Army Reserve Works On Hand To Hand Combat

Sunday, April 29th 2007, 2:32 pm
By: News On 6

U.S. Army Reserve Drill Sergeants are preparing to fight with some hand-to-hand combat training. News On 6’s Chris Wright reports the drill sergeants say it takes a while to master these techniques and believe the best way to do that is to go one on one with each other. "You've got to push through your mindset of man I'm tired, I can't breathe, you gotta push through that because you know your opponents trying to hurt you," said Sergeant Benny Miller.

U.S. Army Reserve Drill Sergeants were doing their best to pin their counterparts. What looks like a wrestling match is actually modern Army combatives. Derived from Brazilian Jujitsu, the techniques were developed by Army Rangers several years ago. Every member of the army is now required to learn them, and these are the men who teach combatives during Basic Training.

"It builds their confidence to the point that they can go up against somebody and feel confident that they can take the person to the ground and subdue them," said Sergeant First Class Kevin Poteet.

The Army says the combatives have proved especially effective in Iraq and Afghanistan. In certain scenarios, such as when they are dealing with civilians, soldiers don't have time, or are not authorized to use deadly force, so they have to resort to hand-to-hand combat.

"We do not always want to shoot people,” said Lt. Colonel Rod Russo. “We don't always want to kill people. We may only want to move people."

Reserve members weren't simply perfecting their technique. This was also a competition. The drill sergeants were trying to wrestle their opponent into submission. The competition was fierce, but at the very least, they say it keeps them in shape.

“Very good training, extremely good training, and you get a good workout with it,” said Miller.

There are several levels of Army combative training. Most of the drill sergeants are Level One certified, that means they're authorized to teach other soldiers these combative techniques.