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Fort Benning Infantry Week wraps up with Combatives competition

Individual and team combative skills put to the test during Lacerda Cup

FORT BENNING, Ga (WRBL) - The final events of Infantry Week on Fort Benning, were the combative skills competitions.

Those competitions test hand-to-hand skills and close-quarters combative skill as individuals in eight weight classes and for for the first time, teams teams as well.

History was made during the Bantamweight finals, as Capt. Ariel Espinoza-Levy became the first female competitor to place first in an individual event.

"I am incredibly honored and humbled to be a part of that small piece of history," Espinoza-Levy said. Espinoza-Levy attributes her focus and discipline to her Judo coaches at the West Point Military Academy, where she earned her black belt.

Competitors from Fort Hood, won first place in six of the seven weight classes they competed in. The 3rd Cavalry Regiment, competing out of Fort Hood won the team competition.

According to Sgt. 1st Class Timothy Ferris, losing these competitions is just as valuable as winning. "You realize the flaws that you had because you lost," Ferris says, "and then you back and fix those flaws."

The purpose of combatives training is to ensure each soldier is tough and adaptive to changing conditions, more confident in their abilities, and equipped with the tools necessary to dominate the field of battle.

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