News: Pfc. Ashley Dingle
FORT HOOD, Texas - What an accomplishment and example of hard work and dedication set by a young Soldier in the United States Army, assigned to 21st Combat Support Hospital, 1st Medical Brigade, Fort Hood, Texas.
Pfc. Ashley Dingle was invited to try for the United States all Armed Forces Women's Soccer Team. Dingle's journey began in Advance Individual Training were she learned from family and friends not only was there an All Army Soccer Team but also an All Armed Forces Soccer Team. Dingle then set her sights and determination in preparing for and submitting an application to compete for one of the coveted positions. After a rigorous screening process, Pfc. Dingle was selected to try out for one of the 23 positions available.
On May 17, Pfc. Dingle's journey led her to Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi Mississippi. Dingle competed against local teams, approximately 150 players, in the hot and humid Mississippi sun for three days of two a day practices resulting in her selection as a member of the team. However immediately following the completion of the first round selections, the coaching staff made an announcement that the team had to reduce its members from 23 to 18 in order to be within the rules and regulations of the 5th Conseil International du Sport Militaire Woman's Soccer tournament.
Pfc. Dingle again found herself competing on the hot Mississippi Soccer fields for the next four days. When the dust settled after the second round of tryouts, Dingle officially made the team. What Dingle didn't realize at the time was that she was the only enlisted Soldier to earn a coveted position as a member of the All Armed Forces Women's Soccer Team.
The CISM tournament was held from, June 6-13, and was played at Biloxi High School and Gulfport Sportplex. The teams in the tournament consisted of Canada, Germany, Netherlands, France, Brazil, South Korea and the United States. The first game of the tournament was United States vs. Germany. During the first half the US led 2-0. However in the second half Germany rebounded to win the game 4-3. Dingle's first action came against South Korea in game number two. Dingle started the game playing forward, unfortunately during a one on one opportunity with the opposing teams goal keeper, Dingle collided with the goal keeper while going up for the ball and suffered a hairline fracture to her right thumb. Dingle stated "the real pain didn't set in until the final result of the game with the U.S. losing to South Korea."
During the elimination round with Brazil, who had yet to lose a game in the tournament, the U.S. team fought valiantly and gave everything they had, just coming up short losing to Brazil who ended up winning the tournament against South Korea.
The United States all Armed Forces Woman's Soccer team wasn't able to move on to further tournaments and competition. Dingle stated that "having an opportunity to represent my country, Unit and fellow Service Members playing a sport I have come to love since childhood was an honor and privilege I will treasure for the rest of my life." Dingle reiterated the whole purpose of the tournament was simply explained in the motto of the CISM "Friendship Through Sport" friendships were made and a mutual respect for each other was achieved, not on the battle grounds in combat, but thru a game all the Women of the Tournament love, the game of Soccer.