Three soldiers, selected as the athletes and coach of the year for 2013, were honored and recognized at the Association of the United States Army Winter Symposium and Exposition in Huntsville, Ala.
Maj. Nate Conkey, a competitive All Army world-class rugby player, who serves as the executive officer, 2nd Battalion, 1st Infantry Regiment, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., was recognized as the male athlete of the year.
Lt. Col. Terri Andreoni, a competitive All Army softball player, serving as the analysis cell executive officer, Brigade Modernization Integration Division, Brigade Modernization Command, Fort Bliss, Texas, was honored as the female athlete of the year.
Col. Mark Drown, commander, 19th Special Forces Group (Airborne), Army National Guard, Camp Williams, Utah, All-Army rugby coach, received the award for being the coach of the year.
The three soldier-athletes were presented their awards by Gen. Dennis Via, commanding general, U.S. Army Materiel Command; and Gen. Robert W. Cone, commanding general, U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command.
Conkey, who served in Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom and Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom, is a world-class All-Army rugby sevens player who was co-captain of the U.S Army Sevens Team in the Las Vegas Invitational, the U.S. Military Memorial Cup in Philadelphia and the All-Army Rugby Team in the Armed Forces Championship in Glendale, Colo.
The All-Army Team won the Armed Forces Championship by defeating the All Air Force Team 19 to 14.
Conkey was selected to the All-Tournament Team at this event.
He was also the captain of the Combined Services Team that participated in the Ambassadors Cup in Philadelphia.
Andreoni, who has deployed to Kabul, Afghanistan and Basrah, Iraq, is a competitive softball player, was captain of the All-Army Team, its starting pitcher, and the All-Tournament Team selectee at the Armed Forces Championship.
As a member of the All-Army Women’s Softball Team, she led the team to an 8-win – no loss record en route to the Gold Medal at the Armed Forces Championship.
Andreoni was also selected to the Armed Forces Women’s Softball Team that finished as the runner-up at the National Women’s Open in Ridgeland, Mississippi, where she received All-American Team honors.
Drown, who has deployed to Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom and to Libya during Operation Odyssey Guard, coached the All-Army Rugby Team to victory in the Armed Forces Championship by defeating the All Air Force Team 19 to 14 and winning the first Gold Medal in eight years.
He also volunteers as the Director of Rugby at the University of Utah and coaches the Utah High School Selects 7s Team.
Due to his accomplishments, All-Army Rugby was showcased on the International Rugby Boards featured program that was viewed worldwide, and four of his Army players have been selected to the U.S. National Team under the Army’s World Class Athlete Program.
"These three outstanding soldier-athletes," Lt. Gen. Guy Swan, USA, Ret., AUSA vice president for education, said at the ceremony, "represent the best of America’s Army as they serve in their assigned duties and also compete in athletic competitions for our Army and our nation. We are very proud of you."