BAGHDAD, Iraq -- In 2010, Tyler Sutherland, a wrestler and cadet at the United States Military Academy at West Point, injured his arm.At that point, the future 1st Infantry Division Soldier's college wrestling career was over. But for him, it was the beginning of a new path."It was freak accident," Sutherland said. "I looked at it as another challenge I would have to face head on, because, at the time, wrestling was a big part of my freshman year and who I had been up until that point."Sutherland said he grew up in the small town of Liberal, Kan., and saw wrestling as an opportunity for him to go to college.As a freshman, Sutherland held seven wins and one loss before his injury.His coaching staff helped him reassess his priorities."I decided I would push myself academically at West Point," Sutherland said. "I started studying nuclear engineering as a sophomore because I thought it would be a tough but interesting degree. Now, I try to do the same in my Army career in all facets, whether it be militarily or athletically."Sutherland was stationed at Fort Riley, Kan., after earning his degree. There, the combatives-team coaching staff caught wind that he had wrestling experience and invited him to join their team."I didn't have a lot of experience other than what I did at cadet basic training," Sutherland said. "But they welcomed me in and said they would take a college wrestler any day and they would teach me what I needed to learn as I go."After an 8-week-training program, 1st Lt. Sutherland won the All Armed Forces Tournament in 2015 at Fort Bragg, N.C., in the 170-pound category."There were some amazing competitors," Sutherland said. "Four of them fought professionally, whether it be kickboxing, boxing or jiu-jitsu, and three of them had professional mixed martial arts fights on their records. I had stiff competition but I did well and it motivated me."Sutherland continued to work out religiously ever since. His mentors back at Fort Riley spurred him to learn more about mixed martial arts.But Sutherland thought his training cycle would come to a halt when he learned about his deployment to Iraq, where he serves as the aide to U.S. Army Brig. Gen. William Turner, deputy commanding general of support with the Combined Joint Forces Land Component Command -- Operation Inherent Resolve."I imagined that it would be nine months of not being able to train and not being able to sharpen my skills to enhance my toolkit as a fighter," Sutherland said. "But I found Commander Nekrews."Commander Al Nekrews, chief of counter-improvised explosive device operations, CJFLCC-OIR, grew up in Manchester, England. From there he joined the Royal Navy. Since the beginning of his military career, Nekrews has been involved in training fighters."I was the Navy Boxing team manager," Nekrews said. "We had national champions, and a high level of boxers."One day, while speaking with Turner, Nekrews mentioned that he was an experienced boxing trainer. Turner told him about Sutherland and Nekrews leapt at the opportunity to bring his expertise to train a fighter within the Coalition."I met with Tyler," Nekrews said. "He wanted a boxing coach and it was a refresher for me and a break from the norm."Their training is certainly no break however, because Nekrews pushes Sutherland as hard as he can."We will go for as little as 30 minutes to an hour at least 2 to 3 times a week," Sutherland said.Nekrews described Sutherland as a natural, fit, strong and a quick learner."I really took him back to basics with his technique on [punches]," Nekrews said. "I want him to develop that into firm combinations and we are working that with his foot work, his body positions, his defensive positions and postures."Sutherland said he has been fortunate as a result because of Nekrews' knowledge level and they both share a passion for the fighting world."This is one of the only types of environments where you're going to get teamwork on an international level," Sutherland said. "I have access to someone who has a different perspective on how boxing should be done."Sutherland described their relationship as a bond on top of a bond."Anytime you have people from different nations not only working toward military goals, but bonding in other ways, you're making relations between other countries stronger," Sutherland said.In the future, Sutherland said he wants to have four or five amateur mixed martial arts fights before he goes into the professional circuit.