Local

September 3, 2013

Meet D-M Staff Sergeant’s roller derby alter-ego: Judo Gnomi

Tags:
Airman 1st Class Betty R. Chevalier
355th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

Staff Sgt. Hilary Middleton, 355th Operations Support Squadron aircrew flight equipment technician (center), prepares to start a bout with the Tucson Roller Derby in Tucson, August 10. During a bout, players try to keep members of the opposing team from getting past them and scoring.

The Air Force requires all members to be ‘fit to fight’, but not everyone lifts weights, hits a punching bag or runs on a treadmill. One Airman gives the phrase a different meaning.

Staff Sgt. Hilary Middleton, 355th Operations Support Squadron aircrew flight equipment technician, skates with the local Tucson Roller Derby league.

Middleton, also known as Judo Gnomi, pronounced “you don’t know me”, on the track, has been skating since she was two years old and jumped at this opportunity when she learned about the league from a former first sergeant.

“I went to a couple bouts, and I was like ‘I can do that!’” Middleton said. “So, I called up the recruiting people and was on skates the next Tuesday.”

To earn a place on the team, you have to show what you can do in skates, Middleton said. Applicants have to display their ability to stop, turn and compete.

Middleton plays on two teams, the Saddletramps and the Copper Queens. The Copper Queens is one of three home teams, and the Saddletramps is an all-star travel team. Both teams are part of the TRD.

Middleton explained that she easily made it onto the Copper Queens team and it was only about three months until she joined the Saddletramps.

Not only is roller derby a hobby for Middleton, it also plays a key part in her Air Force career. Being in the league and on two different teams, Middleton has to skate several hours a week to maintain her team’s and league’s standards.

“I have two different requirements for each team, and also our league has different requirements,” Middleton said. “I always exceed those requirements. I usually skate at least 12 hours a week; sometimes, it can go up to 16 if there is a bout.”

Not only does roller derby challenge her physically but it also helps with her mental fitness and resiliency.

“I love to hit people and not get in trouble for it,” Middleton said. “It is a huge stress relief.”

During a bout, Middleton has to make quick decisions about her opponent’s next move at the same time keeping up, blocking, and helping her team members get around their opponent’s. To accomplish this goal, she is allowed to legally hit opposing players in order to keep them from scoring.

Due to the nature of the game, Middleton had to get permission from her commander and go through a mandatory risk assessment. When she told her commander she gets to hits people, her commander requested a demonstration.

“My commander said, ‘Show me.’” Middleton said. “I had to actually show my commander how we hit each other. She wanted me to actually hit her and I got to hit her. It was awesome.”

Even with being part of the TRD, Middleton acknowledges that the Air Force mission has to come first.
During the derby season she has had to deploy, but she says being part of the team while in the Air Force has made her a better Airman by empowering her to do more, both at work and at the roller derby.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
(U.S. Air Force photo/Osakabe Yasuo)

Need help? Trust your ‘Shirt’

LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, Arizona — When young Airmen need help or are looking for guidance, a good place to start is with a senior NCO. Making it into the top 3 percent in the U.S. Air Force is a major accomplishment. Alt...
 
 

Deployed A-10s take to the skies

(U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Christopher Ruano) An aircraft maintainer assigned to the 354th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron inspects the oil levels of an A-10 Thunderbolt II attack aircraft engine during a theater security package deployment to Lask Air Base, Poland, July 13. The U.S. and Polish air forces will conduct training aimed at...
 
 

Celebration and education; Equal Opportunity

  In 1948, Ester Blake became the first enlisted female in the U.S. Air Force, pictures were still black and white, and families gathered around radios for the evening news. Since then, the U.S. Air Force has gone through many changes. The Davis-Monthan Equal Opportunity office specializes in making sure that everyone is treated equally...
 

 

Education benefits benefit Airmen

  LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, ARIZONA — Education — it’s something that’s important not only to be competitive in one’s military career but also in the civilian sector. “A diploma or college education shows you not only have the education but you also have critical thinking skills, and that you can analyze, be objective and have a...
 
 

Raytheon, partners develop low-cost, high-tech airframe for U.S. Air Force decoy

TUCSON, Ariz.–Raytheon, in partnership with Fokker and Dallara, has developed a lower-cost carbon fiber airframe for the U.S. Air Force’s Miniature Air Launched Decoy by applying robotics and formula racing technologies. The three companies reduced airframe production costs by 25 percent. The new innovative composite design will be included in this year’s Lot 7 production....
 
 
(U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Chris Drzazgowski)

Fuel systems repair hangar officially opens

The 355th Component Maintenance Squadron’s joint fuel cell repair hangar ribbon cutting ceremony was held July 13. The facility was constructed to improve efficiency within the joint fuel cell leading to the reduction in man ...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>