When it comes to combatives, Fort Jackson is creating its own subject matter experts.
Twenty non-commissioned officers and permanent party personnel are spending two weeks at Vanguard Gym on post, where they’re earning certifications on tactical combatives. The goal, according to Sgt. Edwin Velazquez, isn’t simply bolster the skill set of 20 Soldiers.
“They will be the subject matter experts for their companies as far as training combatives, and for the new program of instruction that’s in basic training,” said Velazquez, of Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, who is leading the instruction.
The course, which ends Friday with both written and hands-on tests, began with an evaluation of the participants’ level one skills, he said. By the start of the next week, they’d moved on to cuffing, detainee handling and vehicle extrication.
“As level two certified personnel, they’ll not just be able to train the material, but also know the ‘how’ and the ‘why,’ which I think is very important Velazquez said. “If they own it and know (how it works) it will help them sell it forward and help them train it correctly.”
Over the course of the two-week course, Soldiers will face four hands-on tests and at least one live scenario. Halfway through the experience he said the group was “tired” and “sore,” but that they were pushing through the pain.
“They’re all NCOs, so everybody here is seasoned for five or more years, so you have that motivation,” he said. “The culminating event is a written test and a hands-on test, where they’ll demonstrate every single skill they’ve learned, not just executing it, but teaching it, too.”
The graduation ceremony is Feb. 9.