SEMBACH, RP, GERMANY
SEMBACH, Germany - Three Soldiers of the 18th Military Police Brigade and a civilian instructor taught a self defense class to 18th MP Bde. Soldiers and spouses Nov. 7th at Sembach Kaserne.
Head instructor, Sgt. 1st Class Ronnell W. Foster of military working dog operations and native of Detroit, Mich. and Maj. Rahsaan H. Jackson, operations officer-in-charge and native of Lansing, Mich. developed the idea while researching ways to keep soldiers and their family members safe from sexual assaults.
“Maj. Jackson and I were discussing ways to enhance the SHARP (Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention) program and we came up with CAASH (Combating Against Assault Sexual Harassment),” said Foster. “We sat down and put a plan together to reach out to the spouses through the Family Readiness Group.”
“I think it makes an Army stronger when our soldiers know how to defend themselves,” said Jackson.
“It’s one thing to understand what a SHARP poster says about what behaviors are acceptable and what phone number to call but this information is only useful after the crime has been committed,” he added.
“I would rather see formations where every soldier has the skills to evade threatening situations and the skills to defend themselves intelligently,” Jackson replied.
Their plan to equip students with the means to defend themselves included Sgt. 1st Class Jean Jacquet, 95th MP Bn. operations NCO and native of Miami, Fla.; Sgt. 1st Class James B. Kerney, operations NCO and native of Avon Park, Fla.; Ty Leblanc, native of Detroit, Mich. and Foster’s combined years of martial arts, SHARP and NCO training.
However, the most important aspects of the class were not the actual fighting techniques.
“Situational awareness is always the best defense; the buddy system is also important,” Foster said.
“We are teaching defensive tactics to build confidence so that in the event you are targeted you will be knowledgeable in how to resist and potentially escape,” he said.
“The goal is to resist and escape, not to engage with your attacker,” Foster stated.
The fighting techniques taught in the class were vulnerable striking areas, proper striking techniques, and defense from the front and back.
Eleven soldiers, family members and civilians attended the class including Jenna Miller wife of Sgt. Lashawn Miller, forward deployed administration NCO. Both are natives of Long Branch, N.J.
“I liked the hands on training and being able to practice hitting and kicking on the “red suit,” said Miller. “It was very helpful.”
The “red suit” is made of red padded material and metal made to protect the wearer against blows and other injuries.
“I would definitely participate again,” Miller added.
“We are planning to hold additional classes after the holiday season,” stated Foster.
Future classes will be open to soldiers, civilians and family members, 17 and older.
For more information contact Sgt. 1st Class Foster at DSN telephone number 496-3533 or Ronfoster77@gmail.com.
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This work, 18th MP Bde. Self Defense Class, by SSG Christina Turnipseed, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.