The United States Sports Academy’s January Student of the Month is Anthony Fletcher of Santa Barbara, Calif.

Fletcher is member of the United States Air Force Air Force, with seven deployments as an Airborne Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance operator. He is also an Academy student seeking his bachelor’s degree in sports strength and conditioning and hopes to use his education to propel his goals to work as CSCS and Tactical Fitness and Conditioning Specialist or continue his education and become a Doctor of Physical Therapy after retiring from the military.

Fletcher found out about the academy while researching exercise related training opportunities and discovered a bachelor’s program that met all of his interests.

He is a qualified instructor who has flown over 2,250 combat hours providing critical intelligence to Special Operations Forces and joint battlefield commanders around the globe. When not flying, he leads a team of airmen tasked with research and development of Air Force intelligence capabilities. He is also a qualified in-service peer mentor serving over 3,000 military personnel with various life, career, social and mental issues. He is also a University of South Florida certified Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility advisor.

Anthony’s lifelong enthusiasm for sports and fitness began when he joined his first wrestling team in the fourth grade. Despite finding success on the mat, which included securing several local titles, making varsity his freshman year and captaining his team during his Junior and Senior years, he feels that he failed to push himself to reach his full potential while in school. However, after graduating, while waiting to join the military, he had his first experiences as a volunteer youth and high-school wrestling coach. He regards those experiences coaching as more rewarding than his time spent in the center of the mat.

As an airman, Anthony decided to expand his coaching experience in order to support his wingmen in their personal fitness journeys and provide quality training advise and support at no cost. He became a qualified Physical Training Leader and a Unit Fitness Program Manager and began working to bolster the health and fitness program of his unit and worked personally with his peers to improve their individual fitness capacity and become fit to fight. He has since gained more than 16 fitness related certifications, to include Personal Training, Powerlifting, Nutrition, Wrestling Coaching and Sports and Conditioning Coaching and continues to advise, train and support his peers in fitness related matters.

He would also like to establish the local community’s first ever youth wrestling team as a non-profit service to the local population. Anthony personally enjoys the flexibility USSA’s institution provides. The school’s Life Track option has allowed Anthony to retain a positive work life balance and manage other obligations without falling behind. His online learning experience has been extremely enjoyable and loves that every class is designed around sporting applications, from economic fundamentals to computer sciences and English literature. Additionally its small class sizes allow for quality and timely feedback from instructors. His work at the academy has been highly praised by the professors with some recommending he submit his work to the academy’s publications. His favorite class so far has been SAB361, Contemporary Issues in Sports, as it has allowed him to explore and implement his existing skills and knowledge and apply the information to the course objectives. His advice for future students is to not be afraid to try and to do your best. People are often more capable than they realize and at times fail to push themselves to their full potential.

This statement was made as a personal statement and expresses the personal thoughts and feelings of a sole individual and is not, formally or informally, an endorsement of the United States Air Force for the United States Sports Academy.