Humble Beginnings

In the heat of summer 2001 at Fort Sam Houston, TX, Dr. Terry Dewitt, Ph.D., ATC, was serving in the U.S. Army Reserves providing medical coverage for the Confederation of Interallied Officer Reserve (CIOR) Military Competition training camp, when he realized the value and importance of having an organization to unite and represent those working for the military as Certified Athletic Trainers. This military competition, which takes place at a different global location each summer, demonstrated the need for the specialized care that ATCs can provide and the importance of recognizing the profession in such a unique environment. It was from these early beginnings that the Armed Forces Athletic Trainers' Society (AFATS) was born. Dr. DeWitt served as the first president of AFATS and  in 2017 retired from the Army Reserves as Colonel but continues to be an ambassador for ATCs working in the military setting to this day. With the help of Mary Kirkland, chair of the National Athletic Trainers' Associations’ (NATA) Counsel on Employment (COE) during the beginning years, AFATS began putting together workshops around the country for interested ATCs who wanted to pursue employment working with our armed forces. The organization’s membership quickly increased.  Today, our membership includes ATCs working with all branches of the U.S. military, both in the continental United States and abroad, and the society continues to work toward expanding the impact and support of our profession in all facets of military preparation, training, and execution of exercises that keep our nation safe.

Executive Staff:  

Timothy Hansen, MS, ATC, CSCS


Ellie Daniels, MSAT, ATC, LAT


Anne Gutierrez, ATC
Allen Willoughby, ATC


Service Representatives:


Michael Hooper, MS, ATC, CSCS


Michael Dreisbach, ATC

Geoffrey Koteles, AT, LAT

Christine Beckman, MS, ATC


Marine Corps

Jerry Bean, MS, LAT, CSCS, TSAC-F

Jay Gibson, MS, ATC

Vince Mancini, ATC

Air Force:

Andrea Matthes, M.Ed, ATC/L



Coast Guard:  open


Ellie Daniels, MSAT, ATC, LAT


Ian Elwood, MA, ATC, CSCS

Mission Statement
The mission of the Armed Forces Athletic Trainers Society shall be to advance, encourage, supplement and improve the profession of Athletic Training by developing the common interests of its membership for the purpose of enhancing the quality of U.S. Armed Forces Health Care.

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