Sgt. Maj. Ryan Dean, the MWR bowling program manager at Fort Meade, Md., and a bowling coach, received the award for being the coach of the year.
The three soldier-athletes were presented their awards Feb. 25 by Gen. Ann E. Dunwoody, commanding general, U.S. Army Materiel Command; Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, commanding general, U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command; and Gen. Gordon R. Sullivan, USA, Ret., AUSA president.
Cavanaugh, a West Point graduate, is an All Army Athlete who has been selected many times to compete on an Armed Forces Team.
In 2009, he competed in the USA Men’s Cross Country National Championship and was the top Army finisher.
He was also selected as an All-Army Marathoner at the Armed Forces Championship where he placed fourth among all Army runners and 26th overall.
Cavanaugh, who saw his fellow soldiers experience severe wounds in combat while in Iraq, co-founded the “Team Wounded Warrior Project” with Air Force veteran Tom Cocchiarella.
A non-profit organization dedicated to empowering the most severely wounded veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan, this patriotic project has received national attention.
Cavanaugh has pledged to run 250 miles of endurance, trail, and ultra-distance races to support this project.
His running challenges ranged in distances from 1 mile to 50 miles to up to 113 miles.
As a result, the “Team Wounded Warrior Project” has raised approximately $42,000 on behalf of our wounded veterans.
Cavanaugh speaks regularly to groups of military officers and noncommissioned officers, civic organizations, fellow athletes and runners about this project, and he was highlighted on National Public Radio as a well as at events the Team Wounded Warrior Project has sponsored.
“His dedication to our wounded warriors and his dynamic athleticism have made him an outstanding soldier-athlete,” Sullivan said in reading the citation.
Emily Potter, also a West Point graduate who has been deployed to Iraq, is a competitive runner.
An All Army Athlete, Potter has been selected on numerous occasions as an Armed Forces Team member.
In 2009, she was the top Army women finisher and the top Armed Forces finisher at the 25th Annual Army Ten-Miler.
She ran the Army’s race in 59 minutes, 45 seconds – a pace of 5 minutes, 58 seconds.
As a member of the All Army Marathon Team, Potter was the top Army women’s finisher and the top armed forces finisher.
As a member of the Armed Forces Counseil International Militaire (CISM) Team, she was the top Armed Forces women’s finisher and 5th overall at the CISM Championship.
In addition, in 2008, Potter was the United States Association Track and Field Marathon National Champion.
She also competed at the Women’s Marathon Olympic Trials and was the only Armed Forces qualifier.
In 2007 Potter fractured three bones in her back while qualifying for the Olympics in Modern Pentathlon, but she worked extremely hard and by the end of the year was able to run and qualify for an Olympic Trial.
“Her selections to upper level competitions representing the United States Army and the armed forces make her an outstanding soldier and great athlete,” Sullivan said.
Ryan, the MWR bowling program manager at Fort Meade has been involved with bowlign for over 10 years
As a coach, he has made major contributions to the Army, his soldier athletes and his sport as the All Army Bowling Coach for the All Army and armed forces bowling programs.