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 by 2nd Lt. Lacey Roberts)

Arizona Airmen memorialize fallen Iraqi fighter pilot

Members of the Arizona Air National Guard’s 162nd Wing honored the life and memory of Iraqi Air Force Brig. Gen. Rasid Mohammed Sideeq Hasan during a memorial service here July 7. Hasan died June 24 after his F-16 Fighting Fa...
 
 

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...
 
 

Airmen leverage TFI concept

LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. – Thirty-eight service members, including individuals from the 944th Civil Engineer Squadron explosive ordnance disposal section, participated in a Battlefield Forensics training course here at the end of June. Together, Senior Master Sgt. Stephen Hunter, 944th Civil Engineer Squadron EOD program manager and Joshua Nason, General Dynamics Information Technology ...
 

 

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...
 
 
DoD

Final rule puts more teeth into Military Lending Act

  WASHINGTON – The Defense Department today closed loopholes to protect U.S. men and women in uniform from predatory lending practices, President Barack Obama said this morning at the 116th Veterans of Foreign Wars National Convention in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The heightened level of financial and consumer-rights protection against unscrupulous practices, called the final rule of...
 
 

AF continues to work with DOD, OPM on cybersecurity incident

WASHINGTON (AFNS) — The Air Force maintains its commitment to protect personal information from cyber threats by continuing efforts with the Defense Department and the Office of Personnel Management to assist those impacted by the recent cyber incident involving federal background investigation data. OPM and an interagency response team, including investigators from the FBI and...
 




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>