LEXINGTON, Va. -- During July battle assembly, the 1/320th Battalion, 98th Training Division (IET), held their third annual combatives and fight weekend field training exercise (FTX). The FTX was held on the campus of the Virginia Military Institute (VMI). This battle assembly (BA) included repelling over the Maury River Cliff. The repelling lanes were facilitated by VMI Cadre. Additional highlights of the weekend included the obstacle and confidence courses on campus and a battalion run on Saturday. In previous years, the 1/320th utilized the VMI high ropes and air assault courses.

On the final day of BA the battalion got rough with a combatives review facilitated by Staff Sgt. Chase Lester from Delta Company followed by basic army boxing. Using the VMI boxing facilities, Maj. David Ward instructed the battalion in the proper form and function of throwing and blocking punches. Ward lives in Philadelphia, Pa. and joins the 1/320th each year for fight weekend.

The Combatives FTX originated within the battalion in Delta Company (Dublin, Va.) to increase unit cohesion and morale. The BA FTX has turned into a way for the battalion to showcase itself to the public and potential recruits. No one joins the Army to spend his or her battle assembly weekends inside the drill hall.

POC for the 1/320 Battalion FTX is Capt. Ponder, kevin.b.ponder@us.army.mil,