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Air Force bowler: Staff Sgt. Caldwell

Staff Sgt. Edward Caldwell, 1st Air and Space Test Squadron spacelift mission assurance technician, bowls at the Surf Lanes bowling center, June 11, 2015, Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. Caldwell represented the Air Force in the 2015 Armed Forces Championship. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jim Araos/Released)

Staff Sgt. Edward Caldwell, 1st Air and Space Test Squadron spacelift mission assurance technician, bowls at the Surf Lanes bowling center, June 11, 2015, Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. Caldwell represented the Air Force in the 2015 Armed Forces Championship. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jim Araos/Released)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- "I joined the tournament to challenge myself, see the competition and better myself in the process," said Staff Sgt. Edward Caldwell, 1st Air and Space Test Squadron spacelift mission assurance technician.

These are the words that motivated one of Vandenberg's finest competitors to enter the Air Force Bowling Team. Caldwell was one of eight chosen among 30 applicants to represent the Air Force in the 2015 Armed Forces Championship.

"I didn't know the Air Force had a bowling team," said Caldwell. "This was my first year to submit and I got accepted."

Caldwell was surprised with the level of athleticism fellow competitors displayed in the competition.

"There are people in our Air Force that are professional bowlers," said Caldwell. "It's really surprising how good they are. It was a great experience to be out there and we had great camaraderie."

At a young age, bowling was ingrained into Caldwell and it developed him into the athlete he is today.

"I've been bowling since I was five years old," said Caldwell. "My mom is my first recollection of bowling. She was the one who taught me how to bowl and the one that started it all."

Bowling was deeply rooted not only in his youth but also throughout his career.

"My grandparents bought a bowling alley in my hometown, and I grew up helping with the business," said Caldwell. "I bowled in high school for a little while and decided that my bowling scholarship wasn't going to pay for the full ride so I joined the military."

Not only does Caldwell compete for the Air Force bowling team, his talents have opened up other doors as well.

"I also do what is called the Professional Bowlers Association regional tours on the weekends," said Caldwell. "I'm sponsored by DV8 bowling, a company also owned by Brunswick Bowling."

With the help and support of family and friends, Caldwell is able to continue pursuing his passion of bowling.

"I love supporting him and watching him do something he is really passionate about," said Amanda Caldwell, Caldwell's wife. "I always remind him to keep up the good work!"

To be chosen to represent the Air Force, Caldwell worked tirelessly to develop a well-rounded resume.

"If you're an avid bowler, build up your resume because Air Force bowling is on a higher level of bowling," explained Caldwell. "It is an Olympic-level event and coaches expect a consistent performance while under pressure."

It is Airmen like Caldwell that drive the mission everywhere they go. 

"Caldwell is a great bowler but an even better Airman," said Chief Master Sgt. Jason Price, 30th Launch Group superintendent. "He has a passion for the mission and its people. He puts that same effort and energy into his bowling. There is no doubt he will take the next step. And in the interim, he'll lead Airmen doing space launches and Honor Guard ceremonies and pick up the occasional 7-10 split."