Marne Soldiers contend in All-Army Combatives Tournament
July 25, 2011
FORT HOOD, Texas, July 25, 2011 -- Third Infantry Division Soldiers from Fort Stewart, Ga., and Fort Benning, Ga., traveled to Fort Hood, Texas, July 19, 2011, for the All-Army Combatives Tournament.
The Soldiers went through weigh-ins and final medical screening on July 20 and began the first rounds of the tournament on July 21.
The Marne team competitors were not an easy target for their competition with 11 of their 26 members advancing to the semi-finals after the first day of competition.
According to Derrick Noble, one of the Marne team’s coaches, the Soldiers are fairing well in the tournament and definitely holding their ground.
“It was excellent to have 11 members of the team the advance to the semi-finals today. Of those 11, only three will be competing in the finals tomorrow but that is still excellent,” said the coach. “Yesterday, the matches consisted of only grappling. Today, pancrase fighting, or open-hand striking, was added to today’s fights. Tomorrow, close-fist fighting will be added.”
Col. Robert Cloutier, chief of staff, 3rd Inf.Div., who has been in attendance with the team since the first day matches began said he is proud of the team’s accomplishments.
“A lot of these Soldiers are really young and this is their first time competing in a tournament this big,” he said. “They are definitely doing an amazing job, and they advanced a lot further than may have been expected.”
“Their heart, determination, and courage are phenomenal,” he continued. “All the hard work and training they did to get here is definitely showing on the mat.”
Noble said he has high expectations for the July 23 matches, and he is excited to coach and support the Soldiers.
“I can’t wait to see our guys compete in the MMA (mixed martial arts) matches that will be held in the championship rounds tomorrow. I am expecting nothing but the best from them, and I have confidence in them all,” Noble said.
Cloutier said regardless of what happens July 23, he wants everyone to know these Soldiers have represented 3rd Inf. Div. tremendously well.
“Tomorrow, we have two Soldiers competing for first place, Pfc. Hanlin Liu and Spc. Brian Wilson. Two of our own, Pfc. Myers and Spc. Freeman competed today for the opportunity to compete in the finals. Myers was the victor, so he will compete tomorrow in the finals for third place,” he explained.
“All these Soldiers have done extremely well. They are all champions in my eyes. They have performed outstandingly and left everything on the mat. They are all winners,” he said proudly.