By Staff reportJune 27, 2009
One hundred forty-two Soldiers from the 2nd Battalion, 503rd Infantry "ROCK" Regiment (Airborne) entered the ROCK Combatives Tournament in seven weight classes to compete for the top slot and bragging rights June 23-24 at the Caserma Ederle gym. The winners will represent 2-503 in 173rd ABCT\'s combatives tournament June 28- 30. What it's all about "Combatives training helps to instill courage and self-confidence in paratroopers," said Command Sgt. Maj. Lyle Womack, 2-503rd Inf. (Abn.) "With competence comes confidence and the understanding of controlled aggression and the ability to remain focused while under duress." Now more than ever And with today's Soldier spending more time engaging the enemy in hand-to-hand combat than the Soldiers before him, the U.S. Army is reemphasizing this crucial skill. Womack called it hard and arduous physical training that is "at the same time mentally demanding and carries over to other military pursuits. "The overall effect is a successful physical fitness program that enhances individual and unit strength, and builds personal courage, self-discipline, and esprit de corps," he said. Staff Sgt. Kevin Rice, HHC 2-503, is Level IV combatives-qualified and spearheads the ROCK Combatives Program. Since returning from deployment the ROCK has certified 106 paratroopers at Level I; 14 at Level II; and 5 at Level III. Step by step Level 1 is a weeklong 40-hour course of instruction which culminates with achieve-the-clinch drill. Level 2 is a two-week 80-hour course that focuses on takedowns and submission maneuvers. Level 1 and 2 combatives certification is conducted at battalion level by a U.S. Army Combatives School-trained Level 3 or 4 certified master combatives trainer. Level III and IV are conducted by the Fort Benning ,Ga., combatives instructors.