25th ID takes to the mats in combatives

| May 5, 2011 | 0 Comments
Sgt. 1st Class Chad Bailey (top), division combatives instructor, HSC, HHBN, 25th ID, demonstrates a move on Sgt. Samuel Forrest, generator shop NCO, HSC, HHBN, at Camp Liberty, Iraq, April 9, during a weeklong Basic Combatives Course.

Sgt. 1st Class Chad Bailey (top), division combatives instructor, HSC, HHBN, 25th ID, demonstrates a move on Sgt. Samuel Forrest, generator shop NCO, HSC, HHBN, at Camp Liberty, Iraq, April 9, during a weeklong Basic Combatives Course.

Story and Photo by
Sgt. Jennifer Sardam
29th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

BAGHDAD — Recently, a number of Soldiers with Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, 25th Infantry Division, got physical in a weeklong Basic Combatives Course at Camp Liberty, here.

They learned a variety of techniques and tactics useful for self-defense and engaging an enemy in close-proximity situations.

Sgt. 1st Class Chad Bailey, division combatives instructor, Headquarters Support Company, HHBN, said this first level of combatives training is to familiarize Soldiers with the basic moves that may be needed to survive on the battlefield.

“If your weapon’s jammed, if you’re too close to fire your weapon or you come around the corner and are lackadaisical, then somebody could snatch your weapon from you, and you’ve got to be able to know what to do,” Bailey said.

The training was realistic, so students are randomly paired off without regard to gender or weight.

“If you come upon an enemy, it doesn’t matter what size they are,” Bailey said. “We’re not going by weight classes. We’re going for if you are in close-quarters combat, then you want to be able to take your enemy out if all else fails.”

The tactics are the same, no matter the type or size of the contender.

“I’ve seen (a) 6-foot-5-inch guy go against a (woman) that’s like 5-feet-3-inches tall,” Bailey said. “Because it’s not going to be the perfect world, where you get who you want for your enemy.”

“The smaller they are, it seemed like the more fight they put up,” said Staff Sgt. Gerald Natalroman, Intelligence and Sustainment Co., HHBN. “It’s harder to get in certain positions, because they’re smaller and more flexible.”

This training is useful in preparing Soldiers to deal with the kind of uncertainty they might face in combat, where quick improvisation is key. Bailey said the training also builds confidence in the students’ abilities, should they find themselves needing to use these skills in a wartime situation.

“According to what the opponent did, you had to basically figure out what move you needed to go from there to achieve the dominant position,” Natalroman said.

“You can’t do textbook all the time,” Bailey said. “If somebody’s trying to choke you or doing something else, you want to be able to improvise.”

Strengthening Soldiers’ mental and physical resiliency is also one of the goals of the course.

Command Sgt. Maj. Ray Devens Jr., senior enlisted leader, 25th ID, has experienced the benefits of this type of training firsthand.

“I know that my capability of dealing with chaos in combat or in the many challenges I have faced in my life is significantly better than I could have ever imagined it would be, due to the many hours of combatives (and physical training) … that I have been fortunate to be a part of throughout my military career,” Devens said.

Devens said his goal is to have every 25th ID noncommissioned officer and Soldier certified in the first level of combatives.

“It is a method for Soldiers to increase basic physical combat capabilities,” Devens said. “But more importantly, to recognize their own inner apprehension with physically engaging with an enemy combatant, to gain faith and confidence in controlling their own lethal force, and (to) terminate a hostile aggressor, as expected by our nation from any member in the profession of arms.”

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Category: Deployed Forces, News

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