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WWUA  Wounded Warrior Umpire Academy Veterans

WWUA Wounded Warrior Umpire Academy Logo
WWUA Wounded Warrior Umpire Academy Logo

Established in 2014, the Wounded Warrior Umpire Academy's mission is to provide instruction, training, placement and peer to peer support for military veterans interested in baseball.

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Recognition Day

Feb 13, 2020

6P Wounded Warrior Pkg KW Looks Live

Jul 26, 2019

WWUA │ ARE YOU READYYYY! Watch and wait for more!

May 14, 2020

Wounded warriors are volunteer umpires in local baseball tournament

Jul 18, 2018

If you're a struggling veteran and love baseball, contact us today and join the fraternity of umpires for life!

Service members are disciplined, organized and polished while in the service of a greater organization governed by regulations and orders... it is a very easy transition to the baseball diamond.

We show how their already perfected talents can be applied to the profession of umpiring.

We also provide continued support and development in order for our graduates to gain the experience necessary to advance to higher levels of the game.  The most important component of our program is actually the introduction into a new brotherhood which is not unlike that of the military culture.  We are the "third team" on the field and have to look out for each other.  That bond and camaraderie extends beyond the chalk lines of the diamond.

When one umpire meets another umpire, there is an immediate connection of something special.

Much more so than two people who meet and happen to play the game.  Our veterans enjoyed this camaraderie for years on Active or Reserve Duty.  In civilian life, this may be hard to find again.

WWUA Wounded Warrior Umpire Academy 3.0.
Who Can Participate?
WWUA Wounded Warrior Umpire Academy Logo

Who Can Participate?

Recovering Service Members (RSM) who are either active duty or veteran status.

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Training Day 2

Feb 13, 2020

Training Day 3

Feb 13, 2020

Training Day 4

Feb 13, 2020

WWUA │ What a beautiful morning to form four man lines & review Set Call It!

May 14, 2020

Who Can Participate?

We welcome any RSM who is struggling physically or mentally.  Any form of disability rating from the VA would normally qualify a veteran.  Active Duty personnel will need to disclose some basics of their injuries to qualify without violating HIPPA protections.  We primarily serve post 9/11 veterans, but we have made some exceptions to pre-9/11 veterans in the past.  We receive an overwhelming number of applications and have to prioritize the post 9/11 veterans with the highest disabilities first.

If you are not sure of your eligibility, please contact us as we truly review each case individually.

WWUA Wounded Warrior Umpire Academy 2.0.

What to Expect

Our goal is to provide the entire camp experience free of charge to the qualified veteran.  If accepted, we will provide airfare, lodging, and a majority of the meals while attending camp.  We rely heavily on sponsors to help fund these specific activities.  Upon application, we will try to get you qualified with our sponsors.  If you do not meet their criteria, we will evaluate your application for a full or partial scholarship from the WWUA.  If we still are unable to provide funding, you may still receive an invitation from us, but the cost of the camp would be $1500 and transportation to and from the camp will be at your expense.  We also make special exceptions to those staff members who directly serve wounded warriors at any of the active units.

While attending camp, everyone is billeted two per room unless you have indicated a need for your own room (service dog, sleeping issues etc.).  Breakfast is provided by the hotel and we bring in lunch most days during training.  Part of the training will take place indoors while afternoon sessions are outside on a baseball field.  At the close of the afternoon, there is a two-hour break where we set up and provide dinner.  After dinner, we have a two-hour classroom session and end the day at 8:00 PM.  There are some days where we may attend a baseball game, or other activity, so this schedule will vary.  After graduation, you will get the opportunity to put your skills to the test at live youth baseball games under close supervision.

We provide all the equipment, uniforms and materials necessary to begin a career as an umpire, so there is no need for you to bring any equipment or uniforms.  This is free of charge for all attendees.  If you already have some uniform items, you are welcome to bring them for use after graduation, however, each new student will be receiving the entire starter kit to include a bag to keep it all together.  Graduation is normally a casual event so no need for business attire, however, a collared shirt and pants or equivalent may be appropriate.

Our days are scheduled from start to finish and we need to know if you have any limitations to standing for prolonged periods of time, sun restrictions, or anything else which would inhibit your participation.  We are an adaptive training academy so please let us know how we can better serve you to make this the best experience possible without compromising your health.

After graduation, our staff will continue to work with you to integrate with your local community if you so desire.  We offer additional events for our Alumni for peer to peer support and to continue building your umpiring experience.  Once you are a member of the WWUA, you are a member for life with no dues.  Participate as much or as little as you feel comfortable.  There is no pressure or requirement to continue umpiring to remain part of our organization.  We have had Alumni continue to be part of the program just for the peer to peer support, connections and team building.

Requirements for wheelchair lifts and ADA compliant vehicles will be provided if necessary.

About W.W.U.A.
WWUA Wounded Warrior Umpire Academy Logo

About Us

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W.W.U.A. History


I have been asked many times how this Academy was started.  It truly is an amazing story and yet simple at the same time.  The Academy strives to provide our students with so much more than a skill to use on the baseball diamond.  We seek to demonstrate and realize the common bond between individuals passionate about the sport of baseball.  Long after our playing days are over, there is still a connection to the game through umpiring.  When like-minded individuals come together to learn the art of umpiring and share similar military backgrounds, our students find another “band of brothers” in which they now belong.  This brotherhood will never “PCS” or disband.  Everywhere our students go, they are able to connect with other umpires and the game of baseball to immediately feel welcomed with a sense of purpose and fulfilment.

As an active duty Marine in 2013, I was stationed in San Diego, California working as a Series Commander at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot (MCRD).  I was getting ready to gear up for a recruit hike when my assignments monitor called me and told me he was moving me to North Carolina.  I had worked college baseball in Southern California and after the logistics of moving my family was set up, I contacted Tom Hiler, The Director of Baseball Umpires for the NCAA and asked for his assistance in finding a new umpire association after transferring to North Carolina.  Tom was quick to offer assistance and asked me to come to his camp in Idaho in order to receive instruction on 3-man mechanics and he would give me a fresh recommendation to prospective assigners in North Carolina.

I reported to Tom’s camp as requested and on the first night, each student stood up and introduced who they were and where they came from.  I was the only one from Southern California and I felt compelled to explain why.  Once I said I was an active duty Marine transitioning from coast to coast, one of the instructors in the front row immediately turned around and showed me a tattoo of a Combat Action Ribbon and the initials U.S.M.C. on his forearm.  He said “Semper Fi Devil Dog” and I offered the typical response “Ooh Rah!”  The instructor was Jimmy Craig from Columbus, Ohio and he demonstrated the “esprit de corps” which all Marines feel and helped me to recognize the bond and connection we feel as Marines is also very similar to the connection umpires feel within their own associations.  Jimmy said “Semper Fi” which is short for Semper Fidelis meaning always faithful – the motto of the Marine Corps and the central theme of the way all Marines feel.

Jimmy and I became immediate friends and would continue to build our friendship and stay in touch.  Jimmy was on the phone a few months later with Dan Weikle, NCAA Division II National Umpire Coordinator.  As they were discussing business, Dan told Jimmy it would be nice to establish a camp to train Wounded Warriors to become umpires but admitted he had no idea where he could find students.  After recently learning of my new assignment working at Wounded Warrior Battalion-East, Camp Lejeune, Jimmy said, “I know a guy you need to talk to...”  Dan called me and we laid the frame work for the first Wounded Warrior Umpire Camp to be held the Summer of 2014.​

WWUA Wounded Warrior Umpire Academy 7.1

After months of coordination between Dan and I, we agreed to bring it all together during a coordination meeting to be held at the Palm Beach Challenge, DII National Umpire Development Camp in Palm Beach Florida during March 2014.  Dan introduced Jimmy and I to Reid Lester, Tim Hatfield, James Arnold, Bill Smith and many more of the outstanding men who would work as either instructors or support staff for our first Wounded Warrior Umpire Camp.  In an effort to ensure the Academy would be successful in the eyes of the Marine Corps and allow it to continue, it was important to have the organization and execution to fall under the umbrella of the Colorado Collegiate Umpire Association.  This enabled my ability to attend as an official representative of the Marine Corps in order to ensure the camp was a respectable organization worthy of being offered to Wounded Warriors on an annual basis.  Wounded Warriors and those charitable organizations supporting them must follow very strict regulations and ethical procedures to prevent any appearance of an official endorsement by the Marine Corps – which there is not, and most importantly, to protect the integrity and dignity of our nations heroes.  They deserve only the very best effort we can put forth.​​

After a successful first year, we received approval of the Marine Corps’ Wounded Warrior Regiment to become a regular “charitable organization” event to be held annually.  During 2015, the Wounded Warrior Umpire Academy was officially formed listing myself as the sole incorporator.  The Academy by-laws and articles of incorporation were completed and listed Jimmy Craig as the Vice President, Tim Hatfield as the Treasurer and Libbi Craig as the Secretary.  Other board members were Jim Paronto, Dan Weikle, Brian Frisch and Rich Padilla.

This is truly a great organization and we have learned the power and effect it has on us as well as the individual student.  At each camp we have held, at least one student has said this has “saved his life.”  An average of 22 veterans commit suicide every day.  I wish we had the capability to offer this camp to every veteran as we are very proud of our Academy and even more proud of the “the brotherhood.”

Semper Fidelis!

Gregory A. Wilson
Major, USMC Retired   
President, Wounded Warrior Umpire Academy

WWUA Wounded Warrior Umpire Academy Greg
Media & Resources
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Wounded Warrior Umpire Academy


Photos, Videos, Galleries, & Resources

WWUA Wounded Warrior Umpire Academy 4.0.

WWUA │ Students practicing strike 3 call

May 14, 2020

WWUA │ Congratulations, Marines & Corpsmen hard work & job well done!

May 14, 2020

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WWUA Wounded Warrior Umpire Academy Clas
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WWUA Wounded Warrior Umpire Academy Broc
WWUA Wounded Warrior Umpire Academy Clas
WWUA Wounded Warrior Umpire Academy Clas
WWUA Wounded Warrior Umpire Academy 2.0.
WWUA Wounded Warrior Umpire Academy Clas
WWUA Wounded Warrior Umpire Academy 5
WWUA Wounded Warrior Umpire Academy Clas
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WWUA Wounded Warrior Umpire Academy Band
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WWUA Wounded Warrior Umpire Academy 8
WWUA Wounded Warrior Umpire Academy 8
WWUA Wounded Warrior Umpire Academy 8
WWUA Wounded Warrior Umpire Academy 4.0.
WWUA Wounded Warrior Umpire Academy 8.0.
WWUA Wounded Warrior Umpire Academy 1.0.
WWUA Wounded Warrior Umpire Academy Logo
WWUA Wounded Warrior Umpire Academy Logo
WWUA Wounded Warrior Umpire Academy 7
WWUA Wounded Warrior Umpire Academy Coin
WWUA Wounded Warrior Umpire Academy Hat
Juanjo Castillo - Christ the King Baseba
Coming Soon - UDS Umpire Development Sch

  Click Picture to Enlarge the GREAT PHOTOS‼  ♦

WWUA │ On the bag, he's out!

May 14, 2020

WWUA │ Cage work with Jim P, Cody, Nate, & Dan calling balls and strikes

May 14, 2020

WWUA │ Learning double play calls, step, pivots, wait time, call it

May 14, 2020

WWUA │ Instructors are teaching foot work for double play action! 

May 14, 2020

Helpful Resources

Semper Fi Fund:
NCAA DI Baseball:
Sunbiz Division of Corporations: Certificate of Good Standing
Arbiter Sports:

Umpire Testimonials


  1. This program is a huge benefit to transitioning service members as it takes us from start to finish through the world of how to be an umpire without any prior experience. It is a fantastic way for us to connect with another brother/sisterhood after the military, gain a relevant skillset and renewed passion for life after a career in the military. The ability to have all the equipment students need to umpire games immediately after graduating is the key to setting us up for success, and opening doors in the civilian community. 2/25/2019

  2. Great organization. Gives lasting benefits to the veterans. 2/25/2019

  3. The support, leadership, and family WWUA provides for veterans is like none other. The fact that the entire staff is highly organized, and professional in every aspect makes me feel comfortable entrusting them in any mental/physical capabilities that may arise for me personally. I love staff that runs this program, and I believe it has been a great transition from the Active Duty Service, to the civilian sector. Thank you very much for your support and above all, for this program WWUA. 2/25/2019

  4. Not only does this program teach the necessary skills to become a confident umpire, but it gives our Vets a place to rekindle what they are missing when leaving the service. I will be forever grateful to The Wounded Warrior Umpire Academy organization. 2/25/2019

  5. It is keeping our minds, bodies, and soles focused on positive and meaningful activities 2/25/2019

  6. Great program overall, with great avenues towards helping current and former service members with life altering conditions. Through a sense of social and practical camaraderie. 2/25/2019

  7. I have been umpiring for the last 6 years in little league and rec baseball/softball, I can't speak for anyone else but it was worth it tremendously for me to attend the WWUA. 2/25/201

  8. Our service members and veterans have given so much to protect our American way of life and the freedoms that we hold so deeply to our hearts. It only shows America’s appreciation for what they’ve done by giving back to them in a way to where they reconnect in the local community and abroad. 2/25/2019

  9. Even tho I am not currently working as an umpire, the opportunity that was giving to me to attend WWUA came at the right moment in my life. It was when I was getting ready to get out and I had a enormous amount of uncertainties about my next chapter in life. This set me into a deep depression that I even thought about ending it all, going out to the camp and being around so many positive people doing something physical and mental gave me the escape that I needed to get out of the depression I found myself in. It gave me a family away from family. 2/25/2019

  10. That wounded warriors have volunteered to give their lives for the protection of this great country and all its citizens in it. The "donors" could return the favor and support those who made the decision to serve. 2/25/2019

  11. I would say that their money that they are donating is going to help wounded veterans learn a new skill that gives them the opportunity to feel like they actually belong to something very important again. 2/25/2019

  12. WWUA doesn’t see where you come from or what ethnicity you are. We unite as brothers and sisters of arms, Humans who have taken that oath to serve in the military, because of camps like this we can support and connect with each other. 2/25/2019

  13. The money is worth it because whether or not we Umpire; the equipment/camps/extras will be utilized...meaning; because of the camps, I have grown a sense of confidence. I fell out from the WWUA for a year or 2 due to severe depression/suicidal ideation; but I am back and I have the confidence and faith that the WWUA will help bring me together with like Veterans....We leave the brother/sisterhood called the Military and feel empty, a sense of not belonging, a sense of no purpose; but the WWUA GIVES us Veterans that sense of belonging/that sense of purpose/that comradery. 2/25/2019

  14. I can understand why this a very expensive endeavor however, I think the money is well spent... Also, to be provided with brand new equipment, not only do it makes you feel worthy but it gives you great confidence in yourself when umpiring.... 2/25/2019

  15. This is more than camp or training. This is a way to give back to someone that has given himself/herself for their country. Once graduation is done they can give back to the community and be in charge of something greater than themselves again after recovering from there injuries that took them out in the first place. Self accomplishment and self pride. 2/25/2019

  16. WWUA has helped many veterans, each dollar that's donated create an opportunity to help a veteran in need. 2/26/201

  17. Every cent is put to good use. Equipment for this sport is very expensive and with your donations, we can equip new umpires for success. 2/26/2019

  18. The equipment and training set me up for success, the tools I now have will allow me to go as far as I want to go 2/26/2019

  19. This program has been proven to save veterans lives, it gives them something to do besides sitting around and just think about all the bad things that happen to them. It gets them out and doing something with their brothers and also gives them that opportunity to make that call just like when their in the military. 2/28/2019

  20. There is no better feeling in the world than knowing that there are people out willing to help our Wounded Veterans. 3/2/2019

  21. It is absolutely worth it to connect with other Veterans. It instructors do a great job and work really hard. They follow up and get us connected in our hometowns. 3/11/2019

  22. This program gave me the tool to reconnect to my peers and tough me to be an umpire , I reconnect with the community and in the processes I make new friends and help me finically.Great Program 3/11/2019

  23. If you love baseball, this is one of the best ways to show it. Putting people who fought for the United States and now protecting the integrity of its past time. 3/12/2019

  24. It’s a small amount of money to help a veteran reconnect with their family and community. 3/12/2019

  25. It's a great organization that has benefited the veteran, particularly wounded, ill, and injured veterans, in numerous ways. It teaches them a skill that they can (and many do) use during and after transitioning. WWUA also helps veterans connect with each other on a front other than the battlefield. Worthwhile investment into the lives of vets. 3/12/2019

  26. Every donation is greatly appreciated by staff but even more so by the veterans to which they serve. Allowing the WWUA to continuously give back to the veteran community by providing a valuable skill through your monetary donations is what America is all about 3/12/2019

  27. I myself would of never been able to continue umpiring after the academy if not for the gear the WWUA provided for me. Nor would i have been able to travel to the academy on my own expense. The academy allowed me to continue on with the sport, and gain a new passion i didnt know i had. 3/12/2019

  28. Great organization for a great cause! 3/13/2019

  29. It saved my soul. 3/13/2019

  30. This year was really good with teaching, and helping others learn. Great group of staff. Really enjoyed there help and presence 6/26/2019

  31. You all are great teachers, helped in any and every way just keep it up 6/26/2019

  32. Keep doing the great work that you are doing. You are impacting lives. 6/26/2019

  33. I feel like there was an adequate amount of staff and the staff was very diverse. By the end of the camp, I knew which expert to go to when I had a question. Staff was great. 6/26/2019

  34. Thank you for your dedication to the cause and I hope to see you all again soon. 6/26/2019

  35. They were all great and fun to be around 6/26/2019

  36. Great staff. Great training 6/26/2019

  37. Great staff, don't change. 6/26/2019

  38. The staff was great and knowledgeable and there to show us exactly what we needed to learn 6/26/2019 12:06 PM

  39. Keep up the great work and content to be inclusive to everyone. It was motivating to work with everyone, not based on ability but in willingness to learn and work hard to ones ability and to be praised for true accomplishments and not just because you felt obligated to praise someone. 6/26/2019

  40. This year was outstanding and i think that we bonded better this year then last year when I for the first time. I'm glad that I came again to refresh my skills and to see everyone again it's like a brotherhood that I'm glad to have. 6/27/2019

  41. Great camp and awesome mentorship 6/27/2019

  42. Great job. Lots of knowledge 6/28/2019

  43. This was an exciting opportunity for me. The staff and instructors were professional and polite, which encouraged me to come out of my shell, making an enjoyable experience. 7/1/2019

  44. Thank you, to all the staff. Each day my confidence grew, some days I feel like I was stuck in the tunnel, the headlights weren't working, because I had no clue what you guys were talking about, after multiple practice sessions, I was out of the tunnel, both headlights and low beam were working. 6/17/2018

  45. Thanks for your support,you guys genuinely care 6/17/201

  46. Best professional instruction I had, an absolute must return type camp 6/17/2018

  47. Thank you so much for this week , it was outstanding and extremely motivation to apart of something bigger than myself 6/17/2018

  48. Staff was awesome and very helpful. They were also very funny and easy to get along with 6/17/2018

  49. Everyone did an amazing job and I’m so happy that I got to attend this year! From the bottom of my heart, Thank you! I learned so much from the staff and other students! I feel like I could definitely move further into high school games and even past that. 6/17/2018

  50. Keep up the great work this is something that will enrich many lives, not because of the skills but net work just like the military. It would be nice to see some of our military sisters take advantage of the program. 6/18/2018

  51. Thanks for the hard work and dedication! Tough week with the heat. But we made it 6/18/2018

  52. Get out there and finds donations More importantly sponsors 6/18/2018

  53. Keep it up....You serve a purpose that will be hard for anyone to turn down... Awesome!! 6/18/2018

  54. Had an amazing last 10 days at WWUA and glad that I had the opportunity to go this year. Meet some outstanding mentors and made new friends that i can call brothers! 6/18/2018

  55. I had to really think about something to improve because I enjoyed the entire camp. The first couple of days my head was overflowing but all the staff was patient and worked with us. I was able to get something valuable from most of the instructors that I could immediately incorporate into my game. The level of baseball knowledge the instructors had and their willingness to share it will benefit my future in the game of baseball. 6/18/2018

  56. I don’t know where to start. I had no idea what I was getting into. Turns out I have a new brotherhood. 6/18/2018

  57. All dedicated individuals. A pleasure to be around. 6/17/2017

  58. I thought this was a classy operations. I believe your mission was achieved in loving on these students first and then make them umpires. I have been honored and humbled to serve these men and women. I am excited to see this grow into something great. 6/17/2017

  59. Thank you all for your personal time and hard work, very informative. All instructor were easy to bond with and make a relationship. 6/17/2017

  60. Me personally, I would like to say that I really appreciate this opportunity and I am forever to be apart of this brotherhood. 6/17/2017

  61. Great opportunity to provide extended programs for our veterans. Keep up the great work and continue to grow. 6/17/2017

  62. Great work learned alot. I appreciate everyones time and energy they put into this and into teaching me. Thank you!!!! 6/18/2017

Contact W.W.U.A.
WWUA Wounded Warrior Umpire Academy Logo

Contact Wounded Warrior Umpire Academy

(760) 964-3912

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We invite all Staff and Alumni of the WWUA to join our Association Group at Convene Umpires.  Membership is FREE.  We will use this group to keep in touch with everyone, share announcements, and build a strong WWUA Association.

WWUA Wounded Warrior Umpire Academy 8.0.
WWUA Wounded Warrior Umpire Academy Coin

Established in 2014, the Wounded Warrior Umpire Academy's mission is to provide instruction, training, placement and peer to peer support for military veterans interested in baseball.

Ephesians 2:8-9 

For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 

not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.

New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Created by | JOseph Christian Patrick Cruz

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