Vance instructor pilot participating in 2024 Armed Forces Golf Championship

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Jordan Sillence
  • 71st Flying Training Wing Public Affairs

VANCE AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. – First Lt. Joseph Crisostomo, an instructor pilot assigned to the 33rd Flying Training Squadron at Vance Air Force Base, will be participating in an international military golf tournament for the second year in a row.

The golf tournament is hosted by Conseil International du Sport Militaire and aims to strengthen the bonds of allied nations by promoting friendship through sports. 

Crisostomo is proud to represent his country alongside service members from other nations in an activity that he previously thought was only a hobby. As an Air Force athlete, he has also won the Department of the Air Force 2023 Top Male Athlete of the Year for Air Education and Training Command.

“What I’m most excited about I think is just meeting and interacting with people from other armed forces,” said Crisostomo. “We had 17 countries including the U.S. compete in the last event.”

The process that Crisostomo went through to be chosen for the international tournament began with him being one of 70 candidates. From that point 16 men and four women were chosen to qualify at Patrick Space Force Base, Florida, by playing four competitive rounds of golf. The six men and three women with the best scores were then chosen for the armed forces tournament.

Crisostomo has been golfing since he was 9 years old. His first lesson ended in him winning a chipping competition which prompted his family to invest in future lessons.

As an instructor pilot, Crisostomo takes lessons learned from golf into his job. Patience is one such lesson, handling the frustration of playing golf has given him perspective on the difficulties of learning a new skill like piloting an aircraft.

“Even on your best days you might be doing everything right but there’s a handful of things you could improve on,” said Crisostomo.

He considers himself fortunate to have leadership that supports him competing. “It’s a hobby, but it’s a sport, and it’s allowed me to pursue my passion outside of work, as well as still accomplish the mission of producing world-class pilots,” said Crisostomo.

The CISM International Military Golf Tournament is scheduled for June 16 through June 23 at the Elephant Hills Golf Course in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe.