Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff GEN Martin Dempsey briefed reporters at the Pentagon on Thursday, January 10. You can watch video of the briefing in its entirety here.
By MC2 Elliott Fabrizio
Bring on the pain!
The Pentagon Channel isn’t all policy briefings and live Senate hearings, it’s also packed with hours adrenaline-fueled, head-to-head combat.
Begining Oct. 29, every Saturday we’re airing back-to-back marathon coverage of the Armed Forces Boxing Championships and the Army’s Championship Combatives Tournament–that adds up to two and a half hours of take-downs, submissions and knockouts.
Every Saturday, forget your favorite libation station and join TPC for Armed Conflict at 1200ET and 2100ET.
According to the tenets of the Army Combatives Program, “The defining characteristic of a warrior is the willingness to close with the enemy.”
When these boxers and warriors step into the ring, they parade that trait in their unwillingness to back down in the face of fear, exhaustion or pain.
For those downrange, grab your buddies, snacks and sit back while you size up your fellow warriors on TPC’s Armed Conflict.
See below for alternate schedules:
Afghanistan timezone show times are Saturday at 2030 and Sunday at 0530.
Iraq timezone show times are Saturday 1900 and Sunday 0400.
Central European timezone show times are Saturday at 1800 and Sunday at 0300.
Japan Korea timezone show times are Sunday 0100 and 1000.
Pacific timezone show times are Saturday at 0900 and 1800.
By SGT John Mann
President Barack Obama will posthumously award the Medal of Honor today to Army Private First Class Anthony T. Kaho’ohanohano and Army Private First Class Henry Svehla. Both men gave their lives during the Korean War to save their fellow brothers in the field.
PFC Kaho’ohanohano died on September 1, 1951 while serving in Company H, 17th Infantry Regiment, and 7th Infantry Division where he was in charge of a machine gun squad. According to a White House press release, PFC Kaho’ohanohano ordered his squad to take up a more defensible position and provide covering fire for the withdrawing friendly force. Kaho’ohanohano is credited with gathering a supply of grenades and ammunition and facing the enemy alone. Even after his ammunition ran out, he engaged the enemy in hand-to-hand combat until his life was taken. “His heroic stand so inspired his comrades that they launched a counterattack that completely repulsed the enemy,” says the release. “When they found him later, he had killed nine of the enemy with a machine gun and killed two within the replacement by beating them, and they finally killed him within the replacement… he had run out of ammunition,” says Hawaiian Senator Daniel Akaka.
Senator Akaka first heard about Kaho’ohanohano’s heroic actions ten years ago when George Kaho’ohanohano, his nephew, started fighting for his uncle to receive the Medal of Honor. “Since 2001, I pursued it with the Army Secretary Pete Geren. There is a law and code that says that any of these recommendations should be made within three years of the conflict and it was not until really 50 years later that it was pursued,” says Akaka.
Akaka went on to say, “The determination of the family really moved me, because today it is 60 years after he was killed.” Akaka says Kaho’ohanohano came from a great military family and six of his brothers also served the United States. “They loved our country and joined the military to help our country. This is a family very determined,” says Akaka. “Anthony was a determined type of person, he went to school on Maui, and was a star football player, star basketball player and was a very determined person and he was one that protected his younger brothers and fought for them. So I can see what he did in Korea was the way he felt and the way he lived to protect others and that is exactly what he did when he gave his life in Korea. That was his manner and that was his type, he was a fighter,” Akaka concluded.
Private First Class Henry Svehla will also be awarded today with the military’s highest honor. He died serving his country in Korea on June 12, 1952. Svehla was a rifleman with Company F, 32d Infantry Regiment, and 7th Infantry Division. According to a White House press release, “Coming under heavy fire and with his platoon’s attack beginning to falter, Private First Class Svehla leapt to his feet and charged the enemy positions, firing his weapon and throwing grenades as he advanced. Disregarding his own safety, he destroyed enemy positions and inflicted heavy casualties. When an enemy grenade landed among a group of his comrades, without hesitation and undoubtedly aware of the extreme danger, he threw himself on the grenade. During this action, Private First Class Svehla was mortally wounded.”
“I remember the day the telegram came, and there was a knock on the door. It was handed to her (Henry’s mother) and the person said I am sorry and after that the house was full with friends, cousins. I remember my mother cried,” says Sylvia Svehla, PFC Svehla’s sister. Dorothy Matthew’s, PFC Svehla’s other sister remembers that day just like it were yesterday, “My mother she just fell apart. It took her a long time to get over it, I don’t think she ever did, it was her youngest son. She died at only 59 years old.”
Anthony Svehla is PFC Svehla’s nephew. He’s been working since 2001 to honor his uncle with the nation’s highest military honor. “I started doing research on the Internet and I had called Congressman Pascrell’s office. The first letter I sent was in May 2001. Then we had to get records and we had to get stuff from the Library of Congress, every time we sent something, they would send something back and said we need more,” says Anthony.
Finally in February 2011, Anthony says he received a call from the Pentagon and the person on the other end said his uncle would finally receive the Medal of Honor. “It blew my mind, I had chills through my body, it was an unbelievable feeling, I just couldn’t believe that this finally happened, toward the end, 10 years, I figured it would never happen. Doing this for my Uncle John, my Uncle Big Boy I wanted him to be there because of course it has to be a next of kin, brother sister to receive the medal, two years ago he had been diagnosed with lung cancer.” Sadly, Anthony’s Uncle John passed away last summer. Anthony says his uncle would have loved to be at the White House to receive the medal in honor of Henry.
Anthony went on to say it was worth the fight and the wait, “It was hard, but I didn’t give up, I never really gave up. We were all happy you know, it’s our name, and now it’s something special to have your name mentioned with a hero.”
In 1953, a comic book was even written to illustrate the heroic actions PFC Svehla displayed on the day he was killed. The book says, “PFC Henry Svehla of North New Jersey died a hero when he threw himself on an exploding grenade to save the lives of his buddies.”
“We would be equally as proud and honored to have had him for our brother if he never won the Medal of Honor, if he never won a purple heart or Distinguished Service Cross. If all he did was serve and came back home, we would feel the same way about him. We don’t love or care more because of this, we always cared, and even though it’s such a big honor, it doesn’t change how we always felt. We were always proud of him we always loved him, as he loved us,” Sylvia concluded.
Information Directly from the White House about the Medal Of Honor:
The Medal of Honor is awarded to members of the Armed Forces who distinguishes themselves conspicuously by gallantry above and beyond the call of duty while:
- engaged in an action against an enemy of the United States;
- engaged in military operations involving conflict with an opposing foreign force; or
- serving with friendly foreign forces engaged in an armed conflict against an opposing armed force in which the United States is not a belligerent party.
The meritorious conduct must involve great personal bravery or self-sacrifice so conspicuous as to clearly distinguish the individual above his or her comrades and must have involved risk of life. There must be incontestable proof of the performance of the meritorious conduct, and each recommendation for the award must be considered on the standard of extraordinary merit.
Welcome to the final Fight Fridays preview. Close Combat is only two weeks from its premier on January 28th!
The show will air that Friday at 2200ET and will be availble Friday morning to stream or download on our website: www.pentagonchannel.mil.
Close Combat will consist of eight episodes highlighting the military’s combat training and showcasing the finals of the 2010 U.S. Army Championship Combatives Tournament.
This week’s preview is from the first episode and features round one of the bantamweight championship fight between David Mason, from Fort Hood, and Sean Stebbins, from the Minnesota National Guard.
The Close Combat premier is only a few short weeks away. The series will premier on The Pentagon Channel Friday, January 28th at 2200ET, and and the show will be available on www.pentagonchannel.mil Friday morning.
‘Close Combat’ is an 8-week series on the physical and mental benefits of military combatives training. Each hour-long episode shows how training is helping save lives downrange. Topics include the history and evolution of the Modern Army Combatives Program, safety precautions used in combatives training and competition, plus all the ringside action from the 2010 Army Combatives Championship Competition at Fort Benning, GA.
For this weeks Fight Fridays preview, we have round one of the lightweight finals consolation match. In this fightJoe Clark, from Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, faces off against Thomas Soto, from Fort Bliss, Texas.
Welcome to another Fight Fridays post on TPC’s Blog. For several weeks we’ve been uploading raw footage of fights from the 2010 U.S. Army Championship Combatives Tournament. As our series Close Combat gets closer to its debut date, we’re now uploading fight previews from our finalized Close Combat episodes, so now they include announcer commentary and Close Combat graphics. This will give you a peak into how awesome this series will look when it premieres in January 2011.
In this fight, Francisco “Frankie” Mercado (blue belt), from Fort Bragg, N.C. fights Erik Cabal-Garibay (red belt) for the gold medal in the flyweight division.
This week’s Fight Friday’s features the 2010 U.S. Army Championship Combatives Tournament’s welterweight bronze medal fight.
In this fight returning two-time champion Jason Kwast fights for redemption in the consolation bracket against his opponent Anthony Aqoun.
It’s Friday. That means the weekend is coming up, and it also means The Pentagon Channel is faithfully adding another round one fight from the 2010 U.S. Army Championship Combatives Tournament.
These fights are previews from our upcoming series Close Combat which premieres in January 2011.
This preview features Scott Eclavea, from Guam, fighting against Jessie Thorton, from Fort Hood, in the consolation finals of the fly weight class.
Who will win? Watch Close Combat to find out–although if you’re really over the moon with suspense as to which fighter took 3rd in this consolation round, you may be able to find the answer by snooping around to some older blog posts.
Tony Martin, of Fort Lee, VA, andDaniell Cook, from U.S. Army Recruiting Command, fought for redemption and third place in the consolation bracket.
Close Combat, The Pentagon Channe’s upcoming multi-week series on the Modern Army Combatives Program, features the full fights from the 2010 U.S. Army Championship Combatives Tournament. The series premieres January 2011.