CW3 Morgan Brady is a nationally ranked BMX racer and has served in the Army for over 23 years. (Photos courtesy of Morgan Brady).

We all like to joke about the missing warrant officer, but this time, we found one who is doing something pretty rad in her free time. Chief Warrant Officer 3 Morgan Brady is representing Team USA for BMX racing during the UCI BMX World Championships.

Teams from all over the world are competing, and the competition started on May 12 in Rock Hill, South Carolina. Brady, a nationally ranked competitor with over 23 years of service, is competing with women much younger than her throughout most of the championship while contending with bad weather. 

“It’s hard. I had a really rough first day because I had two wrecks. My hands a little messed up right now,” Brady said. “So we’ve been doing ice packs, Motrin, and lots of supplements to try to get the swelling to go down. You just take it with stride.”

On Wednesday, Brady wrapped up her events for the championship. She placed 26 of 65 in the 40+ women’s cruiser class and 20 of 22 in the 30+ women’s masters class. Brady is still relatively new to the BMX racing scene, whereas many of the other competitors have been competing for most of their lives.

Morgan Brady holding her Team USA qualification medal.
CW3 Morgan Brady earned her spot on Team USA’s BMX racing team only five years into her BMX racing career while balancing her career in the Army. (Photo courtesy of Morgan Brady)

It all started when Brady’s son started riding a bike approximately five years ago. Her son fell in love with the BMX racing track, and she followed soon after.

“We took him out to the track, and he fell in love with it. So I was just BMX mom, right? We actually had a pretty big group of lady riders at the track,” Brady said. “I think there were four or five at the time. We used to do Ladies Night at the track and they’re like, ‘Come out and just give it a try.’ So I did and thought, ‘Okay, maybe I can do this.’”

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Brady isn’t afraid to dive headfirst when it comes to challenges. She is currently assigned as the senior geospatial intelligence advisor at the 116th Military Intelligence Brigade at Fort Eisenhower, Georgia. She was part of the team that established her current unit. 

She enlisted in the Army in 2000 and transitioned into a warrant officer slot much later in her career than most warrant officers do. She deployed as a member of Task Force Odin and has been stationed in Germany and Korea. She’s continued to balance her duties as a mother, a national BMX racing competitor, and a CW3 advising her command.

Morgan Brady BMX racing.
Morgan Brady started BMX racing after seeing her son fall in love with the sport. She rapidly achieved a national ranking in the BMX racing circuit. (Photo courtesy of Morgan Brady)

“Being a technical expert and subject advisor to the command, I still have to maintain my skill set and support my leadership,” Brady said. “So, there’s going out for TDYs and giving them advice, but at the same time, making sure I’m getting home in time so I can do my training and still spend time with my kids and support their activities as well.”

Extreme sports and military recruiting

Brady’s husband has encouraged her to talk about her accomplishments because not many people know what BMX racing is or how it can benefit soldiers. The Air Force and the Army have increased recruiting from the extreme sports community because of the personalities that share many parallels with military service. 

Whether skateboarding, BMX racing, or snowboarding — crashing is a significant part of improving. When you crash, you knock the dust off and try it again. Extreme sports athletes share that ‘never quit’ attitude that so many service members have. Whether it’s a broken femur from a crash on a BMX bike or a broken femur from a bad parachute landing, those with that attitude have the tenacity to keep moving forward despite their injuries.

Many have joined the military thinking they had to give up their sports, especially those more prone to injury. For Brady, her command has fully supported her through her racing career and injuries, never questioning whether she should keep doing it. Brady encourages anyone who’s interested to get involved. 

“There’s just that camaraderie, that little bit of extra that you have, and you just get to go to the track at night,” Brady said. “We’ll talk about work a little bit, but then at the end of it, we’re all out there to race and have fun.”

There’s a small community of BMX racers in the Ft. Eisenhower area that she regularly trains with. Brady recently became a certified USA BMX coach and is a board member of her local track, the Blanchard Woods BMX. 

Brady said her training and competitions allow her time to focus on life outside of work. Ultimately, everything she does is for her kids. 

“For me to take on BMX, it’s a balance, and it’s hard at times, but I want them to see that anything’s possible,” Brady said. “Like, if their mom can get on a bike and compete at a level that gets a national ranking, they are capable of the same and so much more.”

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