Nellis Airman ‘spares’ time for bowling passion

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Mikaley Towle
  • 99th Air Base Wing Public Affairs
He slowly walks up to the foul line while simultaneously bringing his arm back, ready for the swing. He unleashes the ball and it swiftly rolls toward the 10 awaiting pins. With a boisterous noise similar to multiple champagne bottles being uncorked, the pins are sent flying and he is rewarded with a strike.

For Staff Sgt. Joshua Cramer, 57th Maintenance Squadron munitions systems technician, a passion for bowling was ignited inside him at a young age.

"My dad got me into it when I was six years old," said Cramer. "It was something that the two of us could do together."

For some individuals, it can take numerous years to develop a high skill level for a sport, but Cramer enjoyed early success at bowling.

"I've always enjoyed bowling and I performed really well at competitions when I was younger," said Cramer.

With many years of success behind him, Cramer continued bowling and eventually put in an application to join the 2015 U.S. Air Force bowling team.

"I put in the application and the Air Force picked the top 16 male and female competitors," said Cramer. "Then we went to the Air Force trials, or training camp, at Naval Air Station Jacksonville. Then the top four male and female competitors made the Air Force team and stayed to bowl in the Armed Forces Championships."

The Air Force team competed against its sister services' teams in the Armed Forces Championships in May 2015.

The Air Force women's team placed second, while the men's team took first place. Cramer and his men's doubles partner finished first, while individually Cramer placed fourth overall.

Cramer has a strong support network consisting of his family, friends and co-workers.

"They always take the time to ask me how I'm doing and they give me time to go compete," said Cramer. "They allow me to do permissive leave to go compete rather than having to use leave when I go."

Not only does Cramer excel at bowling, but his supervisor has nothing but praise for him as an Airman.

"Staff Sgt. Cramer is one of the best Airmen I have had the chance to supervise," said Tech. Sgt. Joshua Ratliff, 57th Maintenance Squadron small bombs production superintendent. "Whether he is crew-chiefing a 2.75-inch rocket build or finishing his bachelor's degree, he sets the bar high on a daily basis. He tackles every job assigned to him -- no questions asked -- safely and precisely with a positive attitude to ensure the small bombs element completes our part in the mission here at Nellis Air Force Base."

Unlike other Air Force sports teams like boxing, where Airmen leave their assigned duty stations during the season, the bowling trials and championships only span seven days, and those who don't make the team go back to work.

He hopes to play for and represent the Air Force team again in 2016 and continue his success.