News: IP Combatives
Q-WEST BASE COMPLEX, Iraq - During the day, Sgt. Seth Brown works in postal operations in the personnel section of the 454th Transportation Company, an Army Reserve unit from Delaware, Ohio.
As the afternoon wears on, Brown changes into an Army physical training uniform and heads out for his second job, teaching combatives at the Iraqi Police Academy.
"I start off with the fighting stance and fighting distance," said Brown, who is from Franklin, Ind. "Then I go into closing the gap."
Brown teaches combatives at the Academy six days a week, holding sessions in the afternoon. He is the only part-time instructor at the school and one of two instructors from the 71st Corps Support Battalion.
With the aid of interpreters, Brown trains the IP students in takedowns, live drills, strikes, punches and kicks. Toward the end of the sessions, he will borrow equipment from the Morale, Welfare and Recreation facility to hold live boxing.
The course lasts for 21 days, training Iraqi police in the basics of police work. The combatives session is held for 17 of those days, up from 15 from the last cycle of training.
Brown also teaches wrist locks, for handcuffing, and baton tactics.
"I have some batons that they actually carry on the job," said Brown, who is teaching his second cycle at the Academy.
In addition, Brown leads the trainees in calisthenics to stretch them out, building confidence and endurance.
Brown conducted combatives training for his company during the unit's mobilization process. 1st Sgt. John Valley, 454th TC, chose him to volunteer to train students at the Academy, and Command Sgt. Maj. James Spencer, 71st CSB, approved the assignment.
"It's a talent and a passion of mine," said Brown. "Everything I teach, I teach straight out of the [Field Manual.]"
Before deploying, Brown worked as a unit administration technician for the 402nd Engineer Company, based at Camp Atterbury, Ind.
In addition to eight years of experience in the martial art of Tae Kwon Do, Brown wrestled for six years in school. He hopes to attend a course to become Level I and then Level III-certified in combatives, with the eventual goal of teaching his fellow Soldiers how to defend themselves and fight effectively.
The training Brown gives the Iraqi police "â?¦ is all pretty basic, mainly because they have no previous knowledge," he said. Although the language barrier is a challenge, most of the trainees are very enthusiastic and appreciative.
Brown was grateful to his leadership and the Academy leadership for giving him the chance to teach. He mentioned his front-line supervisor, Sgt. Debra Camara, and the rest of his noncommissioned officer chain of command, as well as Capt. Michael O'Neal, company commander, 454th TC.
"I feel like I'm doing a very small part in making this country strong," said Brown.