Young Guns, Old Pistols set to renew rivalry in wellness ‘Challenge’

  • Published
  • By Vince Little
  • 88th Air Base Wing Public Affairs

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio – Does age really count more than beauty, or is it all just a number – depending on who you ask, of course?

Another score will get settled in that debate during the 17th annual Young Guns vs. Old Pistols Challenge. Sponsored by the Wright-Patterson Junior Force Council, the 10-week competition is aimed at bringing participants closer to the four dimensions of wellness: physical, emotional, spiritual and social.

A kickoff meeting takes place April 26 on Microsoft Teams, and the “Challenge” begins May 10.

“The main purpose and appeal of Young Guns vs. Old Pistols is that it provides a social environment for Wright-Patterson Air Force Base’s junior members to interact and build connections with senior leadership and other members across base while fostering healthy habits,” said Brittany Sommers-Woods, Wright-Patterson Junior Force Council vice president.

“This year, we’re specifically including networking activities as part of the competition for better connection-building among participants. The competition overall remains the same from year to year, but the participants and the activities they choose do change. This guarantees the ability to meet new people every year.”

The Young Guns are made up of captains, technical sergeants, GS-13 civilians and below. Majors, master sergeants, GS-14 civilians and above round out the Old Pistols roster.

The “Challenge” went on hiatus in 2020 and 2021 due to COVID-19 restrictions. Last year, about 40 people took part. But organizers expect up to 150 participants this spring and summer.

Individual participants log points daily and battle in sporting and networking events. Team competitions will unfold every Wednesday at 4 p.m. – except for scheduled bye weeks May 24, June 14 and July 5.

Sports could include bicycling, dodgeball, bowling or volleyball. Trivia, hiking and board games are networking options.

Activities will be voted on by participants and meeting locations determined at the kickoff meeting, organizers said.

“This is an excellent way to meet new people from across the base and create opportunities for mentorship within and among all (Air Force specialty codes) and organizations,” said Col. Charles Barkhurst, 88th Air Base Wing vice commander.

Sommers-Woods said individuals can complete personal-wellness challenges every day, such as drinking 64 ounces of water or sleeping eight hours. They tally points on an Excel sheet for their own record-keeping.

Group points will be awarded at Wednesday outings based on team participation, attendance and event winner.

“Points will then be combined in a shared point tracker, with the respective party updating the points they’re responsible for tracking,” she said.

The Young Guns captured the 2022 title. This year’s trophy will be awarded at a wrap-up picnic July 19.

“All are welcome to join, and registration will be open for the entirety of the event if anyone decides post-kickoff that they’d like to join us,” Sommers-Woods added. “And folks can still participate in the competition even if they can’t attend all events. Participants are not required to attend every in-person event, and we expect that a lot of folks will need to miss some of them over the course of 10 weeks.”

To register, visit The link requires a Common Access Card. Those who sign up by April 24 can purchase a 2023 event T-shirt for $20.

For more information, contact Wright-Patterson Junior Force Council Vice President Brittany Sommers-Woods at