By 1st Lt. Brianca Johnson, AFROTC Southwest Region
/ Published July 31, 2017
Capt. Joel Bischoff, a cadre member at Air Force ROTC Detachment 027 at the University of Northern Arizona, sets the pace at the 2017 Armed Forces Triathlon, held June 7-11 at Naval Base Ventura County, California. The captain’s second place overall finish at the competition earned him a place on the Air Force team competing at the World Military Triathlon Championship in Warendorf, Germany, Aug. 5. (Courtesy Photo)
An Air Force ROTC instructor at the University of Northern Arizona will be representing the Air Force at a world-wide triathlon in Warendorf, Germany, Aug. 5, 2017.
Captain Joel Bischoff, operations flight commander at AFROTC Detachment 027, will compete as a member of the Air Force’s team in the World Military Triathlon Championship.
Bischoff earned his place at the championships by competing in the Armed Forces Triathlon, a draft legal Olympic distance triathlon, from June 7-11, 2017, at Naval Base Ventura County, California. Each service branch sends their top nine male triathletes to compete at the event. He was the first finisher for the Air Force triathlon team, and won second place overall for men competitors.
He became a competitor on the Air Force triathlon team last year, and took 7th place overall at the 2016 Armed Forces Triathlon.
Bischoff started competing in triathlons in 2006. In 2013, he began a rigorous routine of competing in a triathlon every one to two months. He has raced in more than 25 triathlons to date.
"Triathlons started out as something to stay motivated through my first deployment as a security forces officer," said Bischoff. “It later transformed as a way to support my father through his fight with cancer and now, in memory of the legacy he left behind."
He mentioned that the most challenging aspect of being a triathlete is beyond the physical demands that come on a race day.
"The challenge comes on a daily basis at 0450 in the morning when the alarm goes off or needing to finish an intense interval," he said. "Life can throw all sorts of time constraints, stressors and excuses, but staying focused on one day at a time can lead to huge improvements in the long run. A critical component to my success through these challenges has to do with my supportive family, unit leadership and faith."
Bischoff is currently finishing his tenure as a cadre member at AFROTC Detachment 027, and heading to Malmstrom Air Force Base, Montana, to continue his career as a security forces officer. He believes competing in triathlons has molded him into a stronger individual and leader.
"As a leader, husband and father of two kiddos, I have found competing in triathlons has made me more resilient and confident to take on challenges," said Bischoff. "As an officer at my unit, helping others accomplish their goals and setting a positive example help build unit comradery and pride, which in turn helps fosters a cohesive team able to complete the mission."