CAMP CASEY, South Korea -- As the 2nd Infantry Division Combatives Tournament at Camp Casey, South Korea, came to a conclusion in March, Pfc. Michael Gales, from Atlanta, Ga., was presented with a bronze medal for his efforts.
His hopes and dreams of making it to the Eighth Army Competition were just that, hopes and dreams.
Gales, a motor transport operator assigned to 579th Forward Support Company, 6th Battalion, 37th Field Artillery Battalion, 210th Field Artillery Brigade, didn?'t let his dismay stop him from helping his teammates prepare for the upcoming competition.
?"Every member on the team has one goal and that goal is to finish the fight and dominate every tournament they compete in," said Sgt. 1st Class Justin Prince, from Clifton, Texas, the 210th FA Bde., senior intelligence noncommissioned officer and coach of the 2nd Inf. Div., team.
After demonstrating his determination to help others improve in their craft, Gales was awarded a slot on the division?'s team to replace a fellow teammate in the Eighth Army tournament.
?"The harder I work, the luckier I get," Gale said. ?"This opportunity allows me to focus on my techniques a little more. I must remember to slow down and not be so anxious when it?'s time to fight."
With his wrestling and mixed martial arts background, Gales hopes to redeem himself after the last tournament showing.
?"I have wrestled since I was nine years old," he said. ?"I was state champion as a kid. I was a three-time high school state placer and four-time county champion, so I expect to win at the Eighth Army Tournament."
The upcoming Eighth Army Combatives tournament will take place April 4 at Seoul American High School at Yongsan Garrison in Seoul, South Korea.
Combatives is a tool that was first established by the U.S. Army in 1995 to teach Soldiers how to protect themselves in a close-quarters fight.