that transcends the expected competition of sport. I have been lucky enough to see acts of courage, bravery and true sportsmanship by these athletes, and I am forever changed by this experience. These athletes inspire me to face my own challenges head-on despite any trepidation I may have and just ‘go for it’. They also inspire me to pass on my knowledge so that others can benefit from my experiences.”

The Army established the Comprehensive Soldier and Family Fitness (CSF2) in October 2009 in an effort to increase the resilience and enhance the performance of Soldiers, their Families and Army civilians. The definition of resilience is the mental, physical, emotional and behavioral ability to face and cope with adversity, adapt to change, recover, learn and grow from setbacks.

CSF2 Master Resilience Trainer – Performance Experts (MRT-PEs) use applied sport psychology principles to help Soldiers become high performing “tactical athletes” and help foster high performing “unit teams” in preparation for, during and following combat operations. MRT-PEs teach performance psychology to promote excellence and efficiency during physical, technical, and tactical training, as well as during the challenges of combat operations. MRT-PEs also provide tailored education to facilitate wounded warriors in their transition back to their units or to civilian life.

At Warrior Games, MRT-PEs work with athletes in their respective sports, teaching them new techniques and skills that enhance performance as well as benefit recovery.

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Head Coach

With a unique understanding of what it means to work with personal health challenges, Simon Bennett comes to the Warrior Games as head coach of the Army cycling team.

“I am very honored to have the opportunity to be the head coach for the Warrior Games,” he said. “I have worked previously with several of the athletes at development camps and have always enjoyed training and coaching them.“

Growing up in Melbourne, Australia, Bennett began his athletic career in 1996 at age 11 as a swimmer. The next year, he was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, and his condition only fueled his desire to excel as the elite athlete he is today.

In 2006, Bennett began competing in local cycling events. In less than a year, Bennett progressed from an entry-level cyclist to the professional ranks.

In 2009, Bennett left Australia to pursue an opportunity that would combine his passion for cycling with his commitment to diabetes outreach by joining the U.S.-based Type 1 Cycling Team. He also broke the world record for the transcontinental crossing as part of the eight-man Race Across America team.

Bennett and his wife, Jennifer, own a coaching and consulting Greenville, South Carolina-based company through which Bennett trains and coaches endurance athletes from around the world. He also coaches for the United States Olympic Committee and the Team USA para-cycling world-championship team, and is head coach for the Gateway to Gold USOC Talent ID Program.

Assistant Coach: Jim Penseyres


Master Resilience Trainer - Performance Expert

Graham Block has worked with the wounded, ill and injured Soldiers and Veterans in the National Capital Region for almost two years. “Wounded, ill, and injured Soldiers have already given so much that working with them is just one small way for me to give back,” says Block. “It is a gift to be able to help them see that while goals may change, that the future is there for the taking. Helping them set in motion their goal plans and showing them what is right about them means more than I can say.”

Block is responsible for increasing the athletes’ performance to compete at a high level during Warrior Games. “I have had the chance to compete at some of the highest levels. Giving back so others can do the same is a rewarding experience. It is also a great motivator for me. When I don’t want to work out, I remind myself of the inspirational people I have met to keep me moving toward my goals.”

The Army established the Comprehensive Soldier and Family Fitness (CSF2) in October 2009 in an effort to increase the resilience and enhance the performance of Soldiers, their Families and Army civilians. The definition of resilience is the mental, physical, emotional and behavioral ability to face and cope with adversity, adapt to change, recover, learn and grow from setbacks.

CSF2 Master Resilience Trainer – Performance Experts (MRT-PEs) use applied sport psychology principles to help Soldiers become high performing “tactical athletes” and help foster high performing “unit teams” in preparation for, during and following combat operations. MRT-PEs teach performance psychology to promote excellence and efficiency during physical, technical, and tactical training, as well as during the challenges of combat operations. MRT-PEs also provide tailored education to facilitate wounded warriors in their transition back to their units or to civilian life.

At Warrior Games, MRT-PEs work with athletes in their respective sports, teaching them new techniques and skills that enhance performance as well as benefit recovery.

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Head Coach

Christopher Hudock was on a ridgeline somewhere on the Appalachian Trail when his phone rang. From the other line, a request: will he once again join the Army team as a shooting coach at the 2014 Warrior Games? Still inspired from his time at last year’s event, he agreed immediately.

Self-described as an athlete from the time he was “knee-high to a grasshopper,” the Raleigh, North Carolina native started coaching shooting at 11 years old. He used this unique skill while he attended Air Assault School for the Army in 2009, and when he entered The Citadel as a cadet.

“It really means something to me to give back to a population that has the want for knowledge,” Hudock said of his love of coaching the sport. “As a coach, to see someone learn something, apply the knowledge and then see the light bulb come on means the world to me.”

A true expert in the sport, Hudock’s awards are numerous. He began accruing medals in 2008, with the Distinguished Rifleman Badge. In 2009, he became the National Record Holder in the 1903-style Springfield Rifle Match and reclaimed that title in 2010. He has seven All American honors in NCAA International Collegiate Pistol Shooting, which he won between 2009 and 2013. In 2012, he became “double distinguished” after winning the Distinguished Pistol Badge. He also holds the highly coveted President’s Hundred Awards for both pistol and rifle.

This year, Hudock’s goal is to increase Army’s medal count from last year. “I’m also looking forward to beating the Marine Corps,” he joked.


Master Resilience Trainer - Performance Expert

For the past three years, Lisa Hutchison has worked with the Soldiers at the Warrior Transition Battalion at Fort Benning, Georgia. “I have always been inspired by the wounded, ill and injured population. But initially it was not a population I thought I would work with because I didn’t think I had the right knowledge or experience,” explained Hutchison. “One of my favorite things is to watch people change their minds, whether they’re changing their minds about the importance of training your mind like your body or changing their minds about their circumstances altogether. “

Hutchison loves watching Soldiers and Veterans reclaim their identity or create a new one all together through adaptive sports. “The reason I enjoy working with Warrior Games athletes so much is because we have a group of people who are taking the cards that have been dealt to them and taking advantage of what they have and choosing to make the best of it.”

The Army established the Comprehensive Soldier and Family Fitness (CSF2) in October 2009 in an effort to increase the resilience and enhance the performance of Soldiers, their Families and Army civilians. The definition of resilience is the mental, physical, emotional and behavioral ability to face and cope with adversity, adapt to change, recover, learn and grow from setbacks.

CSF2 Master Resilience Trainer – Performance Experts (MRT-PEs) use applied sport psychology principles to help Soldiers become high performing “tactical athletes” and help foster high performing “unit teams” in preparation for, during and following combat operations. MRT-PEs teach performance psychology to promote excellence and efficiency during physical, technical, and tactical training, as well as during the challenges of combat operations. MRT-PEs also provide tailored education to facilitate wounded warriors in their transition back to their units or to civilian life.

At Warrior Games, MRT-PEs work with athletes in their respective sports, teaching them new techniques and skills that enhance performance as well as benefit recovery.

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Head Coach

JD Malone is coming to the 2014 Warrior Games with plenty of experience coaching wounded warriors, especially the athletes that will be on his team this year. Malone met many of the 2014 Warrior Games athletes at the 2014 Warrior Trials in West Point this past June. "We'll definitely be prepared heading into Warrior Games to play at a much higher level," he said of the team after their Trials competition.

Malone, a certified personal trainer and corrective exercise specialist, has 18 years of experience playing volleyball and nine years as a coach. He currently coaches the USA Sitting Volleyball Team, where he has worked with both the men’s and women’s programs that train for the Paralympics for the last two years.

“The Warrior Games is kind of a culminating event of all of the training that all of these Soldiers, Airmen, Marines and Seamen have been through,” said Malone. “I look forward to seeing their progress and to seeing how hard these guys have worked over the last several months in preparation for the games.”

Assistant Coach: Linda Gomez


Master Resilience Trainer - Performance Expert

Craig Misiewicz has worked with the Fort Knox Warrior Transition Battalion for the past three years. “It really is a privilege to have the opportunity to work with wounded, ill and injured Soldiers on a weekly basis at Fort Knox and during Warrior Games competition,” said Misiewicz. “It feels great to be able to give back in a small way to those who have sacrificed so much to protect our country and freedom. I derive the most joy from helping Soldiers realize their injuries are setbacks, not road blocks, and that growth and success can be the direct result of this realization.”

Helping to focus and fuel the competitive spirit of the Warrior Games athletes does not seem like work to Misiewicz, but more just part of who he is and what he enjoys. “Each athlete is a highly motivated, highly skilled individual with a burning desire to win. If I can help boost athletes’ belief in themselves by even a tiny amount and facilitate 100% effort, I feel I’ve done my job and that victory and success is inevitable.”

The Army established the Comprehensive Soldier and Family Fitness (CSF2) in October 2009 in an effort to increase the resilience and enhance the performance of Soldiers, their Families and Army civilians. The definition of resilience is the mental, physical, emotional and behavioral ability to face and cope with adversity, adapt to change, recover, learn and grow from setbacks.

CSF2 Master Resilience Trainer – Performance Experts (MRT-PEs) use applied sport psychology principles to help Soldiers become high performing “tactical athletes” and help foster high performing “unit teams” in preparation for, during and following combat operations. MRT-PEs teach performance psychology to promote excellence and efficiency during physical, technical, and tactical training, as well as during the challenges of combat operations. MRT-PEs also provide tailored education to facilitate wounded warriors in their transition back to their units or to civilian life.

At Warrior Games, MRT-PEs work with athletes in their respective sports, teaching them new techniques and skills that enhance performance as well as benefit recovery.

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Head Coach

The military and water sports have both played a significant role in Glen O’Sullivan’s life. He was a Sergeant in the Marine Corps for nine years and has been a swimmer, lifeguard and swim instructor for most of his life.

As the swimming coach at the first ever U.S. Army Warrior Trials in 2014, said his favorite part of coaching wounded warriors is, “Developing the athletes and watching them succeed and improve with every swim.”

O’Sullivan spent the past 17 years as a swim coach for the Great Lakes Adaptive Sports Association and seven years as a high school swim coach. In addition, he coached four United States teams for the International Wheelchair Amputee Sports Federation Junior Games in 2008 and 2009 as well as the American Swim Coaches Association Level 2 and 3 Disability. O’Sullivan was also a Paralympic National Technical Swim Classifier and has been an American Red Cross Water Safety Instructor and Lifeguard.

O’Sullivan feels honored to have the opportunity to coach the U.S. Army’s Swim Team at this year’s Warrior Games. He advises wounded, ill and injured Soldiers and Veterans to have fun while doing adaptive sports, no matter the sport they choose. “Find the sport that you truly enjoy and go after it,” he said.

Aside from coaching swimming, O’Sullivan has also coached track and field and trained athletes for the Paratriathlon. O’Sullivan is currently living in Zion, Illinois with his wife Anne-Marie (Nadeau) O’Sullivan and is the proud father of two children, Ryan and Megan.

Assistant Coach: Bob Bugg


Master Resilience Trainer - Performance Expert

Joel Druvenga was inspired to work with wounded, ill and injured Soldiers and Veterans after working at the children’s hospital where his sister was born with significant medical challenges. “The hospital staff showed me that even when caring for the injury or illness, it’s still important to take care of people mentally. Being able to use my skills and knowledge to help someone during the recovery process allows me to give back to those who took such good care of my Family and to do what I can to make a difference. One of the things I love about working with the wounded, ill and injured population is the ability to laugh,” explained Druvenga.

Working with Soldiers at the Warrior Games is a rewarding experience for Druvenga. “It has given me the opportunity to meet many great people who are so dedicated to being successful despite the challenges that life may throw at them.”

The Army established the Comprehensive Soldier and Family Fitness (CSF2) in October 2009 in an effort to increase the resilience and enhance the performance of Soldiers, their Families and Army civilians. The definition of resilience is the mental, physical, emotional and behavioral ability to face and cope with adversity, adapt to change, recover, learn and grow from setbacks.

CSF2 Master Resilience Trainer – Performance Experts (MRT-PEs) use applied sport psychology principles to help Soldiers become high performing “tactical athletes” and help foster high performing “unit teams” in preparation for, during and following combat operations. MRT-PEs teach performance psychology to promote excellence and efficiency during physical, technical, and tactical training, as well as during the challenges of combat operations. MRT-PEs also provide tailored education to facilitate wounded warriors in their transition back to their units or to civilian life.

At Warrior Games, MRT-PEs work with athletes in their respective sports, teaching them new techniques and skills that enhance performance as well as benefit recovery.

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Head Coach (Track)

Having competed in track at the collegiate, national and international level, Rodney Carson understands firsthand the discipline of such a demanding sport. “Track is a great overall sport. You get what you put into it,” said Carson. “It will kind of tell on you if you’re not putting in the hard work and sweat.”

Carson said one of his favorite parts of coaching is, “seeing the change, not just physically, but also change in terms of building the athletes’ self-confidence.”

Coaching wounded, ill and injured Soldiers and Veterans has been a particularly rewarding experience for Carson. “It makes me excited to see how they come together and the camaraderie,” said Carson. “They realize they’re not alone. When they get together, it empowers them.”

Carson encourages his athletes to keep the attitude, “Fall seven times, rise eight times,” but he says the reminder is unnecessary. “That’s the attitude these guys already have.” Above all, Carson wants the wounded warriors he coaches to know that there is life after injury and illness. “Never let what you can’t do, interfere with what you can do.”

Aside from coaching track, Carson has also trained athletes in baseball, football, basketball and kickboxing.


Head Coach (Field)

National shot put champion and three-time All-American in javelin, Eric Whalen, is eager to use his experience in field sports to coach the wounded, ill and injured Soldiers and Veterans participating in this year’s Warrior Games. “Seeing people get better and breaking their own personal records is the best part, “said Whalen.” “Just seeing them succeed makes me feel like I’m making a difference as a coach.”

Whalen has been a track and field athlete since the fifth grade and says that coaching was a smooth transition for him while he was competing in college at Concordia University in Portland, Oregon. “As part of a throwing club, I began coaching more and more with my coach,” said Whalen. “I’ve coached little kids just getting introduced to the sport, as young as 5 years old, up to masters.” He has also coached at an Olympic training site in Ohio.

Having coached athletes with varying skill levels, Whalen says he particularly enjoys working with Soldiers and Veterans. “They have a good attitude about working hard and giving their best,” said Whalen. “I always want to work with athletes who give 110% day in and day out.”

He added that seeing the way wounded warriors motivate each other and motivate themselves makes his job worthwhile. “I don’t have to be the motivator with these guys,” said Whalen. “They make my job easy.”

Whalen is currently living in Fort Worth, Texas and is applying to attend physical therapy school.

Assistant Field Coach: Donna Mayhew


Master Resilience Trainer - Performance Expert (Track)

The military, specifically the Army, has always had a presence in CSF2 MRT-PE Steven Cohen’s life. His grandparents served in the Army during World War II. “Working with the Soldiers that are wounded, ill and injured actually is not very different than working with the traditional healthy Soldier population,” Cohen explained. “This group does not see themselves as different and doesn’t want any special attention, which is commendable and a great lesson to observe.”

Cohen has worked with the Fort Campbell Warrior Transition Battalion for 18 months. “I’ve really enjoyed seeing the resilience we try to develop with our training in action, outside of the classroom. Many Soldiers in this population display the resilient characteristics that are necessary to deal with and bounce back from adversity. My favorite thing so far about my work with this population is the support that I’ve observed that these Soldiers have given to each other as well as the camaraderie and teamwork that they’ve built with each other over a short period of time.”

The Army established the Comprehensive Soldier and Family Fitness (CSF2) in October 2009 in an effort to increase the resilience and enhance the performance of Soldiers, their Families and Army civilians. The definition of resilience is the mental, physical, emotional and behavioral ability to face and cope with adversity, adapt to change, recover, learn and grow from setbacks.

CSF2 Master Resilience Trainer – Performance Experts (MRT-PEs) use applied sport psychology principles to help Soldiers become high performing “tactical athletes” and help foster high performing “unit teams” in preparation for, during and following combat operations. MRT-PEs teach performance psychology to promote excellence and efficiency during physical, technical, and tactical training, as well as during the challenges of combat operations. MRT-PEs also provide tailored education to facilitate wounded warriors in their transition back to their units or to civilian life.

At Warrior Games, MRT-PEs work with athletes in their respective sports, teaching them new techniques and skills that enhance performance as well as benefit recovery.


Master Resilience Trainer - Performance Expert (Field)

For Petra Kowalski, working with wounded, ill and injured Soldiers is her chance to give back in some small way to those members of our military who have given and are willing to give everything. “Working with the warriors in transition has reminded me to be grateful for all that I have and humble in all that I achieve,” said Kowalski.

The most rewarding part for Kowalski is when one skill or technique helps one Soldier in their path to recovery. “Working with the athletes competing in the Warrior Games represents an incredible opportunity to be simultaneously inspired by and inspirational to the athletes. It means being a part of something greater – something motivating, encouraging and life-changing for all involved. Athletics and physical activity can have an immensely positive impact on health, stress, and overall quality of life for everyone. Working with the Warrior Games athletes means having the opportunity to use my experience, knowledge and passion to not only enhance their experience and performance at the games, but also help them develop the motivation and confidence to continue in their pursuit of activity and competition long after the games end.”

The Army established the Comprehensive Soldier and Family Fitness (CSF2) in October 2009 in an effort to increase the resilience and enhance the performance of Soldiers, their Families and Army civilians. The definition of resilience is the mental, physical, emotional and behavioral ability to face and cope with adversity, adapt to change, recover, learn and grow from setbacks.

CSF2 Master Resilience Trainer – Performance Experts (MRT-PEs) use applied sport psychology principles to help Soldiers become high performing “tactical athletes” and help foster high performing “unit teams” in preparation for, during and following combat operations. MRT-PEs teach performance psychology to promote excellence and efficiency during physical, technical, and tactical training, as well as during the challenges of combat operations. MRT-PEs also provide tailored education to facilitate wounded warriors in their transition back to their units or to civilian life.

At Warrior Games, MRT-PEs work with athletes in their respective sports, teaching them new techniques and skills that enhance performance as well as benefit recovery.

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Head Coach

Paralympic athlete Jermell Pennie has coached the Dallas Junior Wheelchair Mavericks for the past two years, and will coach the men’s Dallas Wheelchair Mavericks this season.

Before his coaching career began, Pennie was a National Wheelchair Basketball Association Class One guard for the Dallas Wheelchair Mavericks. “I have been playing wheelchair basketball for long time, and at a young age I really never had a coach to teach me the fundamentals of basketball,” he said. “I would always watch NBA games and learn from them. Over time I had the opportunity to play ball with some really good coaches, and I guess maybe two years ago I wanted to share that knowledge that I learned.”

Pennie joined a number of other wheelchair basketball coaches in West Point to work with the athletes at the 2014 Army Warrior Trials. Heading to the Warrior Games, Pennie says, “The meaning of coaching the Army team is everything. These women and men have sacrificed so much to make this world a better place. I look up to these women and men with the utmost of pride.”

Assistant Coach: Rodney Williams


Master Resilience Trainer - Performance Expert

John Evan’s favorite part about working with wounded, ill and injured Soldiers and Veterans is the philosophy behind skills such as building on strength, learning how to align goals with existing values and focusing on how to fix a problem. “Working with the wounded, ill and injured population is always a great challenge with an even greater reward,” explained Evans. “It is important to me to continue seeing work with this population as performance enhancement. That performance can be healing, getting better sleep, taking the first step in a new direction or any combination of a multitude of performances. For me, this work means that I have the opportunity to teach some sustainable skills, e.g. goal setting, energy management, and/or building confidence, that Soldiers can use to be successful in these performances.”

Working with the athletes at the Warrior Games is both fun and challenging for Evans. “These men and women are elite athletes, who are motivated and willing to use any strategy available to improve performance. They learn quickly and adapt even faster to the use of mental skills to enhance their performance. These athletes keep me on my toes, and I am constantly challenged to keep training innovative and relevant. They push me as a sport psychology professional and as a person, to stay sharp and current on the techniques and skills I teach.”

The Army established the Comprehensive Soldier and Family Fitness (CSF2) in October 2009 in an effort to increase the resilience and enhance the performance of Soldiers, their Families and Army civilians. The definition of resilience is the mental, physical, emotional and behavioral ability to face and cope with adversity, adapt to change, recover, learn and grow from setbacks.

CSF2 Master Resilience Trainer – Performance Experts (MRT-PEs) use applied sport psychology principles to help Soldiers become high performing “tactical athletes” and help foster high performing “unit teams” in preparation for, during and following combat operations. MRT-PEs teach performance psychology to promote excellence and efficiency during physical, technical, and tactical training, as well as during the challenges of combat operations. MRT-PEs also provide tailored education to facilitate wounded warriors in their transition back to their units or to civilian life.

At Warrior Games, MRT-PEs work with athletes in their respective sports, teaching them new techniques and skills that enhance performance as well as benefit recovery.

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