ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. --
Alison Skidmore fell in love with soccer at the tender age of 5.
Skidmore, now chief of Customer Support in the 78th Force Support Squadron at Robins, pursued her passion in college, playing Division 1 soccer at the U.S Air Force Academy before commissioning as a second lieutenant in 2017.
“After finishing my last season in college, I knew I wasn’t ready to be done with soccer, I missed it so much,” she said. “And to have an opportunity to represent my country while doing what I love most was too good to be true.”
The 23-year-old recently seized the opportunity to try out for the 2018 Women’s All-Armed Forces Soccer team, landing the center-midfield spot.
“We trained for three weeks at Ft. Bliss in El Paso, Texas, and then the 21-member team was selected on June 18,” she said. “I was extremely honored to be given the opportunity to represent my country with 20 other women all serving in the United States military.”
During its season, the team competed against 10 other nations for the 2018 Conseil International du Sport Militaire Women’s Soccer Championship.
“We finished with the best record we have had in recent years,” she said. “We beat Canada and the Netherlands, but lost to China and South Korea. Unfortunately, we didn’t make it to the final, but we will next year in China.”
Skidmore said being able to live and play alongside a group of such inspiring and ambitious women was one of the highlights of being on the team.
The soccer enthusiast admits it wasn’t entirely a mountaintop experience.
“About halfway through camp, I hurt my knee pretty bad,” she said. “During one of the scrimmages, my knee made a popping sound, similar to the one I heard when I tore my ACL, and I freaked. Fortunately enough, it was more of a tendon issue than any torn ligaments.”
The injury caused Skidmore to miss the team’s first two games of the tournament, but with proper rehabilitation, she was able to finish out the rest of the tournament with her team.
Despite the minor setback, Skidmore considered her AAF Soccer Team journey an experience of a lifetime.
“I am so thankful to have had this opportunity and meet so many amazing people from all around the world,” she said. “How lucky are we to be in a military that still allows us to play the sports we love at such a high level? Don’t pass up the opportunity if you are considering it.”