Story by Capt. Brian Hare Photo by Staff Sgt. Robert Di Giovine
EASTOVER, S.C. – The Pre-Mobilization Training Assistance Element (PTAE) of the South Carolina Army National Guard conducted a Tactical Combatives Level II Certification Course at the McCrady Training Center, Eastover, South Carolina, Oct. 14-22, 2014.
The class was comprised of students from Task Force Marshall, a training element at McCrady, as well as several students assigned to Fort Jackson and two students from nearby Shaw Air Force Base in Sumter, South Carolina. The instructors for the class were Sgt. 1st Class Scott Titus and Staff Sgt. Patrick Reid, both from the South Carolina Army National Guard.
During the 80-hour Level II Combatives Course, students continue to build on the skills they gained during the Basic Level I Course by learning more advanced stand-up and ground fighting techniques, as well as methods of fighting with weapons and applying handcuffs, among others.
According to the combatives team leadership, any service member from any branch can attend the training, as long as they are covered under orders.
“There is no minimum physical fitness score or height and weight screening that students need to meet,” said Titus. “The service member simply needs to be headstrong and want to be there. We will however, screen students for physical conditions or profiles that would prevent them from meeting the program requirements for successful completion.”
According to Capt. Clyde Woods, the program manager for the South Carolina National Guard Modern Army Combatives Program, there are a number of benefits to be gained from combatives training, both to the service member and their commanders.
“For the service member, they gain confidence in their ability to close with and engage a threat,” Woods said. “It provides them with a non-lethal skill set needed to fight in a counter-insurgency operation or protect civilians during a mission involving Defense Support of Civilian Authorities, and it provides commanders a method to instill personal courage within the members of their units.”
“Combatives training should be ongoing at all units per AR-350-1 (Appendix C-Mandatory Training IAW AR 350-1 Table G-1),” said Titus. “A certified trainer should return to their units and first win the support and trust of the command team to conduct combatives training by starting small. Combatives exercises are highly effective for PT or strength conditioning. Once a unit has a knowledge base of trainers and proper equipment, they can move into teaching basic skills or submissions.”
“We preach to our students that they need to be an ambassador for the Modern Army Combatives Program (MACP),” said Titus. “Unit trainers are more than welcome to request instructors from our team to assist them at their units.”
The South Carolina PTAE first began conducting combatives training in 2008 as a required pre-mobilization training task. In the fall of 2009 the PTAE began offering combatives certification. Since that time the team has certified over 1,200 service members as combatives instructors and trained over 4,000 deploying Soldiers in the combatives Army Warrior Task No. 12.
For more information about the South Carolina National Guard Modern Army Combatives Program, please contact Sgt. 1st Class Scott Titus at firstname.lastname@example.org or Capt. Clyde Woods at email@example.com.