CAMP RIPPER, Iraq --
There are many ways military members try to stay motivated during a deployment. The Marines with Headquarters Company, Regimental Combat Team 5, decided to fight each other.
Sgt. Anourack D. Phavorachith, 24, supply warehouse chief, HQ Co., from Fresno, Calif., is a black belt instructor for the Marie Corps Martial Arts Program and takes as much time as he can to help any Marine around him with MCMAP.
“I have been teaching MCMAP since 2005,” said Phavorachith. “It doesn’t matter if you are a lance corporal or a lieutenant colonel, in my classes, I treat every body the same. “
Equal treatment is not what all Marines under Phavorachith's tutelage can count on. Early morning sessions, hard work and grappling are what Marines have come to expect from his sessions.
With a history of Mui Tia fighting and boxing, Phavorachith was able to complete his black belt in four years. Standing at 5 feet 6 inches and weighing 177 pounds of mostly muscle, there are probably few people who would want to really get into a fight with him.
“Four years is about average for getting your black belt in MCMAP,” said Phavorachith. “I have always been interested in martial arts and the Marine Corps gave me another form to master.”
Phavorachith recently completed teaching a green belt course at Camp Ripper, Iraq.
“We met for three weeks every day for two hours in the mornings,” said Staff Sgt. Jason M. Pierce, 29, supply chief, HQ Co., from Rochester N.Y.
The classes usually consist of a review of previous knowledge, some new moves and holds and grappling.
“I think the grappling training is the most beneficial because it is where you get to use all of the skills you learn in the class,” said Sgt. Nicholas D. Tyler, 30, supply administrations chief, HQ Co., from Lincoln, Neb.
During the course, several of the Marines got a chance to grapple with Phavorachith to see how their new skills matched up against his.
“He is very proficient at martial arts and I did get a chance to wrestle him,” said Pierce with a smile who tapped out against Phavorachith.
Phavorachith is also in charge of the supply warehouse and while his energetic personality may come out during the classes, his work ethic comes through at the shop.
“He is straight forward in the shop and he doesn’t like to cut corners,” said Pierce.
Whether its teaching MCMAP or supplying Marines with the gear they need for combat, Phavorachith can always be counted on to help his fellow Marines.
“The classes are good for morale and it gives me a sense of being needed because not only am I doing my job, I am also trying to develop other Marines to be the best possible combat ready Marine they can be,” said Phavorachith.