Iron Man. Forged by the Guard.
A world-class triathlete and biathlete, Captain Robert Killian is the ideal Soldier-athlete.
Killian rises before dawn to swim for an hour. At lunch, he runs eight miles. In the evenings, he logs up to 2 ½ hours on his bike. Killian, 30, offers a simple explanation: He loves competing, and he just wants to be the best. The Army’s male Athlete of the Year in 2010, Killian is currently in the Special Forces Qualification Course, training to become a Green Beret.
He was raised by his uncle, Lieutenant Colonel Taube Roy, in Hampton, SC. Killian saw his uncle continually push himself to achieve greatness: Roy is a Ranger-qualified National Guard Soldier who commissioned from The Citadel. In the seventh grade, Killian began running with Roy, jogging one mile at a time. His uncle was adamant about them running every day to build strength. Killian also chose to attend The Citadel as a member of the track team. Killian graduated in 2004 as a second lieutenant, and five years later, joined the National Guard to become a Special Forces Soldier. At the 2011-2012 National Guard Bureau championships, he placed first in the biathlon novice division, securing a spot on the All-Guard team, aspiring to make the Olympics. Training and military-style discipline play a huge part in Killian’s success. In addition to his drive to be the best Soldier-athlete possible, his family, friends and the Guard are sources of motivation. Like all great athletes, Killian serves as a role model. Lieutenant Colonel Mitch Utterback, Killian’s biathlon teammate says, "Here’s a young Soldier so good at something that he inspires people with many more years of service and higher rank."