By Walter T. Ham IV, Eighth Army Public AffairsMay 6, 2013
YONGSAN GARRISON, South Korea (May 6, 2013) -- Soldiers took to the mat to compete in the Eighth Army Combatives Tournament at the Seoul American High School Falcon Gym, here, May 3-4.
Soldiers from U.S. Army formations around the Korean Peninsula fought to determine the top individual and team winners.
In the team competition, 2nd Infantry Division took first place, edging ahead of the 2nd place 501st Military Intelligence Brigade, by one point. The 35th Air Defense Artillery Brigade took third place, and the 65th Medical Brigade took fourth.
Designed from lessons learned on the battlefield, Army Combatives incorporates striking and grappling techniques from many martial arts.
Along with other senior U.S. Army leaders, Eighth Army Commanding General Lt. Gen. John D. Johnson and Command Sgt. Maj. Rodney D. Harris watched the tournament. Johnson presented awards to the top three winners in every weight category.
According to Johnson, the Combatives Tournament not only gave his Soldiers the chance to compete but also enabled them to hone the fighting spirit that makes the U.S. Army the most successful combat force in history.
Johnson said the variety of occupational specialties represented in the Combatives Tournament indicated the quality of Soldiers that are stationed on the Korean Peninsula.
"The essence of our business is being warriors," said Johnson. "The Army has embraced that."
The individual winners were:
1st place -- Sgt. Andre Wright, 501st Military Intelligence Brigade
2nd place -- Sgt. Tedra Rodriguez, 19th Expeditionary Sustainment Command
3rd place -- Pfc. David Takahashi, 2nd Infantry Division
1st place -- 1st Lt. Jonathan Jordan, 2nd Infantry Division
2nd place -- 1st Lt. Daniel Mathews, 501st Military Intelligence Brigade
3rd place -- Pfc. Lee Hee-sung, Eighth Army HHB KATUSA
1st place -- Staff Sgt. Glenn Garrison, 2nd Infantry Division
2nd place -- Capt. Michael Baron, 35th Air Defense Artillery Brigade
3rd place -- Sgt. 1st Class Ryan Hunt, Eighth Army HHB
1st place -- Spc. Lloyd Gray, 2nd Infantry Division
2nd place -- 2nd Lt. Stephen Stapleton, 1st Signal Brigade
3rd place -- Capt. Alexander Kim, Eighth Army HHB
1st place -- Sgt. 1st Class Kirk Price, 65th Medical Brigade
2nd place -- Cpl. Ma'Te Mckenzie, 1st Signal Brigade
3rd place -- Pfc. Alexander McGuire, 501st Military Intelligence Brigade
1st place -- Pvt. Endhyr Meza, 2nd Infantry Division
2nd place -- Staff Sgt. Donald Kirchnner, 35th Air Defense Artillery Brigade
3rd place -- Pfc. Clayton Nicholas, 501st Military Intelligence Brigade
1st place -- Staff Sgt. Lawrence Faus, 501st Military Intelligence Brigade
2nd place -- Pvt. Dimitri House, 65th Medical Brigade
3rd place -- 2nd Lt. Jacob Peterson, 35th Air Defense Artillery Brigade