In 2015, Cameron Niccum and Tanner Vosvick were teammates on the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York, men’s soccer team. In spring of this year, Niccum and Vosvick, who are both first lieutenants now, were teammates once again – this time for the All-Army men’s soccer team.
The All-Army men’s soccer team hosted its trial camp at Fort Hood back in March to select its roster for the 2019 Armed Forces Championships at Naval Station Everett, Washington, in April.
Niccum, an officer with 3rd Cavalry Regiment, and Vosvick, an officer with 1st Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment, were both selected to the team’s roster at the end of the trial camp.
“It was incredible,” Vosvick said of playing alongside Niccum again. “It brought back a lot of good memories. Me and him are extremely close and to get the opportunity to play next to him again was amazing.”
This was Niccum’s first time trying out for the All-Army soccer team.
“I’m just looking forward to competing at a high level with the other services and to try to win, do your best and obviously beat them,” he said.
At the beginning of camp, the biggest challenge for Niccum was getting back into soccer shape.
“Getting back into the swing of things,” he said.
For Vosvick, the challenge was staying healthy.
“I was fighting through a lot of muscle issues,” he said. “Soccer fitness is a different kind of fitness than what your body gets in the routine of doing while in the Army. I tried to prepare myself to the best of my ability, but that was difficult while being on a rotation in Europe. Obviously, during camp you get your rest and try to keep healthy for the tournament, but during the tournament, you just fight through whatever it is your body is going through.”
During the Armed Forces Championships, Vosvick scored the first goal for Team Army in its first match against All-Air Force. The All-Army team went undefeated in the tournament, earning its spot in the championship game.
In the championship final, Niccum scored the Army’s first goal, tying the game at 1-1 around 40 minutes in. After a go-ahead goal from Army teammate Spc. Steve Cisneros-Palacios in the final seconds, the All-Army team clinched the gold medal.
“Being a part of the All-Army team this year and winning gold meant a lot to me,” Vosvick said. “The team and staff put a lot of time and effort in our short preparation for the tournament. In order for us to show up and put on the display that we did and to get the result we did shows what the Army is about. Even though it was a great win for the team and the Army, it was also a great win for the units that these players came from.”
As a lifelong soccer player, these opportunities to continue playing the sport at elite levels was “a dream come true,” Vosvick said.
“After my senior season at school ended, I thought my career was over and I would be a Sunday Men’s League player until the day I died,” he said. “It has always been my dream to play soccer at the highest level possible and this was an awesome step toward that.”
At the end of the tournament, the tournament’s best players from across all services were selected to represent the U.S. in the 2019 CISM Military World Games, which will be held in Wuhan, China, in October. Six All-Army players were selected for the U.S. Armed Forces team, including Niccum and Vosvick.
“In order to prepare for CISM, I am pushing my body to new levels that it hasn’t seen since I was playing up at school,” Vosvick said. “Now knowing the quality of soccer and the professional atmosphere that the All-Army program and the All-Armed Forces program entails, it is on me to make sure I am ready, focused and driven to excel and succeed.”
Vosvick shared his gratitude to the All-Army team and staff for winning gold and to his unit, 1-82 FA, 2-5 Cav., for their support and affording him the opportunity to continue to play soccer at a high level.
“Lastly, I just want to add that the CISM gold medal will be coming home to the United States and that I will be playing for my grandmother (Janis Vosvick) who recently just passed away,” Vosvick continued. “I know the team will have many angels watching over us as we show the world what we’re made of.”