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U.S. Army Reserve Soldier Uses Training to Serve Community, Country

By Sgt. William Battle | 372nd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment | July 31, 2019

FORT PICKETT, Va —

The U.S. Army Reserve is a lethal, ready force comprised of thousands of citizen Soldiers who use their unique combination of leadership, skill and experience to serve the country both in and out of uniform. One such individual is Sgt. Matthew Gibson of the 952nd Quartermaster Company based in Livonia, Michigan. Gibson is one of many Reserve Soldiers participating in the Quartermaster Liquid Logistics Exercise Enhanced 2019 taking place at Fort Pickett from July 13 to Aug. 2.

During a lull in training, Gibson recounted an off-duty incident where his military experience proved particularly useful. “People are so quick to fight these days,” he began.

On May 6, 2018, Gibson witnessed a fight outside of a sports bar in Brownstown, Michigan, that left one person dead and law enforcement searching for two assailants. He rendered aid to the victim of the assault while also getting a video of the perpetrators’ vehicle leaving the scene. His swift actions were integral in the investigation and apprehension of the suspects. According to Gibson, it was a senseless crime. 

“It all started because one guy bumped into another guy on accident,” he recalled, “It carried out into the parking lot and ended up with someone dying.”

Gibson serves primarily as a petroleum supply specialist, but he’s also a Tactical Combatives (Level 2) certified trainer with a detailed knowledge of advanced defense techniques. Much of that knowledge and experience comes from studying and practicing various martial arts since he was 12 years old. With his lifelong passion for self-defense, he is enthusiastic about sharing what he has learned with those he instructs. 

There are moments when the tension of a situation makes it difficult to think clearly, and confrontations incited by trivial matters can have dire consequences. To Gibson, it’s less about fighting and more about defending yourself responsibly without making a situation worse than it needs to be. 

“You never know when someone is going to do something for no reason,” he said, “You should always be prepared to defend yourself but hope you don’t have to.” By sharing his expertise, Gibson ensures that his fellow Soldiers are able to defend themselves and intervene in the event of an altercation both in and out of uniform.