U.S. Army World Class Athlete Program

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U.S. Army World Class Athlete Program
Wcap logo.jpg
World Class Athlete Program
Active 1997 – present
Country  United States of America
Allegiance United States
Branch United States Army
Part of

Department of Defense
Department of the Army
Installation Management Command

Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation Command
Nickname(s) WCAP

The U.S. Army World Class Athlete Program (WCAP) is a military unit whose primary mission is to support nationally and internationally ranked soldiers in participating on the U.S. Olympic team. The program is headquartered at Fort Carson, Colorado.[1]


According to the U.S. Army, WCAP provides active duty, National Guard and reserve soldiers the opportunity to train and compete at national and international sports competitions with the ultimate goal of selection to the U.S. Olympic team and U.S. Paralympic team, while maintaining a professional military career and promoting the U.S. Army.[1]


Any soldier-athlete (Active Duty, National Guard, Reserve) may apply for selection provided:

  • Soldier is in good military standing
  • The sport the soldier is applying for is an Olympic sport
  • Soldier has completed Advanced Individual Training (enlisted) or Officer Basic Course (officer)
  • Soldier meets sport specific entry standards, which normally consists of attaining a high national ranking or being selected to a U.S. National Team for international competition[2][3]
  • WCAP is not a developmental program; it targets athletes who have achieved world class status in their sport

WCAP Olympians[edit]


Spc. Paul Chelimo of the U.S. Army World Class Athlete Program finishes runner-up to Mo Farah of Great Britain to claim the silver medal in the men's 5,000-meter run with a personal-best time of 13 minutes, 3.90 seconds at the Rio Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro

The program sent four Kenyan-born soldier-runners competed at the 2016 Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro.[4]

as well as


The program sent seven athletes and four coaches to the 2012 Summer Games in London.[5]


Maj. Michael Anti (left), a marksman with the U.S. Army World Class Athlete Program assigned to the U.S. Army Marskmanship Unit at Fort Benning, Ga., flashes his silver medal alongside gold medalist Zhanbo Jia of China (center) and bronze medalist Christian Planer (right) of Austria after completion of the men's 50-meter rifle three-position event in the 2004 Summer Olympic Games at Markopoulo Olympic Shooting Centre.[6]

During the 2010 Vancouver Winter Games three soldier-athletes and one coach represented WCAP and the US Army in the XXI Olympiad.[7]

-10k Sprint[8]
-4-man USA Sled II Pilot
-4-man USA Sled II Brakeman[9]
  • SGT William Tavares (Team USA Bobsled Coach)


During the 2008 Beijing Summer Games two WCAP athletes and one coach represented WCAP and the US Army in the XXIX Olympiad:[10]

-50m Rifle Competition
-Rapid Fire Pistol competition
  • MAJ David Johnson (Team USA Shooting Coach)

Other notable WCAP alumni[edit]

Boyd Melson (right)
-2004 World Military Boxing Championships, gold medal (69-kg. weight class)[11]


  1. ^ a b "U.S. Army World Class Athlete Program". thearmywcap.com.
  2. ^ Army Regulation 215–1 Morale, Welfare, and Recreation. army.mil
  3. ^ "WCAP Entry Standards". thearmywcap.com.
  4. ^ 4 Kenyan-born U.S. Army runners represent their adopted country at Rio Games, Military Times
  5. ^ US Army sends off 7 athletes, 4 coaches to London Olympics, AP in Washington Post, 16 July 2012
  6. ^ "U.S. Army FMWRC Official Image Archive". Flickr.com. Retrieved 2012-07-23. 
  7. ^ "US Army Olympians". Goarmy.com. Retrieved 2012-07-23. 
  8. ^ "Teela sits out Olympic 20k Individual Biathlon". Army.mil. 19 February 2010. Retrieved 2012-07-23. 
  9. ^ "Bobsledding Soldiers attention turns to Olympic four-man event". Army.mil. 24 February 2010. Retrieved 2012-07-23. 
  10. ^ "Soldier-Olympians share tales with Army leaders". Army.mil. 16 October 2008. Retrieved 2012-07-23. 
  11. ^ "Melson wins U.S. boxing quarterfinals". USA Today. 9 March 2006. Retrieved 9 August 2011. 


External links[edit]