Organizations We Admire

How This Organization Is Helping Veterans Stay Active Through Action Sports

Mackenzie Meaney

The United States Military Endurance Sports (USMES) is an organization that endorses endurance sports, such as triathlons, to promote active lifestyles to both active duty and veterans of the armed forces.

The foundation was created in 2009, and since its launch, it has assisted countless people in the armed forces to pursue a community of people driven to compete, have fun, stay active, and stay connected. One of those members, Mel Muller, joined USMES in 2017.

“When I started on active duty, one of the nurses I worked with told me about USMES,” Muller said. “I joined the team in 2017 which really helped me stay focused as an athlete despite some long rigorous hours in the hospital.”

USMES has multiple programs that individuals can join. The Elite Athlete Program helps athletes be able to compete at a national or international level, for both non-disabled and disable bodied people. The Team Chronos Program is filled with people who have already achieved their goals, and they now help others on their journey through the USMES.

For some, the journey is to get back to active duty, while for others, it is to pursue an active lifestyle. The last program USMES offers is the club sports program, which trickles down into five categories — cycling, triathlon, running, adventure racing, and adaptive athletics.

“In the military, moving is very common and it’s sometimes difficult to stay grounded when you’re constantly meeting new people and changing communities,” Muller said. “USMES provides a stable community of support for athletes all over the world. I have moved four times in the last five years and USMES has moved with me. I worked really hard to advance my performance as an athlete and in 2019, I made the USMES Elite Team.”

Muller continued,

“Since then, USMES has helped me develop as an athlete through Training Camps and providing a constant online community of experts and fellow athletes. Despite being a healthcare worker during the Pandemic, I have been able to reach several personal goals such as competing in the 70.3 Ironman World Championships and setting personal (and course) records. My USMES team has been a fundamental component of my success. Just recently, I finished my active duty service commitment and will continue on as an athlete in Veteran status.”

Photo credits: USMES – Bruce Buckley