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New era, new breed, new tactics

Today marks eight years that the United States has been fighting the terrorists and the Taliban in Afghanistan. PoliceOne Member Officer Carl F. Pruitt says that the next time you’re dealing with an unarmed subject ask yourself: “Is this guy in the military or a recently discharged veteran?”

Officer Pruitt — who has been on the force for nine years, (starting in Hawaii then moving on to Alaska) and is now with the Department of the Army Police at Ft. Hood, Texas — means not to disparage the outstanding men and women fighting for our nation. “I just would like to see this information get out to my fellow brothers and sisters in blue so they could have a few more mental tools in their toolbox,” he tells PoliceOne.

Over the past several years the military has trained combat soldiers and now they are slowly exiting the military. The overwhelming majority of those troops are good, honorable people who would never even dream of causing harm to a police officer, but remember, the military is already a breeding ground for some street gangs to learn military tactics. Pruitt says that you can add to that group a set of former war-fighters who are strugggling in a bad economy. 

“I have practiced and taught marital arts for over thirty-five years,” Pruitt says. “I have taught control tactics for police officers for five years. The U.S. Army is now teaching a new type of hand-to-hand called “Modern Army Combatives” to their soldiers. The Army’s Combatives is modeled after Brazilian Jujitsu (ground fighting), Judo/ wrestling (throws/ takedowns), and Boxing/ Muay Thai (strikes). One U.S. Army General said that he wanted all the soldiers to be at least Level I in Combatives. I work for one of the Department of the Army police departments and had the opportunity to attend the Level I and recently graduated the Level II Combatives Course. Being that I’m in the Army Reserve, I hope one day to go Level III. The things they are learning are effective, easy to learn, and easy to retain.”

The Army’s Combatives has four levels. The first level teaches basic ground fighting. Level II teaches technique and mechanics (instructors). Level III goes into weapons and Level IV is more or less the management level which teaches you how to run tournaments.

“These guys are highly skilled fighters and were trained by the finest fighters not to just fight, but to kill. They are normally younger and in better physical condition then we are. And yes, the females are required to do the exact same training; there are no size, weight or gender lines here. If you’re the average overworked officer who doesn’t have time to stay in good physical condition, you don’t eat right, and you’re not getting enough rest, you’re already behind the power curve. Ever since I’ve been a policeman, I have always been officer safety conscious and looking for ways to better myself and fellow officers. So this is something I thought other officers should know and think about.”

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