NEWS | Oct. 6, 2017

Train hard, finish the fight

By Sgt. Thomas Crough U.S. Army Central

Soldiers from various Army Reserve and National Guard units participated in the Modern Army Combatives Program’s Tactical Combatives Course (Level II) at the Combatives and Cross Training Facility, Camp Arifjan, Kuwait Sept. 25 – Oct. 6, 2017. 

The mission of the Modern Army Combatives Program is to train Soldiers in close quarters combatives in order to prepare them to close with and defeat the enemy in hand-to-hand combat.

“The purpose of the combatives class is that the students learn the skills and techniques and actually be able to use them efficiently as part of their warrior tasks and drills,” said Spc. Andrew Mays, combatives instructor, 990th Engineer Company, U.S. Army Reserve. “These types of skills are important because…you don’t normally train hand-to-hand combat, but god forbid something happens. They are very useful techniques you can use even when you are home.”

Tactical Combatives Course (Level II) is an 80-hour class that provides technical advice and supervision to prepare Soldiers to be able to teach others in Basic Combatives Course (Level I).

“Not just here in the Army but when you go home there’s something to take from the training so you can also go back to your unit if you are in the military and train other Soldiers to learn how to defend themselves, even non-lethal takedowns and things to do,” said Mays. 

“It helps me to train my Soldiers,” said Staff Sgt. Jacob Reckner, 207th Engineer Company, Kentucky Army National Guard. “I have Soldiers that get out of basic and AIT (advanced individual training) and don’t exactly know how to clear a room or do a stack or call out if a room is clear, what people are there, what objects are there. It helps me help my Soldiers. It helps me with the training back home.” 

TCC can be taken by any Soldier, regardless of military occupational specialty.

“Training with a whole bunch of different MOSs in a different type of environment, it was really eye-opening to see how people react to different situations,” said Reckner, a combat engineer. 

“It was awesome, the whole room-clearing process, was pretty sweet because we never get to do this in my MOS. I’m a cook, so doing room clearing and stuff like that doesn’t come second nature,” said Spc. Johnathen O’Neill, 854th Engineer Brigade, U.S. Army Reserve.

“I would recommend this class to everybody in the military,” said Reckner. “I think they should at least get up to level two, because everyone is a Soldier at heart and it teaches them to keep a level head.” 

“My advice to anybody else is to take the course, take the course,” said O’Neill, “because I was actually a little nervous because in the first one they do the strike drills, and you get punched…it’s so much going on. You’re getting punched, and you have to try and grapple them. They are yelling at you ‘Do the technique! Do the technique!’

“I was nervous to take this course, but I was glad that I did … now that I did I feel like I am ready for more unexpected events, and that’s what life is – just completely unexpected.”