August 8, 2012
By Walter T. Ham IV, Eighth Army
FORT HOOD, Texas -- The top U.S. Army
Combatives fighters from South Korea took on fighters from around the world at the All Army Combatives Championship here.
The Eighth Army team joined more than 25 teams in the tournament that included former Olympic wrestlers, martial arts experts and professional fighters.
The Eighth Army team fared well during its first appearance at the Army-wide competition.
Staff Sgt. Ashten Richardson from the Camp Casey-based 4-7th Cavalry took second place in the cruiserweight category.
According to Capt. Nicholas Lucchetti from the Camp Humphreys Consolidated Legal Center, the team trained hard in preparation for the competition.
Lucchetti competed in the lightweight bracket.
"Because of the demanding mission requirements here in Korea, our team members worked in their primary duty positions while spending their nights and weekends training for the tournament," said Lucchetti, "and made up for this deficit by fighting with heart."
In addition to Richardson and Lucchetti, the Eighth Army team included Staff Sgt. Nelson Moody, Staff Sgt. Joseph Pellegrino, Sgt. Brandie Smithe, Sgt. Nicholas Greathouse, Sgt. Jacob Ballard and Spc. Devonte Gathright.
The team was coached by Sgt. 1st Class Michael Craig and Sgt. Alan Alacaraz, who also fought in the lightweight bracket.
The Fort Hood-based III Corps team won the overall championship for the third consecutive year.