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Woods Completes Military Training

April 17, 2004|From Associated Press

FORT BRAGG, N.C. — For years, Tiger Woods heard his Green Beret father talk about life in the military and felt the stir of curiosity.

After spending four days at this sprawling Army post, the golf great now knows some of what Earl Woods experienced as a soldier 40 years ago.

Woods trained with various Army units, fired weapons, awoke early for four-mile runs and twice jumped from a plane.

By Friday, he was back on familiar ground, playing host to a junior golf clinic and providing one-on-one instruction for eight young golfers. He seemed completely at ease, smiling often as he tutored the youngsters and talked about his crash course in the military.

"My father shared a lot of his military experiences with me as I was growing up," Woods said. "For me it was neat to look back on history. It's not that I didn't understand what my dad did, but to physically see what he did just shed a whole new light on it."

That his training was a watered-down version of what his father went through during two tours of duty at Fort Bragg in the Vietnam era hardly mattered to Woods. He said the experience alone reinforced many of the lessons his father taught him.

On Monday, after finishing 22nd at the Masters, Woods flew by private jet to Pope Air Force Base, which is next to Fort Bragg. Woods was issued a uniform and received briefings on the installation, spokesman Lt. Col. Bill Buckner said.

By Tuesday morning, Woods was in uniform for three days of training. The schedule began with physical fitness training at 6:30 a.m.

On Thursday, he completed two tandem jumps with the Golden Knights, the Army parachute team based at Fort Bragg. He was attached to an instructor for the jumps from 13,500 feet.

Also on Thursday, Woods participated in a four-mile run with 400 members of the 18th Airborne Corps. The unit finished the cadence-call run in just over 31 minutes, four minutes better than the standard time.

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