Northwest Military Blogs: Army West Blog

September 14, 2017 at 1:51pm

Ruck for life road march

Soldiers from the 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne) carry a stretcher laden with weight they collected along their ruck for life road march, Sept. 8, at Joint Base Lewis-McChord. Photo credit: Staff Sgt. Adam Munoz

The air was dense with a hazy smoke and vehicles were dusted in a light chalky ash from nearby forest fires when nearly 75 soldiers from the 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne) began their road march for life with empty rucksacks.

In keeping with the Army's suicide prevention theme for the month of September, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st SFG (A), participated in a ruck for life road march, Sept. 8, at Joint Base Lewis-McChord to bring awareness for the value of life and promote resiliency within its organization.

"We wanted to do something different than what has become the typical PowerPoint lecture on suicide prevention," said Staff Sgt. Apollo Stoewer, the HHC, 1st SFG (A)'s religious affairs specialist. "This gives us the chance to celebrate life's challenges and recognize the need for resilience."

After the first mile, soldiers placed a sandbag in their previously empty packs as the chaplain explained the symbolism of the weight all servicemembers carry on their backs; that all pick up burdens along life's path.

Shouldering the now heavier packs, the soldiers carried their new burden another mile where they added yet another sandbag to their load. Stepping off with packs weighing close to 50 pounds, the soldiers' spirits were high and everyone was determined to finish.

"This is great; I see what the chaplain did here," said Spc. Joseph Monreal, a HHC, 1st SFG (A) human resources specialist. I'd much rather do this than sit through another PowerPoint class."

"Soldiers and their leaders appreciate something a little more out of the box," said Chaplain (Maj.) Chris Rusack. "We designed this type of event to engage on a whole different level."

"Nothing reinforces a positive message better than some good physical exertion and even a little pain," Rusack said. "It's not something they're likely to soon forget."

As the soldiers marched through mile three they loaded prepositioned stretchers with their collected weights and shared carrying their burdens. Rusack explained that some burdens should not be carried alone and can be made easier when shared with others.

"Bringing everyone together and working as a team and supporting each other is how we get through tough events in life; you can't do it alone," said Staff Sgt. Joshua Avila, a supply specialist with HHC, 1st SFG (A).

The soldiers and many family members gathered for a free barbecue after the road march.

Col. Guillaume Beaurpere, the 1st SFG (A) commander, thanked the soldiers for their recent hard work and congratulated them on their innovative approach to completing the required training.

The commander spoke about the relationship between resilience to readiness.

"Our job is a tough one," said Beaurpere. "I need all of you mentally and physically sound to meet the demands of protecting our country."

September 14, 2017 at 12:31pm

Soldiers conduct EDRE from Tacoma to San Diego

The call could come at any time and the soldiers of 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, must be ready and willing to pick up the phone, even if that means transporting an entire brigade's motor pool from the Port of Tacoma to the beaches of sunny San Diego.

In preparation for their annual training at Fort Irwin National Training Center in California, 2-2 SBCT conducted an emergency deployment readiness exercise beginning in the early hours of Aug. 13 at Joint Base Lewis-McChord. The EDRE was designed to test the unit's ability to rapidly deploy their forces to the theater of engagement at very short notice.

Equipment was transported from JBLM via Interstate 5 to the Port of Tacoma.

"It allows us to exercise our muscles to understand where we might fall short and making sure that we're ready in case we are called to go to combat," said Capt. Edward Miller, the officer in charge of movement operations for 2-2 SBCT. "A big part of this is being able to visualize and understand how everything moves."

Seeing military vehicles sharing their morning commute on I-5, a highway notorious for its traffic congestion, might be disconcerting for residents of the Pacific Northwest, but the exercise allows the Army to practice readiness not only for combat, but for natural disasters as well.

"It's always good to be prepared for anything of that nature," said Damon Poulin, the security manager for the Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command. "I'm retired military and I remember from back when I was a young pup, that every combat unit has a mission essential task list that needs to be performed and the first mission was always to deploy the force because if you can't get the forces to the fight, you've already lost."

More than 1,900 moving pieces, including containers and Strykers, were scheduled for transport by ship to the port of San Diego.

The key to a successful operation during an exercise of this magnitude is to be able to think on your feet because, Poulin said, anything that can go wrong, will.

"Murphy is always out there looking to do something," Poulin continued. "A unit could have everything prepared properly when they leave home station but things always happen in transit. Vehicles decide they don't want to run anymore or documentations blows out the window. There's a lot of deliberate planning that goes into an event like this and you've got to be prepared for anything."

Practicing exercises of this scale helps to minimize potential disruptions in the event of an actual emergency.

"The concept of putting an entire brigade's motor pool into this small of an area gets very challenging, too," said Miller. "Understanding how everything fits in together and being able to operate here has really opened up my eyes in a sense of what it really takes to move a brigade just to San Diego, let alone across an entire ocean."

September 14, 2017 at 12:26pm

Army scientists discover power in urine

Army researcher Anthony J. Roberts adds one gram of aluminum nano powder to urine to release hydrogen from a chemical reaction. Photo credit: David McNally

Scientists at the U.S. Army Research Laboratory observed an unexpected result when combining urine with a newly engineered nano-powder based on aluminum. It instantly releases hydrogen from the urine at a much higher rate than with ordinary water.

The research team announced earlier this summer that a nano-galvanic aluminum-based powder they were developing produced pure hydrogen when coming into contact with water. The researchers observed a similar reaction when adding their powder to any liquid containing water.

"What we do as Army scientists is develop materials and technology that will directly benefit the soldier and enhance their capabilities," said Dr. Kristopher Darling, an ARL researcher. "We developed a new processing technique to synthesize a material, which spontaneously splits water into hydrogen."

Hydrogen, the most plentiful element in the universe, has the potential to power fuel cells and provide energy to future soldiers.

Fuel cells generate electricity quietly, efficiently and without pollution. According to a Department of Energy's website, fuel cells are "more energy-efficient than combustion engines and the hydrogen used to power them can come from a variety of sources."

"We have calculated that one kilogram of aluminum powder can produce 220 kilowatts of energy in just three minutes," said Dr. Anit Giri, also an ARL researcher.

In space, astronauts recycle waste water and urine because drinking water is a precious commodity. For soldiers in austere environments, there are many precious commodities. Power and energy is becoming increasingly important to run communications and electronics gear for away teams, which can't be resupplied.

Making use of urine as a fuel source may result in tremendous benefits for soldiers, officials said.

"When we demonstrated it with urine, we saw almost a factor of twofold increase in the reaction rates," Darling said. "We were very excited. As a group we have been pushing for the last few months on developing the efficiency and the reaction kinetics to try to get them faster."

The team is still investigating why urine causes a faster reaction, but it may have something to do with the electrolytes and the acidity of the liquid.

"It's unique because the rate of the reaction is so efficient and extremely rapid from such a small volume of material," Darling said.

The team is working closely with other researchers at the laboratory, including the Sensors and Electron Devices Directorate, to discover how to harness the material as a potential energy source.

"It was a spontaneous finding," Darling said. "We weren't expecting to develop this material specifically for hydrogen production. It was a group effort. We came together as a team to understand the importance of the discovery. This has great potential for benefiting soldiers."

In a statement, Dr. Philip Perconti, the laboratory director, said the discovery "may find great utility for forward deployed troops who need a compact and lightweight energy source."

In the coming months, the team will continue to investigate and push the limits of the discovery, to try and understand its implications.

"Our basic focus is materials development and optimization," Darling said. "We're looking at how we can optimize the composition, its interactions with other fluids, including saliva and other liquids available to soldiers in a field environment."

September 14, 2017 at 12:01pm

WA cyber going national?

Benjamin Beberness, the chief information officer for the Snohomish County PUD, speaks with Col. Gent Welsh & Maj. Gen. Bret D. Daugherty in April. Photo courtesy Washington National Guard

New, bipartisan legislation named for the late Major Gen. Tim Lowenberg would build upon the success of the Washington National Guard's cyber units and create dedicated units around the country to help states counter cyber-attacks.

The legislation is sponsored by Congressman Derek Kilmer (D-WA), who has seen the Washington National Guard's cyber work in action, as well as Congressman Steven Palazzo (R-MS). As of Sept. 8, the legislation had been referred to the House Committee on Armed Services.

"States need reinforcements in the fight against cyber attacks," Kilmer said in his release announcing the proposal. "They currently face a gap when it comes to protecting their communities from hackers and other cyber criminals. Local national guard personnel have the right expertise to make sure states like Washington have the tools to fight back."

Washington National Guard's cybersecurity units have become leaders in the nation, forging relationships with private industry and local partners, and tasked with finding vulnerabilities in public networks. The soldiers in the units became the first in the nation to see if they could get into the network of a public utility when the Snohomish County Public Utility District asked for help. It only took 17 minutes to break into the Snohomish PUD's system. After, the Guard worked with the PUD to improve its security.

The Maj. Gen. Tim Lowenberg National Guard Cyber Defenders Act would create Cyber Civil Support Teams (Cyber CST) through the National Guard to coordinate responses to significant cyber-attacks in their state. These teams would have to be up and running within five years of the law's passage. The National Guard Bureau would submit a report to Congress outlining the plan to meet this deadline and work with the Council of Governors to establish when the teams would be used.

"Never before in history has there been such a tremendous gap between our awareness of a threat -- cyber and our lack of ability to do anything about it -- response force," said Col. Gent Welsh, commander of the Washington Air National Guard's 194th Wing. "That issue is solved with this legislation.   These teams will be the ‘connective tissue' that bring government and critical infrastructure providers together to help defeat those who are attacking America now with keystrokes, not bombs or bullets."

Cyber Civil Support Teams are proposed to be 10 members, half made up of full-time personnel and the other made up of traditional guardsmen, who likely work in a technology sector as a civilian. The teams would provide the connective tissue between local municipalities and private sector with national response infrastructures and agencies through regular exercises and outreach activities. The teams fulfill a two-fold mission encompassing cyber incident response and continual defensive cyber training.

The Guard also has worked with the Washington State Auditor's Office, the state Department of Licensing and the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, among others, to test for vulnerabilities.

The new congressional legislation would be named for the late Maj. Gen. Lowenberg, who unexpectedly died Aug. 27. Lowenberg was the former adjutant general of the Washington Military Department and commander of the Washington National Guard and a major advocate for building cyber capability for the state and nation.

September 14, 2017 at 7:17am

Walk in county's largest breast cancer walk

Come Walk With Me is Pierce County's largest breast cancer walk hosted by Multi Care Health Systems - it begins and ends at Sumner's own Old Cannery Furniture Warehouse located at 13608 Valley Avenue East. Join Multi and walk for the women and men in your life battling breast cancer. Register, form a team, join a team, or make a donation to support breast health programs at Good Samaritan Hospital. 

Registration Fees

Early Bird - $25

Through July 31
Ages 13+ 

Online Registration - $30

August 1 through October 4
Ages 13+ 
*Online registration closes on October 4 

Event-Day Registration - $35

October 5 at Packet Pickup or October 7 at the event
Ages 13+

Youth Registration - $10

Ages 5-12

Children 4 & Under are FREE

T-shirt not included

*Please note that the Motorcycle Poker Run has been cancelled for 2017. 

Event Schedule

7:30 am - Registration, T-Shirt Pick-Up, & Hot Pancake Breakfast Open
8:30 am - Free Kids' 50-Yard Dash Begins
8:45 am - Program Begins
9:00 am - 5K Walk Begins
10:30 am - Silent Auction Closes & Bedazzled Bra / Pink'd Awards Announced

Skip the lines on Saturday morning, and join us at Pre-Event Packet Pickup on Thursday, October 5 from 3:00-7:00 pm at The Old Cannery Furniture Warehouse!


100% of donor contributions to Come Walk With Me support breast health programs at Good Samaritan Hospital (we keep it local!). Click here to learn about some great fundraising tips, tricks, and rewards.

For more information about fundraising or about Come Walk With Me, please contact Michelle LoFaso at 253-403-4374 or


Come Walk With Me is powered by the support of incredible volunteers throughout the community. Interested in volunteering? Click here to see jobs and descriptions and then follow the steps below. 

I want to apply! If you have never applied to volunteer at Multicare, start here

I've already applied and I'm ready to sign-up! Login to the Volunteer Services Center, click My Schedule, go to October 2017, and click the date you wish you volunteer and select your position.

Have questions or need help signing up? Check out this step-by-step guide or email

Partner with Us

Partnering with Come Walk With Me will not only allow you to support breast cancer patients at Good Samaritan Hospital, but will provide your company with brand exposure to hundreds within our community. Download our Sponsorship Opportunities to see what's available. For more information about sponsorship opportunities, please contact Shawn Harris at 253-403-1368 or


September 12, 2017 at 6:11am

Flea Market and Oktoberfest Saturday on base

Rob Braholli, left, and his wife Megan enjoy a plate of jaegerschnitzel and sauerkraut with a stein of beer during the 2016 JBLM Oktoberfest celebration at Family and MWR’s Fest Tent on Lewis Main. JBLM PAO photo

Two popular Joint Base Lewis-McChord events are combining this year for a day of fun and all things recycled — or German.

The installation’s successful Fall Flea Market and Oktoberfest joins at Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation’s Fest Tent on Lewis Main Sept. 16 for what’s expected to be an incredible day of deals, bratwurst, German potato salad, apple strudel, German beer and jaegerschnitzel — a flattened and fried pork cutlet with mushroom sauce.

The event will be at the tent next to Bowl Arena Lanes, 2200 Liggett Ave. on Lewis Main — with the flea market from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and the Oktoberfest event overlapping slightly, from 2 to 10 p.m.

The Fall Flea Market will be outdoors, under small tents, while Oktoberfest will be inside Family and MWR’s Fest Tent.

The combined event is a way to get more flea market buyers and sellers involved in Oktoberfest and more Oktoberfest attendees excited about the flea market, according to Megan Braholli, recreation specialist with Family and MWR.

“We have a lot of great events on base, but Oktoberfest is my favorite,” Braholli said. “What isn’t there to love about Germany?”

Braholli and her husband, Sgt. Robert Braholli, 508th Military Police Battalion, 42nd Military Police Brigade, moved to JBLM last year from Germany where Braholli was stationed for the past five years.

The couple hails from Canton, Ohio, originally, but Germany is home, she said, adding she cooks many traditional German dishes, but enjoys going to Oktoberfest because of the German community atmosphere.

“Oktoberfest is one of many German celebrations that go on all year long in Germany; I love all the festivals,” she said. “If it’s summertime there’s a celebration; if the leaves are changing it’s time to celebrate. Anything brings on a celebration and lots of food — simple but good.”

Bounce houses, food vendors, games and a rock climbing wall will be available.

As for the flea market, Braholli won’t be selling any items, but she just might find time to peruse the many tables of treasures.

And, there’s still time to sign up to sell items. It’s $26 to rent two 6-foot long tables to sell gently used items and $30 for three tables. Additional tables are available for $6 per table. Participants must be authorized Department of Defense ID cardholders to purchase space to sell items.

September 12, 2017 at 6:09am

22nd STS wins JBLM Commander’s Cup Softball Championship

Brandon Simpson of the 22nd Special Tactics Squadron aims for contact during a first inning where his team had six runs on eight hits. JBLM PAO photo

Keyton Thiem might not have been the exact description of a walk-off winner with a three-run home run during the JBLM Commander’s Cup Softball Championship, but was the final hit that forced a fifth-inning, 10-run mercy rule to give the 22nd Special Tactics Squadron a 17-6 win over Maintenance Group Support Battalion, 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne) at the Lewis North Athletic Complex Aug. 31.

“I felt selfish because I took the bats out of my teammates’ hands,” Thiem said with a laugh after the game.

The 22nd STS lineup saw just about every player who stepped up to the plate drive in a run. In addition to the team hitting three home runs, there were several well-hit balls that bounced off the outfield fence or made it hard on the 1st SFG fielders to play defense.

The first inning saw everyone in the 11-man lineup have an at-bat, starting with a double by Thiem. This was followed by a RBI double from Kyle Plasterer and a RBI single from Mike Charvat. James English had a two-run home runs before the first out was recorded.

Runs driven in by Chad Rosendale and Austin Osburn rounded out a first inning with six runs for 22nd STS. The team added another five runs in the second inning that Plasterer hit a two-run home run.

“They have some great hitters,” said Robert Straughn, player coach for the 1st SFG team. “All you can do is pitch and play defense, but we didn’t really have any good batting either.”

The 1st SFG struggled to get hits with runners in scoring position in the first two innings. After singles from Maximiliano Gonzalez and James Pierce, Michael Lockridge and Robert Straughn could not convert with a flyout and groundball fielder’s choice out to close the inning.

Nicholas Marban got the first run with a sacrifice groundout that followed Alexander Woodruff’s leadoff triple in the second inning. Neither Ahmad Strickland or Samuel Conwright could get on after a single from Anacleto Zamora.

The 1st SFG team started to show life in the fifth inning with Pierce drawing a bases-loaded walk, followed by Lockridge’s single driving in two runs. The 22nd STS was able to close out the game in the fifth after back-to-back RBI singles from Osburn and Jacob Sikovic and Thiem’s three-run walk-off homer.

Powerful offense has been a trend for the 22nd STS team as it was undefeated in the regular season and through the playoffs to win the JBLM Commander’s Cup softball title. Power batting maintained despite the team having a revolving door due to a very grueling schedule linked and the demands of a pending deployment.

“Some players were here one week; others were here another week,” said Joe Fernandez, the team captain and coach. “Some guys missed anywhere from one to four weeks due to training.”

Even with some weeks where the team barely made the minimum of 10 players for games, Fernandez credited not only the 22nd STS team’s communication skills, but also their commitment throughout a challenging softball season.

“Even when they are home, they sacrificed time with their family and good friends, and well deserved time off, to showcase their talents,” Fernandez said.

It was also a special day for the 22nd STS’ Erin Bowser, who was just pinned to become a chief master sergeant in the Air Force. He added that the honor, plus being part of a championship team, was a great way to celebrate and start Labor Day weekend.

“I’ve been here (on JBLM) for six years, and this is the best team I’ve played with,” Bowser said. “It’s all about the camaraderie. You can tell how tight-knit this unit is.”

Scoring summary

1st Special Forces Group 0 1 1 1 3 – 6

22nd Special Tactics Squadron 6 5 0 1 5 – 17

F/5 innings

1st SFG (H-AB-RBI) – Maximiliano Gonzalez, 3-3-0; Michael Correll, 0-2-0; James Pierce, 0-2-2; Michael Lockridge, 1-3-2; Robert Straughn, 0-3-0; Alexander Woodruff, 2-3-0; Nicholas Marban, 0-2-1; Anacleto Zamora, 2-2-1; Ahmad Strickland, 0-2-0; Samuel Conwright, 0-1-0.

22nd STS (H-AB-RBI) – Keyton Thiem, 3-3-3; Kyle Plasterer, 3-3-3; Mike Charvat, 1-3-2; James English, 2-3-2; Joe Fernandez, 2-3-1; Brandon Simpson, 2-3-1; Travis Jordan, 1-3-1; Chad Rosendale, 2-3-2; Jordan Smith, 0-3-0; Austin Osburn, 1-3-1; Jacob Sikovic, 1-3-1.

September 12, 2017 at 6:07am

Madigan neurologist member of U.S. Military Endurance Sports Team

Courtesy photo Jodie Bolt poses near the start line at the International Triathlon Union’s World Championships for Duathlon in Penticton, Canada, Aug. 19. She finished fourth in the sprint duathlon and second in the standard duathlon in her age group.

Jodie Bolt has a drive to move. A retired Army lieutenant colonel, she now works as a child neurologist for Madigan Army Medical Center on Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

She’s also a member of the U.S. Military Endurance Sports Team. She qualified for the International Triathlon Union’s World Championships for Duathlon Aug. 19 to 21 in Penticton, Canada, and earned her berth by taking first place in the women’s 50 to 54 age group at the USA Triathlon’s Duathlon National Championship in June 2016.

The competition wasn’t the only reason why Bolt said she went; participating in events like this is her respite.

“I don’t do ‘still’ very well,” Bolt said. “I’d rather be outside when I can.”

Her endurance was truly tested late last year after she crashed on her bike near her home in Lakewood, suffering two fractures on the left side of her pelvis. Bolt hit a speed bump that hurled her into the pavement. It didn’t take long to realize the severity of her injuries.

“I get a certain nausea when I recognize broken bones,” Bolt said.

Still, she attempted to finish her bicycle ride before collapsing on the family driveway. Her husband transported her to Madigan where the fractures were confirmed.

The good news was that she didn’t need surgery, but in true Bolt fashion, she wanted to remain active during her recovery. One day after the crash, she was walking on a path near American Lake on JBLM with her oldest daughter, Jackie.

Bolt spent the next several weeks on crutches, mostly putting her weight on her right side. Her first mile after the crash was about 48 minutes — far from her competitive 7-minute pace.

“I became a figure on the McChord track,” Bolt said.

She worked herself to be active with the short-term goal of attending a bicycle camp in Tuscon, Ariz. By this time, she was comfortable on the bike and had a strong performance doing hill climbs in places like Kitt Peak and Mount Lemmon, despite having some pains.

“Through my life, I tend to ignore pain,” Bolt said. “I’ve finished races with bones broken through the foot thinking it was my foot cramping.”

Not long after the hill climb camp, Bolt learned that she had fractured the sacrum on the right side. She said it was likely due to low bone density and having done a lot of work on that side of the body since the December crash.

While she followed doctor’s orders not to run, Bolt spent months on the stationary bicycle staying active. She again progressed well enough to do time trials that have a lower crash risk. She found herself cycling stronger this spring and through the summer.

On Aug. 12 during a time trial race in Oregon, Bolt finished third in the women’s 50-59 category with a time of 1:38:38. Not having officially pulled out of the world duathlon event, she decided to go for it.

With the support of her family, friends, co-workers and patients, she decided she would give it an effort.

“Even if I had to walk, I was going to finish,” Bolt said.

Being competitive wasn’t a problem as she started the event with a fourth place finish in the women’s 50-54 category in the sprint duathlon Aug. 19 with a time of 1:13:46.

Two days later, Bolt took the silver medal in the same age group in the standard duathlon with a time of 2:16:10. She credits the support system in Washington state and her faith.

“It’s the hug from your husband and your son, or the patient and son who tell you they’ve been praying for you,” Bolt said. “As a person of faith, I don’t have a coach; I listen to my heavenly coach.”

As for the rest of 2017 and into 2018, Bolt said she’s not sure. Her husband is retiring from the Army after 30 years, and her youngest son will be a junior at Bellarmine Preparatory School in Tacoma. The rest of the children are moving on in life.

Although Bolt doesn’t have a training plan, she said she will keep herself active.

“My life is always crazy like that,” Bolt said. “I really am a haphazard athlete.”

September 8, 2017 at 5:51am

Takuichi Fujii exhibit to open in Tacoma

This fall, see three exhibitions at Washington State History Museum that explore how individuals react in crisis: artistic expression and quiet introspection; protest; and citizen diplomacy. Witness to Wartime is the first, followed byLoyal Opposition: The Protest Photos of George P. Hickey, opening September 30; and on October 7,Glasnost and Goodwill: Citizen Diplomacy in the Northwest.Don’t miss our newest permanent exhibition,Washington, My Home, sharingdiverse stories of migration and immigration to Washington.
Takuichi Fujii was incarcerated during World War II as a result of Executive Order 9066. His work sheds light on difficult events that most Americans did not experience, the lessons of which remain highly relevant today. Fujiidrew and painted throughout his imprisonment at the Puyallup and Minidoka War Relocation Centers.Witness to Wartime: The Painted Diary of Takuichi Fujiiopens Saturday, September 16, 2017 and is on view through Monday, January 1, 2018. See70 works by Fujii and scroll through a digital version of his nearly 400-page diary to see the evolution of his experiences and his artmaking.

September 8, 2017 at 5:49am

Warren Miller's Line of Descent to swoosh through here

This fall, the annual tradition is back to salute the start of winter. The world’s biggest name in snowsports cinema—Warren Miller Entertainment—celebrates its 68th ski and snowboard film with downhill thrills, global adventure and a nod to those that taught us to slide on snow with multiple showings in the greater Puget Sound area at the start of November.  See dates and times here.

Snow riders are a family—one big tribe comprising of many smaller ones. Familial rites pass down through generations. Skier roots grow deep in high mountain soil. Line of Descent celebrates just that, the lineage of legendary athletes through a multi-generational cast of skiing’s icons and fresh faces, including Tommy Moe, Jonny Moseley, JT Holmes, Lexi duPont, Seth Wescott, Kalen Thorien, Marcus Caston, Jeremy Jensen, Griffin Post, and more.

This year, Volkswagen joins the most esteemed name in winter sports films as the presenting sponsor of the Line of Descent U.S. film tour. The partnership builds on the heritage and passion associated with both the Volkswagen and Warren Miller brands. Volkswagen’s partnership will grow authentically well into 2019, elevating the event experience that is the Warren Miller institution and marking the beginning of every winter season.

Ride along on a stunning cinematic journey as we travel near and far, descending some of North America’s deepest lines in Jackson Hole, Montana, Silverton, Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows, and Steamboat.

From powsurfing to splitboard, motorcycle, dogsled or snowmobile, watch as athletes chase winter along the Beartooth Pass, the French Alps, New Zealand, British Columbia, and Norway.

“This season, we explore how skiers are shaped by picking up a pair of skis for the first time,” notes Warren Miller’s veteran producer Josh Haskins. “More often than not, it’s family who introduces us to the sport or steers us on the path towards an ongoing passion—be it a ski bum lifestyle, a professional career or simply the desire to pass on the same feeling to the next generation. There is a kinship unlike any other in the ski community, and Warren Miller is the elder, bringing generations of skiers and riders together for 68 years, and this year is no different.”

Since 1949, ski families have cheered the official kickoff of winter with the ski film company that started it all. As the family grows, the traditions grow richer. Volkswagen Presents Warren Miller’s Line of Descent will premiere worldwide in three locations on October 13, 2017, including Salt Lake City, UT, Portland, OR and Bozeman, MT. Screenings will then sweep across the U.S. from the Pacific Northwest to the East Coast from October to January.

Tickets go on sale September 12, 2017, and discounted presale tickets will be available online only the week of August 28. Film attendees will enjoy lift ticket and gear savings from Warren Miller resort, retail and partnered brands and also be entered to win nightly prizes like swag and ski vacations. Local show dates and times can be found on

Sponsors of the 2017 Warren Miller Film Tour include: Volkswagen, Western Montana’s Glacier Country, Gosling’s, L.L.Bean, Ester C, Ducati, Airstream, Helly Hansen, K2, HEAD, Marker Dalbello Völkl USA and SKI Magazine.

Featured Athletes

Scotty Arnold | Jeremy Jensen | Neil Provo | Ian Provo | Jonny Moseley | JT Holmes | Errol Kerr
Ty Peterson | George Rodney | Arielle Gold | Taylor Gold | Lexi duPont | Amie Engerbretson
McKenna Peterson | Tyler Ceccanti | Collin Collins | Julian Carr | Keith Curtis | Kalen Thorien
Michael "Bird" Shaffer | Seth Wescott | Rob Kingwill | Kevin Giffin | Marcus Caston | Kaylin Richardson Linda Haaland | Tommy Moe | Jess McMillan | Griffin Post

Film Destinations

British Columbia | California | Colorado | France | Montana | New Zealand | Norway | Wyoming

About Warren Miller Entertainment

Warren Miller Entertainment has been a pioneer in action sports cinematography since 1949. Line of Descent marks the 68th installment of its expansive feature film library. Warren Miller Entertainment is a division of Active Interest Media based in Boulder, Colorado. One of the world’s largest enthusiast media companies, Active Interest Media ( produces leading consumer and trade events, websites, magazines, and films and TV shows that reach 40 million readers, fans, and attendees in 85 countries.

About Volkswagen of America, Inc.

Founded in 1955, Volkswagen of America, Inc., an operating unit of Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. (VWoA) is headquartered in Herndon, Virginia. It is a subsidiary of Volkswagen AG, headquartered in Wolfsburg, Germany. VWoA’s operations in the United States include research and development, parts and vehicle processing, parts distribution centers, sales, marketing and service offices, financial service centers, and its state -of-the- art manufacturing facility in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The Volkswagen Group is one of the world's largest producers of passenger cars and Europe's largest automaker. VWoA sells the Atlas, Beetle, Beetle Convertible, e-Golf, Golf, Golf GTI, Golf R, Golf SportWagen, Golf Alltrack, Jetta, Passat, Tiguan and Touareg vehicles through approximately 651 independent U.S. dealers. Visit Volkswagen of America online or to learn more.


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