Stryker soldiers fight to win

Soldiers from the Stryker brigade at Fort Wainwright took part in a combatives tournament on the post last month.

The members of the first of the 25th Stryker brigade's arctic wolves were competing in modern army combatives at the post fitness center

Staff Sergeant Alfredo Rivera said "We're actually doing the combatives tournament pretty much to test out the skills that the guys have learned in the program."

The competition is a major morale booster for the troops, according to Captain Joshua Withington. He said "The guys that are out there on the mat right now are true warriors. They're demonstrating the complete ethic and mental fortitude it takes to close with and destroy the enemy."

It gets tougher for the participants as they progress.

Withington added, "Just the amount of intestinal fortitude it takes to get in that ring even with an unarmed adversary, close with and destroy your enemy,  it's a demonstration of exactly what it means to be an arctic warrior."

Local businesses and groups help out with the contest, with one of the local wrestling teams providing score flipbooks and the octagon for the cage fight is the one used for amateur matches at the Carlson Center.

This tournament was the first brigade–wide combatives tournament since 2003 and the first ever to use the octagon cage,