1st Lt. Scotti Culton
U.S. Marine Corps 1st Lt. Scotti Culton has played soccer since she was seven years old. She played in high school on various club teams leading up to playing for the Colorado Rapids in the WSL.
Her background as a Marine and soccer player well-qualified her to join the most elite military soccer players in the world as they clashed at Fort Bliss June 22-July 3 at the 2018 Conseil International du Sport Militaire (CISM) World Military Women’s Football Championship.
Teams from Bahrain, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Netherlands, South Korea, and the United States gathered to compete at the 11th iteration of the tournament to earn the title of best female football players in the world.
Lt. Culton heard about the CISM program from her platoon commander at Officer Candidate School.
“She mentioned that she played for the All Marine Volleyball Team and went further to say that there’s a soccer team,” she said. “From there, I was constantly looking for more information on how to apply ad tryout.”
Culton reflects on the CISM football training she received while here in Fort Bliss.
“The first week was honestly harder than any other soccer training I’ve received, which I loved,” said Culton about the training camp prior to the championship.
The U.S. Women’s CISM team completed a series of tryouts over a two-week camp where the top 21 players were chosen from all service branches across the country. Culton is one of two Marine Corps players on team USA.
Culton talked about the typical training day leading up to the World Championship.
“We were working from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. and the days started to blend with each other. The best part was the slow buildup of unity amongst the team,” she said.
CISM sports events and other military sporting programs are a unique place where military leadership skills meet teamwork and unity on the playing field.
Culton talked about how a military background affects the team’s frame of mind on the field. She explained how teamwork brought everyone together and that no one was better than anyone else.
“You embrace the situation that you are in. We had the three-a-days with the Fort Bliss heat and we worked together to get through it.”
“I have this incredible opportunity to not only wear the uniform but be an example for any other service member to showcase what we can do as a country,” said Culton.
Culton believes that the CISM World Championship is an opportunity to try to bring as many people together as possible.
This is certainly the case as the nine countries came together to embrace the CISM motto: “Friendship through Sports.”
Culton will return to her current duty station in Iwakuni, Japan as an Air Traffic Control Officer after the CISM Championship.
The Armed Forces Sports program provides an opportunity for Service members to represent the United States Armed Forces in international competition around the world.
For more information, visit armedforcessports.defense.gov.