Soldier, Musician & Golden Athlete

By SGT Rebecca L. Goncalves
282nd Army Band, Public Affairs Office

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Photo credit: Unknown
SSG Nichole Dunn Flory, Gold Medalist 2010 All Army Softball Team.
FORT JACKSON, South Carolina, September 24, 2010 – SSG Nichole Dunn Flory, a flautist with the 282nd Army Band, was recently part of the undefeated 2010 All-Army Softball Team. The All-Army team defeated both the Air Force and Navy teams at the 2010 Armed Forces Softball Championships held in Pensacola, Florida.

“It has always been an honor to put on any army uniform (ACU or team jersey) and represent my service doing what I love most whether that’s performing music or playing softball,” SSG Flory said. “What I’m most thankful for are the opportunities the Army has given me and the support my chain of command has shown me.”

This season was SSG Flory’s fifth season with the team and her second gold medal finish. She began playing All-Army Softball in 2004 and has only missed two seasons due to deployments in Afghanistan in 2006 and 2008. Each time she has competed the team has placed with either a gold or silver medal.

Becoming a member of the All-Army Softball Team is not easy. First, an application is submitted and reviewed by the All Army Sports staff at Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation Command (FMWRC) and by the coach of the softball team. Consideration is given to the applicant’s background including past performances and athletic awards. From the hundreds of applicants only 25 soldiers are selected and attend the two week trial camp. During the trial camp there are two cuts which narrow down the final team to fifteen players.

Once on the team there are daily double-headers with practice afterward. The team played in three civilian tournaments on the weekends after grueling daily practices. The tournaments were held in Virginia, Maryland and Florida. SSG Flory said she “enjoys being able to play at a high competitive level” and “really enjoys being able to play for the Army.” The team had two first place finishes and one second place finish before winning the Armed Forces Championship.

SSG Flory’s favorite memory of this season was the great feeling she had after securing the gold medal for the Armed Forces Tournament. The team knew they were coming home with the gold medal at the conclusion of the fifth game and persevered on in the final three games to end the season undefeated. We salute SSG Flory on a job well done.

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