News: A league of her own: 102d Training Division athlete retires with honors, gratitude
CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. - Lt. Col. Renea Greenlee’s participation in the Armed Forces Bowling Championship as a member of The All-Army Bowling Team marked the end of two careers for the Intermediate Level Education instructor formerly assigned to the 102d Training Division.
Greenlee retired in June 2013 after 28 years as a citizen soldier. The competition at Camp Lejuene in April was her last as an All-Army athlete.
Being part of the team gave her a rare opportunity to work with top coaches and compete against some of the best bowlers from all branches of the military. She even earned a spot on Team U.S.A and represented the Army for six years until 2010. Looking back on the experience, she says that competing for the Army has enriched her life and enhanced her career as an officer.
“What the Army Bowling Program brought to me was zeal to endure and remain in the Army Reserve and National Guard when the operational tempo was outrageous,” said Greenlee, a Carson City, Nev., resident who works as a middle school teacher in her civilian capacity.
As a child, she learned to bowl at the lanes where her mother managed a snack bar in Clearbrook, Minn. She says the All-Army Bowling League provided incentive for improvement.
“I started bowling competitively, getting into tournaments, trying to take it more seriously and increase my average,” Greenlee said. “It’s not something I imagined…and then I got to do it for 13 years. It made me love bowling a lot more.”
Greenlee said the Army bowling team is at a point where it could surpass its Navy and Air Force counterparts who previously dominated inter-service matches. This year, the Army team took home 20 out of 29 medals.
“I realize the Army men’s and women’s teams will be the ones to beat in future tournaments,” said Greenlee, who took home two silver medals and one bronze. “The competition and talent… was exceptional.”
Greenlee says she has grown accustomed to a high spirit of competition within the All-Army program and she hopes it continues.
“The friendly competition provides morale and professional growth for our military service members who sacrifice so much in their family life and vocation,” said Greenlee, who learned about the Army bowling team in 1999.
“I was in half my career before anyone mentioned it to me,” Greenlee said. “Many people claim they’ve never heard of it. I wish everyone from all branches could be as fortunate to participate in the Armed Forces Sports Program,”
Now that she’s retired Greenlee is looking to put together a new league made up of military retirees.