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    Army Soldiers partner with Colombian service members to combat sexual assault

    Army Soldiers partner with Colombian service members to combat sexual assault

    Photo By Sgt. 1st Class Thomas Duval | Staff Sgt. Tyrone Euell, a quality control NCO for Aviation Company, 1st Support...... read more read more



    Story by Sgt. Thomas Duval  

    Task Force Sinai

    EL GORAH, Egypt - This year’s annual Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month left Soldiers in the Sinai Peninsula of Egypt kicking and screaming- and it wasn’t because they were facing a day full of slideshows and staggering statistics. Instead, Soldiers from Task Force Sinai came together with their counterparts from the Colombian Army to improve their self-confidence during a self-defense class held here April 27, 2015.

    The training focused on blocks, strikes, and advanced clinch positions which would help the Soldiers if they ever came under attack.

    “Everyone should be able to walk into any situation and feel confident they can adapt and overcome even the most challenging circumstances,” said Staff Sgt. Tyrone Euell, a quality control non-commissioned officer for Aviation Company, TF Sinai. “As a society we sometimes like to believe that when something bad is happening to us the police or a Good Samaritan will come along and save us… if that were the case then crime would be almost non-existent. These classes teach you to rely on your own strengths and in many situations that’s all the help you really need.”

    According to an annual report presented to President Barrack Obama by the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office (SAPRO), there were 5,983 reports of sexual assault made in 2014.

    For Euell an 18-year Army veteran, these alarming numbers made hosting the class a no brainer and although being able to fend off an attacker may not change the number of reports he says it could have a significant impact on the outcome of an attack.

    “Most attackers try to find the weakest and most isolated person to target … imagine the look on their face when they go after a 105-pound Soldier and wake up in the hospital because that potential victim was able to defend themselves,” said Euell. “The awesome part about self-defense is you don’t know who knows it and there’s no tell, badge or tattoo that says, ‘watch out,’ this person is a walking weapon.”

    At 5 feet, 8 inches tall and weighing less than 160 pounds, Army Staff Sgt. Lisa Jones, the Dental noncommissioned officer in charge for Medical Company, 1st Support Battalion, fits the profile Euell says attackers will often target.

    Thanks to numerous self-defense classes like this one, Jones says she is more confident in her ability to turn the tables on a potential attacker.

    “I have learned you don’t have to carry a gun or kick butt like Ronda Rousey, just trust your instincts and be aware of your surroundings,” said Jones, a Minnesota native, referring to the undefeated female Bantamweight champion, in the popular Ultimate Fighting Championship.

    Although she may not be Rousey, Jones has spent much of her life improving her awareness for self-defense techniques but unfortunately not every Soldier can say the same.

    During the month-long event, more than 20 Soldiers from two separate countries attended the class with each of their martial arts experience ranging from novice to expert.

    Despite the varying levels of experience, Euell, who has a black belt in Taekwondo and Tang Soo Do, developed an all-encompassing program that would benefit everyone regardless of skill level, gender, or cultural background. Euell was even able to bridge the gap between the English speaking U.S. Soldiers and the Spanish Speaking Colombian Soldiers.

    “It turns out hand-to-hand combat is a universal language,” laughed Euell. “I was able to teach them techniques that are practical and simple to learn and because of that everyone was able to benefit from the training.”

    While statistics show only a few people will ever come face to face with an attacker and have to use these types of techniques, Euell a Clarksville, Tennessee, native, said even one incident is too many.

    “I believe in empowering people and if even one of the techniques I teach is able to keep that person safe then I’ve done my part to strengthen the force,” he added.

    Although April has been designated as Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention month, both Euell and Jones said they do not plan to limit their training to a designated month. Instead both look forward to sharing and teaching their Soldiers in an effort to eliminate sexual harassment and assault from future formations.



    Date Taken: 04.28.2015
    Date Posted: 04.28.2015 10:13
    Story ID: 161513
    Location: EL GORAH, EG
    Hometown: CLARKSVILLE, TN, US

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