By U.S. Army Capt. Nicholas Soroka
ASG-QA, HHC commanderDOHA, Qatar - With a loud thud, a monstrous fist crashes into U.S Army Spc. Jonathan Luers' face. Luers weathers a few more blows, grabs his attacker, the instructor yells "Stop!" and the fight is over. Luers leaves the ring smiling. He has just completed the final of four rounds for the clinch drill, a rigorous and physically punishing test as part of his Combatives Level 1 Certification course.The course teaches soldiers to close the distance with the enemy and finish the fight. It also builds warrior ethos and counts for promotion points.Instructed by U.S Army Staff Sgt. Christopher Irvine and U.S. Army Sgt. David Dunn, March 11-16, the course certified 15 soldiers from Area Support Group - Qatar, 850th Military Police Battalion, 125th Finance Detachment, 79th Military Police Company, Joint Information Support Task Force, and 392nd Medical Logistics Company.The graduation of this class also marks the official opening of Camp As Sayliyah's new fight club: Patton's Own Combatives Hall. Used for both military instruction and recreational mixed martial arts practice, the hall, located at the back of the Top-Off, hosts weekly instruction and practice every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday starting at 7:30 p.m.Behind these certification classes for soldiers and the opening of this new facility, U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Christopher Bogan has been the driving force. Over the past three months, Bogan has been fighting for CAS to have its own combatives hall. After convincing others of its necessity, Bogan coordinated for the real property, designed and set-up the hall layout, and even bought equipment out of his own pocket. While this success is impressive, what's more impressive is that it's not his job; he works in the ASG-QA operations shop.When asked why he took up the fight for a combatives on CAS even though it was above and beyond his duties, he responded, "If there's something you want in your community, you're probably not the only one. I decided to try to make it happen for everyone. Soldiers wanted to improve their warrior skills, gain promotion points, and have a place to let off steam through exercise. With a little work, that's something we could provide."And provide he has. Although the first class is coming to a successful close, Bogan hasn't stopped fighting to improve CAS's Combatives program. He plans to host another Level 1 Certification class in April and keep the fight house growing. The class will be open to all soldiers on CAS.