Army World Class Athlete Program (WCAP) joins forces with USA Taekwondo

by USA Taekwondo


Army World Class Athlete Program (WCAP) joins forces with USA Taekwondo, embarks on historic deployment to Charlotte, N.C.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Aug. 14, 2023 — A groundbreaking partnership is set to redefine the landscape of taekwondo excellence in the United States as the Army’s World Class Athlete Program (WCAP) aligns its efforts with USA Taekwondo, the national governing body for the sport in the United States. This historic collaboration will not only amplify the competitive prowess of both organizations but also bring about a dynamic transformation as WCAP officially relocates its taekwondo operations to the vibrant city of Charlotte, North Carolina.

The coalition of the Army’s Taekwondo Program and USA Taekwondo’s National Athlete Academy heralds a new era of synergy, dedication, and ambition for the country’s two professional programs. In pooling their resources, knowledge, and talent, these organizations are looking to further elevate United States Taekwondo on the global stage, showcasing the strength and precision that both the military and civilian athletes bring to the sport.

The U.S. Army's Taekwondo team consists of Soldier-Athletes who have won medals on the national and world stage.  The WCAP focuses on excellence, discipline, and camaraderie, producing athletes who compete at the highest levels and represent both the United States and the Army.  Current Soldiers and future Soldiers who join the Army and meet WCAP entry standards for an Olympic sport can apply to be an elite Soldier-Athlete in this prestigious program.  

Soldier-Athletes who meet the entry standards for WCAP's Taekwondo program will live and train in Charlotte at USATKD's Athlete Academy facilities.  Spc. Khalfani Harris, one of the Army’s exciting fighters, is training with the Academy in Charlotte.  Last week, the two parties cemented their agreement to work together on a full-time basis with immediate benefits.

The decision to relocate and form a joint operation with USATKD in Charlotte, North Carolina, marks an exciting turning point. This bustling metropolis, known for its sports culture, diverse community, and accessibility, will provide an ideal backdrop for the collaborative efforts of the Army’s WCAP and USA Taekwondo. The state-of-the-art facilities at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte, coupled with the state’s welcoming environment and growing population of elite level Olympic athletes, offers the perfect blend of infrastructure and inspiration for athletes to thrive.

Under this innovative partnership, WCAP's military athletes will have unparalleled opportunities to train, compete, and excel on the national and international stages. USA Taekwondo's expertise in athlete development, coaching, and event management will complement WCAP's intensive training regimen and discipline to foster a comprehensive program that produces true champions.

"Today is a monumental day for Taekwondo Soldier-Athletes in the Army’s World Class Athlete Program – the opportunity to train under top coaches and compete with and against the best Taekwondo athletes from across the United States,” said Willie Wilson, Army WCAP chief. “Together with USA Taekwondo, we can ensure more Soldiers have the opportunity to represent the United States and the Army on the world's largest athletic stage – the Olympic and Paralympic Games." 

The new partnership excites USA Taekwondo CEO Steve McNally.

"This is a historic day for taekwondo in the United States and a huge step forward for the unity we need in our sport if we are to have a realistic chance of achieving our long-term goal of entering the 2028 Olympic Games in Los Angeles with a team to truly be proud of,” McNally said. “Together we can deliver elite-level medals for both Team USA and the U.S. Army in Taekwondo. I can’t think of a better partner to fight shoulder to shoulder with than the United States Army. We can’t wait to get started."