**USACS UPDATE** There are multiple issues currently taking place within the Combatives Program so please understand the need for multiple sections.
Quick background of how we have arrived at this point. In December, CSM Dailey (TRADOC CSM) witnessed a video on YouTube of an Advance Rules bout taking place in which the two Soldiers were bloodied from a hard fought match. After watching the video myself, I determined that it was conducted in a safe manner and neither participant had received any major damage that would prevent them from continuing their service to the Army. Unfortunately, CSM Dailey felt it was the wrong thing for Soldiers to be doing and displayed the video to other senior enlisted Soldiers with the disclaimer that it was just a matter of time before we killed a Soldier. We ALL know this is complete and utter bullshit, but unfortunately those that do not train Combatives sided with him. As a direct result of this, I was required to brief the SMA and his Board of Directors in January. During the brief several CSM’s spoke in support of what we do (CSM Bohn, CSM Grippie & CSM Rice) At the completion of the brief, the SMA assigned myself, a SGM from TRADOC and a SGM from FORSCOM to conduct a review of the combatives program and tournaments. I would like to personally thank all units (Fort Bragg, Fort Drum and Fort Hood) that we observed during this time for conducting the training safely and in accordance with all rules and regulations. The below descisions have been made without the final examination of the data gathered from the QA/QC trips that myself and the TRADOC SGM have conducted.
As many of you know, TC 3-25.150 (formerly FM 3-25.150) has been removed from the Army Publication website. This is due to the TRADOC Commander and CSM ordering the removal of all references to competitions or tournaments within the TC. This update will remove all of Appendix A, and all references to competition stated in chapters 1 and 2. Current TRADOC leadership fails to understand what the TC is stating when it states “Competition is the principal motivational tool used to spur combatives training. Competitions should not only be used to encourage excellence by giving Soldiers a chance to be unit champions, but also to make fighting ability an intergal part of Soldiering.” The USACS staff is currently working with the Fort Benning Publications office to make these adjustments to the TC. The updated TC will hopefully be made available within a few weeks.
It is now the policy that within the Modern Army Combatives Program there will not be any regulations, rules or guidelines for the conduction of Combatives tournaments or competitions. It is the believed by some throughout TRADOC, that the USACS should not have been producing these publications. Additionally I am required to ask that you destroy all materials with said information. IE; Standard, Intermediate and Advance Rules handouts, bout sheets, Composite Risk Manegment Worksheets, and all copies of the FM or TC.
This also means the destroying of the Tactical Combatives Course POI/TSP as Standard Rules is covered within that course. As Instructors throughout the force, please do not teach the Standard Rules as part of your class. That being said, all future students attending the BCIC or TCIC at Fort Benning will no longer receive blocks of instruction on how to run a tournament, how to referee the different levels of competition or how to conduct risk mitigation with applications to competitions. Please understand this is not the thoughts or feelings of those assigned to the USACS, as we have stressed to the TRADOC leadership that said rules and guidelines are to ensure that all competitions are conducted in a safe and controlled manner.
For those of you within TRADOC, General Cone (TRADOC Commander) had Brigider General Utley (TRADOC G-3/5/7) published an “order” that prevents any Combatives competitions from taking place until further guidance is produced by the Army.
For those of you within FORSCOM, I spoke with CSM Bohn earlier today and he stated that “Soldiers with in FORSCOM will continue to conduct Combatives training events and competitions as per the guidance of their unit Commanders”. This means that you need to develop your own rule set and have your CoC bless off on it. I ask that you please keep in mind the safety of the Soldiers as you undertake these roles and responsibilities.
Before jumping to conclusions on current USACS staff, please understand that the USACS does not believe that these descisions are in the best interest of the American Soldier or the United States Army! Additionally I would like to ask that you refrain from “name dropping me” to senior leadership while discussing these issues as I would like the oppurtunity to continue to serve in the US Army.
At this time I would like to ask for your continued support of this program by reaching out to any and all General Officers or senior CSM’s that support the program and ensure that they relay their thoughts and feelings about the program to the TRADOC leadership.
SFC KEVIN RICE
USACS MASTER TRAINER