Army Wrestlers Shine Off The Mat

John Belanger

John Belanger

Nov. 6, 2012

WEST POINT, N.Y. - The "Build and Believe" mindset is not something that only applies to the Army wrestling team on the mat; it apples to all aspects of life. Recently, six Army wrestlers were selected for completive MIAD (Military Individual Advanced Development) for the summer of 2013.

Chandler Smith, Tyler Rauenzahn, Jared Ross, John Belanger, Paul Hancock and Alex Dahl each successfully tried out for the summer details.

"There is a special mentality that a wrestler possesses and I assure you that Army wrestlers embody the most unique competitive mindset found in collegiate sports," said Army head coach Joe Heskett. "I am most proud of their ability to successfully transfer their competitive skill sets to situations outside of the sport. They are all still growing as young men and leaders, but they will represent not only Army wrestling, but the United States Military Academy in supreme fashion."

Smith, a sophomore from Overland Park, Kan., was picked as an alternate for the Sapper Leadership Course in Fort Leonard Wood Missouri. The course involves 28 days of leadership skills and small unit tactics. The course is broken up into two different phases. The first phase consists of demolition, land navigation, mountaineering and air and water operations training. The second phase consists of battle drills and patrolling techniques.

Rauenzahn, a junior from Schuylkill Haven, Pa., was selected for Sandhurst in England. He will be training at the Royal Military Academy in England for four weeks. Sandhurst consists of one week of weapons qualifications, two weeks of field exercise including platoon live fires and one week of cultural emersion.

Ross, a sophomore who hails from Dillsburg, Pa., was selected for Brazilian Mountain School. He will be learning the fundamental knowledge and skills required to successfully conduct small unit operations in mountainous terrain found throughout the world. This school is broken up into two different training exercises. Phase one includes mountaineering and phase two includes air assault training. Ross will also be challenged in mastering the language of Portuguese in a military environment.

Belanger, a junior from Clifton Park, N.Y., and Dahl, a junior from Weston, Fla., were selected to attend Special Forces Combat Diver Qualification Course. The Combat Diver Qualification Course is a six-week course located in Key West, Fla. Emphasis is placed on water infiltration using open and closed circuit breathing apparatus, boat movement and surface swims. Other points of instruction are rescue swimmer, team and individual searching techniques, ship bottom search and Beach Landing Site (BLS) procedures.

Hancock a junior from Detroit, Mich., was selected for SERE-C Course (Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape (High Risk)). SERE-C consists of intensive training in support of the Code of Conduct. Training includes survival field craft skills, techniques of evasion, resistance to exploitation and resolution skills in all types of environments. Students participate in a survival and evasion Field Training Exercise and in a Resistance Training Laboratory. Training will take place at Fort Bragg, N.C. or Fort Rucker, Ala.

This new generation of Army wrestlers is looking to broaden its experiences beyond the mat and the classroom by taking advantage of the some of the hardest training in the world. Army wrestlers embody the characteristics of brotherhood, heart, attitude and warrior on the mat and in military development.

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