Wednesday, March 17, 2004


I still have a really good question I’m gonna answer for SGT (soon to be 2LT) Lee…but since this is an area that is of particular interest to me, I’m gonna hook HighwindNY up first. You’ll see in a minute why I like this question so much.

“…speaking about history, the only thing that boggles me about the U.S Army is the "Gary Owen" motivation cry. who is he? what is his significance to the 7th Air Calvary?”

The 7th Cavalry has a long proud tradition, but is most famous for two episodes in American history.

First, it was the 7th Cavalry that rode out from Powder River under the command of LTC George Armstrong Custer in 1876 to meet it’s fate at Little Big Horn at the hands of the Oglala Sioux, led by Crazy Horse and Gall, along with contingents from five other tribes. For those of you who have absolutely NO grasp of history at all, the result of General Custer’s overconfidence was the complete slaughter of a large part of the regiment. One hundred and Ninety Seven soldiers died in about twenty minutes. The only known survivor was a horse named Comanche. I won’t get into the politics of it all except to say that both sides did what they had to do and both sides fought like true warriors.

The second well known action by the 7th Cavalry took place in the Ia DrangValley of South Vietnam in 1965. I won’t elaborate too much, since most of you have (hopefully) seen the movie We Were Soldiers, starring Mel Gibson, or read the book it was based on, We Were Soldiers Once… and Young by Joe Galloway and LTC Hal Moore. If you haven’t…the 7th Cavalry had become the 7th Air Cav by this time (pioneers of the Airmobile/Air Assault techniques still used today), and fought the first MAJOR battle of the Vietnam war.

Now on to Gary Owen…

Gary Owen is actually Garryowen…all one word… and it is the Regimental marching song of the famous 7th Cavalry.

Who is he? Well…it’s actually not a he…or even a person. Garryowen (all one word) comes from 2 different gaelic words (Garrai and Oein) that translate roughly to Owen’s garden. Garryowen is a town in County Limerick, Ireland. Thanks to a reputation as a rowdy, wild place it was immortalized in an Irish quickstep in around 1860.

As the story goes, one of the Irish troopers in Custer’s command was singing the song while having a wee bit o’ spirits one night around the fire. The song is a natural for the cavalry as the beat translates well to the rhythm of galloping horses. LTC Custer heard the song and liked it so much it soon became a favorite of the Regiment. It was the last tune played by the Regimental band as they rode out towards Little Big Horn.

The tune became the official “Air” of the Regiment in 1867 and actually became the official tune of the entire 1st Cavalry Division in 1981.

The significance of the tune in the Regiment’s history led to it being incorporated into the Regimental crest, along with the raised saber.

When Soldiers salute an officer, they also traditionally give the “greeting of the day” or the regimental motto. So when any soldier, anywhere, in the 7th Cav salutes, they sound off with “Garry Owen, Sir!” This will also occasionally be used the same way that “Hooah” is used throughout the Army or “OOORAH” is used in the Marine Corps. A good example of the emotion this can contain is a scene in We Were Soldiers where a young trooper is finally reunited with the unit after being cut off for the entire night. I can’t explain the emotion, you have to watch the movie I guess to know what I mean.

Anyway, it’s enough to say that the members of the 7th Cavalry take a lot of pride in this part of their history.

The reason I am so interested in the 7th Cavalry (never having served with them) is this...

My father in law served with 1/7th Cavalry in Vietnam. He arrived around 6 months to a year after the engagement at LZ Xray, and served with them until he was wounded and sent to the hospital in Pleiku. He was a 1LT, a Forward Observer, and a great soldier. (Incidentally he also commanded a Basic Training Company here at Ft Jackson for awhile as a Lieutenant.)

When I met my wife, and went to meet her family eventually, I was a little nervous. We hit it off immediately, and I realized that I was lucky indeed, not only to have found a great woman, but a great set of “in-laws” also. I think both of us being soldiers and talking about his experiences in Vietnam and my experience in the modern Infantry went a long way to set us both at ease lol.

My Father in law, 1LT George W…

If you look closely, you can see a Regimental crest, featuring the words “Garry Owen” pinned on his fatigues.

If I remember correctly this was taken only a few days before he was shot and wounded.

If you’re interested, here are both sets of lyrics to the song Garry Owen. The first is the original lyrics, and the second is the lyrics adopted later by the 7th Cavalry.

Original Version

Let Bacchus' sons be not dismayed
But join with me, each jovial blade
Come, drink and sing and lend your aid
To help me with the chorus:

Instead of spa, we'll drink brown ale
And pay the reckoning on the nail;
No man for debt shall go to jail
From Garryowen in glory.

We'll beat the bailiffs out of fun,
We'll make the mayor and sheriffs run
We are the boys no man dares dun
If he regards a whole skin.


Our hearts so stout have got no fame
For soon 'tis known from whence we came
Where'er we go they fear the name
Of Garryowen in glory.

7TH Cavalry Version

We are the pride of the army,

And a regiment of great renown,

Our name’s on the pages of history,

From sixty six on down.

If you think we stop or falter,

While into the fray we’re goin’

Just watch the step with our heads erect

When our band plays "Garry Owen."


In the Fighting Seventh’s the place for me.

It’s the cream of all the cavalry;

No other regiment ever can claim

It’s pride, honor, glory, and undying fame.

We know no fear when stern duty

Calls us far away from home,

Our country’s flag shall sagely o’er us wave,

No matter where we roam.

T’is the gallant Seventh Cavalry,

It matters not where we’re goin’

such you’ll surely say as we march away,

When our band plays "Garry Owen."

Then hurrah for our brave commanders!

Who lead us into the fight.

We’ll do or die in our country’s cause.

And battle for the right.

And when the war is o’er

And to our home we’re goin’

Just watch the step, with our head erect,

When our band plays, "Garry Owen."

Well, I hope this answers your question... I enjoyed writing it.

Tuesday, March 16, 2004


A few questions...

Will the XM8 be assigned to all infantry? Or just certain infantry units?

When they actually field the M8 to the regular Army, (XM8 designates it as not fielded yet ...maybe it means Xperimental lol) they will probably begin with a few of the major rapid deployment units. They will most likely go to the 101st ABN (AAASLT), 10th Mountain Div, 25th ID (L), and possibly to the 82nd ABN Div. The only reason they wouldn't go to the 82nd right away is all equipment has to be certified for ABN operations before it can be fielded there. This shouldn't be a problem for a rifle though, unlike the new MOLLE rucksack systems (which they still haven't received).
After that the M8 will probably filter down the foodchain to the mechanized Infantry units, Cavalry and Armor units, Engineer and Artillery units, etc...until it eventually makes it's way throughout the Army.
Of course it goes without saying that Special Forces and Ranger units will probably get them first, just like everything else lol.

Is there any technique to walk through CS like you do? Or is it just a matter of getting used to it? I'll be playing with some at lewis this summer, i'd love to laugh it off. hehe

No...there isn't lol.
It's just gonna know it's gonna's a big suckfest from beginning to you just do your best to stay out of the thickest of it and focus on the soldiers.
Laughing helps...there's always plenty of that.

FLASHBANGS FLASHBANGS!!! Did you do any flashbangs!?!?!

We throw artillery simulators. I haven't thrown any flashbangs like you would see on Rainbow Six or something...but these have got to be more devastating. They're equal to about a quarter stick of dynamite, but they have a long whistle before they blow the world into tiny bits. NEVER look at them while they whistle. They have a way of mesmerizing you and if you look at them when they go off you will have bright spots on your eyes for hours...especially at night. If you're curious who was looking at one when it exploded...just look for the private who keeps walking into trees lol.

Oh my gosh, it is starship troopers guns, yay!! Do Marines get them too????????????? go clean your musket lol.

I like Marines...I really do. I admire the Pride they have in their branch. But honestly, they are the smallest and least well funded of the services. I don't know whether they will get them or not, that will probably be a decision for the Chief of Navel Operations to make lol. (yes I know how to spell Naval ... I just like giving Marines a hard time)

I'd like to make a complaint. My little sister is in Jackson right now and she called to tell me about all the fun and "privlidges" she has. So, when you get a chance, tell C company, x/xxth Inf Reg, 3rd Platoon that they are a candy cane unit.

I deleted the unit to protect the guilty. No they are not a candy cane unit. The proper military term is a candyass unit. And yes...they are. Don't worry, we already make fun of them enough. Unfortunately there are big differences in units here as far as how easy or tough the training and discipline is. There are even differences between Companies and Platoons. My unit has a pretty good reputation compared to a lot of units here. And my Platoon is definitely one of the most disciplined in the Battalion. I can't help what other commanders and Drills let their soldiers get away with. I am still going to do my best to turn out tough, disciplined, highly trained, physically fit, morally sound soldiers.

More later...gotta run for now

Sunday, March 14, 2004

Army and Marines - Define "Elite"

I received this question from a reader and meant to give him a great answer. Unfortunately, it kind of rambles. So uhh… deal with it I guess lol...I don't have time to make it as perfect as I want it to be.

Hopefully this answers the question clearly enough though.

We graduate this week, so I will be a little busy. I have a second, and even better, question to answer from the same email as soon as I get some time

Question: If the Marine Infantry and Army Infantry are basically
the same, why are the Marines considered (either by themselves or by
civilians) "elite"?

The comparison is usually between Army and Marines rather than Infantry to Infantry. The Army has a very different function than the Marines, and a wider mission during wartime.

The first difference is between the missions of the respective forces. The Marines are a relatively small branch of the Navy. Their mission as I understand it is primarily to conduct initial combat operations from a forward deployed platform (such as a big ass boat) and establish a beachhead from which they can operate until follow on forces arrive. I am not a Marine so if I make any mistakes here, someone let me know.

The Army’s mission is a little bigger. Along with establishing a foothold, they also expand the foothold into entire theaters of operations. The Marines fight battles. The Army fights the war.

The Marines are not really a self sustaining force. They take the beach (or whatever) and hold it until support arrives. It might sound like this is a bad thing, but in reality this is part of what makes them such a proud and ass-kicking force. There is a lot of pride in knowing that you are at the tip of the spear.

The Army has the same capability in its Light Infantry units. They do not specialize in amphibious operations, but rather in Airborne, Air Assault and Land based assaults. The Army’s Light Infantry units, such as the 101st ABN (AASLT), 82nd ABN Div, 173rd ABN BDE, 10th Mountain Div and 25th INF Div (L), are used as rapid deployment units capable of taking and holding ground until the rest of the Army can establish themselves. It goes without saying that one of the premier Light Infantry units in the world is the 75th Ranger Regiment, consisting of three Ranger Battalions that are ALWAYS on call for any contingency.

When you get right down to it, the Light Infantry and the Marines both take a lot of pride in a tough job. They both also have generally higher Discipline and Esprit de Corps than your average Combat Support or Combat Service Support unit.

Then we have the Mechanized Infantry. Units like the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th Infantry Divisions are heavy, powerful and slow to deploy. They pack a lot of punch, but moving all those M2 Bradley IFVs and M1 Abrams tanks along with all their logistics and support, is a major undertaking in itself. The Mechanized units have plenty of pride in what they do, but usually aren’t considered “elite”. This could be because of the perception that they spend all their time inside huge armored vehicles and don’t face the same kind of danger as a grunt. There is some truth to this in a large scale, high intensity conflict. However, today’s mechanized Infantry soldiers are operating “boots on the ground” just like everyone else in Iraq.

One reason the entire Marine Corps is considered “elite” is because, as you said earlier, their entire organization is predominantly combat oriented. Even the support units they do have are inculcated with the idea that “every Marine is a rifleman first”. This has always been a necessity for the Marines, who often operated with limited support for extended periods of time.

By contrast, in the past, Army support units have mostly operated in relatively safe areas, setting up well behind friendly lines. This was a fairly viable option in the past, when “lines” actually existed. In today’s fluid combat environment however, there are no “lines”. Every soldier must be a soldier first, and a personnel clerk/mechanic/cook/technician second. When GEN Pete Schoomaker took over as the new Army Chief of Staff, he immediately made this a matter of Army Policy in his vision for the future.

This is already being implemented in BCT here at Fort Jackson, and presumably at the other training facilities throughout the Army. The training has changed a little already, but major changes are underway for the coming classes of soldiers. Anyway, before I get too far off topic…

A second reason that Marines are considered “elite” is because they consider themselves “elite”. This is a self fulfilling prophesy in a way. In many ways what makes you special is the way you picture yourself. If you think you belong to an elite organization, you will automatically train a little longer, fight a little harder, expect a little more from your comrades, etc. The Marines have a mystique that makes them irresistible to some of the best young recruits in our nation. The same ideals that make a good Marine make a good Paratrooper in the 82nd or good Air Assault soldier in the 101st.

On the other hand, it is a fact that many people join the Army as a way to improve themselves, get an education, have a stable career, and for many other reasons that don’t have anything to do with a desire to truly challenge themselves or push themselves to the limit. For these people, being a part of an elite organization is not really a high priority. Therefore the opposite of what I said earlier is true here. If you aren’t interested in being “elite”…you will most likely do your job adequately, go the extra inch rather than the extra mile, and generally put more effort into getting away from hard work and training than getting to it.

These people serve their country just as much as anybody else, but they usually don’t take the same pride in their organizations and want to do a good job, but don’t associate it as much with who they are.

The thing I admire most about Marines is the fierce pride they have in the entire corps. If the whole Army felt the same way, it could only make it a better force, and that’s one thing I do my best to instill in the CS/CSS soldiers I train here at Jackson.

Another reason for the elite image of the Corps is their history. A second thing I like about Marines is that every one of them can tell you in great detail about Chesty Puller, Carlos Hathcock and all the other heroes who fought their hearts out in past wars. The battles in the Pacific Theater of WW2 especially were some of the toughest fighting ever experienced by human beings, and the Marines kicked ass and took initials. It’s sad how many of the soldiers I train have no idea who Audie Murphy, Roy Benavidez, Randall Shughart and Gary Gordon were (until I get through with em anyway). The Infantry does the same thing though. Ask any soldier in the 101st , for example, about Bastogne, or Normandy, or the A Shau Valley, and you will often (not always though) see the same pride and connection with their past.

What makes a Warrior? If you ask me, the answer would be the willingness…eagerness even…to close with and destroy the enemy. Face to face, hand to hand, metal to meat…most people can’t understand this. Even in the Army, when you talk to a lot of people who are not in Combat Arms branches, you don’t find a lot who want to put themselves on the line like that. The Marines as an entire service have an image of being ass kickers. People who want to serve their country adequately, but not by spitting in the face of the enemy while they twist a bayonet in their guts, don’t usually join the Marines…or the Army Infantry.

So basically…

The Marines are an elite force because they are used as an assault force in tough situations with little support, they recruit people who already have a desire to be the best, they take a fierce pride in themselves and their history, and they are the least politically correct of the services.

The Light Infantry, even outside the Ranger and Airborne units, is roughly equivalent to the Marines, but they are not perceived as elite quite as much because their reputation is tied up with the rest of the Army. The only thing I would say they lack compared to the Marines is some of the pride and knowledge of history as an entire branch of service. For example, a paratrooper may take more pride in being part of the 82nd Airborne than in the Army as a whole…whereas Marines seem to take more pride in the simple fact that they are Marines.

The rest of the Army, on the other hand, have in the past not always been held to the same standards of discipline and combat skills as the Marines. I am not saying that this is true everywhere, just in my experience as I saw it. In general, the farther away from the bayonet your job was in the Army, the less was expected of you. This is and was a stupid way to look at things, but is especially unacceptable in today’s combat environment. This situation is being rectified as we speak and I’m the one rectifying it lol.

All in all, the idea of "elite" troops is fine...and important even...but never forget that all those Marines, Paratroopers, Rangers and Green Berets COULD NOT do their job if not for all the soldiers behind the scenes doing theirs. Marines can't go anywhere without the Navy. Paratroopers can't go anywhere without the Air Force. Gun Trucks can't go anywhere without mechanics and fuel. Helicopters don't fly wihtout maintenance. And nobody gets paid without Personnel and Finance clerks lol. Every team needs Quarterbacks and Wide Receivers...but they get killed without the Linemen.

Army Combatives - Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

Once again, just as I was wondering what I should post next, someone asked a really interesting question. Well, at least I thought it was interesting, maybe you will too. goes...
Question: How's it going...sir. I'm from the martial artist blog ring. I just want to know something, what forms of martial arts do you guys teach in the military?

Answer: First things first... There is a very widely used response in the United States Army when someone makes the mistake of addressing a NonCommissioned Officer as "Sir". Generally the response, given in as gruff and hard a voice as possible, is "Dont call me Sir....I work for a living". Now, nobody expects civilians to know the difference, but this is just a little tidbit of useless information about the Army that you can take away with you. Only Commissioned Officers (O1 through O10 or 2LT through GEN), or Warrant Officers (WO1 through CW5, usually helicopter pilots or some sort of technical skill), are called sir. Non Commissioned Officers are always addressed by either their rank or position. (Rank - Sergeant, First Sergeant or Sergeant Major for example) (Position - Drill Sergeant). Anyway, it doesnt offend me or anything to be called sir, in fact it makes me happy that some people out there actually want to show respect to another person. But I just figured I would put the information out there since I know there's at least one future soldier out there who reads this site lol. And now for the real subject for todays post....
Actually this is really similar in some ways to Basic Training...some Drill Sergeant running his mouth at you for a long time about something important, but completely uninteresting, and then you get to the good part lol...

Hand to Hand Combat...

Vale Tudo...

Mano a Mano...

You are scared to death. You may actually have bruises later from the insides of your knees clacking together. You are the new guy in the platoon and you are beginning to question your worth as a soldier. The other guys give you a hard time every day because you're the "cherry" and you don't know jack about life in the Army. Not necessarily in a mean way, they're good guys, but you're still getting tired of it. And now here you are about to take part in your first urban combat mission. This is your chance to do something right, to show them that you can be counted on when it really matters.

As you stack up at the entrance, your heart is pounding like a blown tire at 80 miles an hour...BOOOOM!!! The small explosive charge goes off, cutting a neat hole around the doorhandle and deadbolt. The door blows inward and you barely have time to think it odd that the lock and handle are still hanging from the doorjamb when everything goes wrong at once. This was supposed to be a simple mission made simpler by the element of surprise...but evidently nobody let the bad guys know that. Somehow instead of being asleep in their bed like they should be at this hour of the night, someone is trading bullets with the first guy through the doorway. Theres no time to hesitate though, so you follow him into the room on pure adrenaline, praying that this madness will end quickly and on our terms.

As you sidestep through the door and begin to check your sector you see one bad guy down and another just raising his rifle toward your buddy, who has taken a shot in the body armor and is on his knees, wheezing and scrambling for his dropped weapon. Screaming something that makes no sense, you put the red dot centermass and drop him just before he pulls the trigger...spraying a few wild rounds into the baseboards of the wall as he falls.

Suddenly someone steps through an inside door and grabs you around both arms. The rest of your squad is screaming at you to get out of the way, but he has a deathgrip on you and as he slams you to the floor, the sling catches on an armchair and your M4 is pulled from your grasp. Your opponent is unarmed and as the rest of the squad continues to clear the room and the rest of the house you do what a million soldiers have done in bad situations since the beginning of time. You automatically fall back on your training.
As Habib rolls on top of you you bring both legs up and lock them around his waist while you work your arms free. Now that he is effectively in your GUARD, he releases your arms and grabs you around the throat in a classic "daterape" choke with both hands. "Bad move slick" you gasp contemptuously as you secure one of his straightened arms with your right hand and reach down and grab his right thigh with your left. Raising yourself onto only the small of your back to make it easier to turn, you release your guard and spin yourself to the left. Your right leg swings up and over your unfortunate victims' head, coming alongside your left leg on top of his face. Furious that you are fighting on your back when you had only wanted this raid to go well and everyone to come home safe, you straighten your entire body, pulling the arm back into your chest and arching your hips quickly up toward the ceiling. "Ouch", you think to yourself as you hear the wet pop that signifies an end to this guys' career on the Iraqi tennis circuit.

As he screams in pain and begins sputtering something that obviously means "I'm not having fun anymore" in arabic, you realize that in the space of a few seconds your buddies have secured the premises and are watching you in stunned silence. "Holy shit, Holmes... You broke that dudes arm", Garcia says, giggling nervously as he checks the other bodies for identification and anything of intelligence value. Thankful that this turned out well, after a hair raising beginning, you just shrug and say "Yeah, well, I owe it all to Drill Sergeant Rob"


Ok ...well I typed that out as quick as I could and wasnt sure how to end it, so I figured some shameless self glorification was as good a way as any.

Now for the real discussion on Combatives training in the Army...

Several years ago, some of the personnel in the Special Ops community, were trying to come up with a better alternative to the current Hand to Hand Combat doctrine in the Army. The problem was, either units didnt train hard enough and were completely ineffective in the hand to hand areas, or they DID train hard and had an unacceptable amount of injuries using the current system of throws, chokes and strikes outlined in FM 21-150. After considerable research and study of several different systems, such as Russian Sambo (sp), Tae Kwon Do, Krav Maga, Judo and others, they decided to go with BRAZILIAN JIU JITSU. There are several reasons for this decision, and I could spend all day talking about the merits of each system, but I will try to make this as short and sweet as I can.

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (which I will type as BJJ from now on since this is taking longer than I expected) first and foremost is a relatively easy system in which to become reasonably skilled in a short amount of time. The old story of "knowing just enough to get your ass kicked", although it still has a grain of truth to it, is far less true under the new system. While you may not be ready to enter any competitions after your first few sessions, you WILL BE A BETTER FIGHTER. The relatively simple to understand principles behind the grappling arts can make any barroom brawler far more effective within a few weeks. And when you get right down to it, nobody cares how cool or flashy your system is in combat. The ultimate goal is as basic as warfare kill, disable or submit your opponent in the shortest time possible, so you can continue moving on toward the objective and mission accomplishment.

The way it was explained to me when I was in school goes like this. Back in feudal Japan or China or wherever most Martial Arts systems started, warriors began their training at a very young age, usually in the single digits. They new that they had to become skilled fighters by the time they were old enough to serve in the military and they had several years to achieve this goal. However, in todays Army, we get an 18 year old, for example, and he needs to become an efective fighter by the time he is around....18. In other words we don't have several years, because in a few months, Joe Snuffy is going to be out there in the real world kickin in doors.

Secondly, BJJ and the other grappling styles are far more useful in the kind of cramped and unexpected conditions most soldiers will face if they ever need to employ hand to hand techniques. They will likely fight in the dark, wearing heavy equipment and body armor, and they will fight when they are tired, cold, hungry, and confused. They will fight in hallways, stairwells, trenches and crowded streets. Most people know that 99.9% of all fights end up on the ground at some point, as was evidenced clearly when MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) competition first achieved widespread recognition with the Ultimate Fighting Championships in the early 1990s. Unless one of the first few strikes lands squarely and disables an opponent, you can almost always count on ending up clinched and rolling around on the ground. The determining factor is then who has the better grasp of sound groundfighting principles and techniques. This came as quite a shock to the World Champions in Karate, Tae Kwon Do, Kung Fu and other styles. Nobody expected such technical experts to be quickly submitted by an unknown 160 pound grappler named Royce Gracie.

I have studied a few Martial Arts both before and during my career in the military. I studied Tae Kwon Do in college and a similar style when I was a Private at Fort Polk. I enjoyed them both although I never achieved any great level of proficiency in either one. They both always seemed primarily directed towards "belts" and organized competition. Martial Arts competitions are a LOT of fun and very wothwhile, but they are absolutely nothing like a real fight, UNLESS you step into the realm of VALE TUDO or "no holds barred" competition.

Luckily for me, I was sitting in the Platoon Sergeants meeting one day at Ft Campbell, when the 1SG asked who had two names to go to the new Army Combatives school down at Fort Benning. There was a new push to get this spread through all the Infantry units, and they needed certified unit level Combatives Instructors. Of course the first name I shouted out was my own since I had plenty of time left with the unit and had some small background and interest already. To make a long story short, the Level One course was a week long and it was brutal lol. Eight hours a day of mostly drilling and fighting, learning and applying new techniques in rapid succession. (I ended up breaking a rib on the last day lol)

The first course teaches the basic system with an emphasis on good technique and teaching methods. After returning to Fort Campbell, the responsibility was ours for developing a unit program and beginning to train our respective companies. Luckily I had an outstanding Company Commander at the time who was completely sold on the idea, and soon we were working it as a Company once or twice a week and on an individual voluntary basis during lunch and after duty hours. We were also fortunate enough to have a member of the Gracie organization come to our unit and offer another week long course which I took advantage of.

The course was a great place to start, but most of my growth as a fighter came from the necessity of being an expert before I attempted to teach others, and once several of my fellow soldiers had a sound working knowledge, a stubborn refusal to lose to someone I had taught lol. Of course I did lose a few fights eventually. Anyone who fights knows that if you grapple long enough you are eventually going to be submitted, most likely through some mistake of your own. Thinking back though I believe I only lost to 3 soldiers while I was there, and only to one of them more than once. SPC W. (my assistant instructor) kicked my ass repeatedly and thoroughly the entire time I was there lol. His knowledge of grappling was every bit as strong as mine and that fool bench pressed well over 350 pounds lol.
Probably one of the most important factors in BJJs successful application in the Army is its lack of training injuries. By it's nature, a properly applied submission hold gives you the chance to submit before injury occurs in training. This makes it possible to train at full strength, only lowering the intensity just before a joint would normally pop or unconsciousness would occur. Actually soldiers do frequently get choked completely unconscious, but after snoring and being laughed at for a few seconds they wake up completely unharmed lol. This level of intensity in training allows for a rapid growth in skill, and a supreme confidence in your own ability to handle a "real" fight.
Anyway, I'm gonna end this staggeringly long post now...

The logical next step would be to ovierview some of the principles and techniques of BJJ, and I might do that later...or maybe not...if anyone's interested just let me know and I'll shoot it out there for ya.